Homemade Isotonic Energy drink; side by side comparison

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#1
I’ve been experimenting with different fuels on my ride and after looking at gels, powders and mixes I thought hang on a bloody minute, most of these drink supplements are boasting 2:1 fructose mixes or other “Fruit” sugar mixes, what would happen if I just mixed jam with 750ml of water.

If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know I love home cooking and recently I made a massive batch of home grown blackberry jam and decided to see what it was like mixed with water.

The Blackberries were passed through my juicer 5-6 times to remove every last seed and liquid from the pulp that made a very thick concentrated blackberry juice which was then added to organic demerara sugar and lemon juice, very simple very healthy and bloody delicious!

Once mixed with water you don’t lose the flavour of the berries and it has a nice sharp after taste that leaves you refreshed when out on the road, especially in this heat.

So how does it nutritionally stand against the big names?

Homemade Blackberry Isotonic Energy Drink
· 47g of homemade organic blackberry jam (no seeds or pulp)
· Pinch of salt
· Water
Estimated nutritional value
· Calories: 114kcal
· Carbohydrates: 30.5g
· Sugars: 28.2g
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HIGH5 Energy Source
· 47g
· Water
Listed Nutritional Value
· Calories: 180 kcal
· Carbohydrates: 45g
· Sugars: 16.0g
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nectar Sports Fuel Isotonic Concentrate (blackcurrant)
· 50g
· Water
Listed Nutritional Value
· Calories: 120 kcal
· Carbohydrates: 30g
· Sugars: 20.0g


As you can see there is very little difference between them, the HIGH5 powder is actually a carb drink and thus naturally has a higher carb %. My jam on the other hand has a higher sugar content although I would argue that it’s all organic, homemade and doesn’t have any preservatives or other chemical enhancers but like I said they are all pretty close.

On today’s ride and even at 6am the temperature hit 34°c. I used the homemade mix, it was easy to drink and had a nice sweet but sharp taste that didn’t leave a gritty or dry after taste in the mouth. More importantly it was easily digested and didn’t unsettle my stomach or digestive system.

The only down side I can see with using jam is basically it’s a premix that you leave the house with as there really isn’t a viable solution for taking it out on the road and then mixing.

Although this is homemade I looked at other jams and they are very close to mine regarding nutritional values. So I don’t see why others can’t experiment with this.

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For an even more detailed breakdown of the nutritional values of the homemade mix:

· Calories 114.0
· Total Fat 0.1 g
· Saturated Fat 0.0 g
· Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
· Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
· Cholesterol 0.0 mg
· Sodium 0.0 mg
· Potassium 46.4 mg
· Total Carbohydrate 26.7 g
· Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
· Sugars 28.2 g
· Protein 0.2 g
· Vitamin A 0.8 %
· Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
· Vitamin B-6 0.7 %
· Vitamin C 8.3 %
· Vitamin D 0.0 %
· Vitamin E 0.8 %
· Calcium 0.8 %
· Copper 1.7 %
· Folate 2.0 %
· Iron 0.8 %
· Magnesium 1.2 %
· Manganese 15.3 %
· Niacin 0.5 %
· Pantothenic Acid 0.6 %
· Phosphorus 0.5 %
· Riboflavin 0.6 %
· Selenium 0.2 %
· Thiamin 0.5 %
· Zinc 0.4 %
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#2
Are there brambles near where you live, or where do all the blackberries come from? (True, I've never attempted to buy them and so don't know, but I lazily assume that they'd be expensive if bought.)

As I understand it, jam needs sugar as an emulsifier. If you want a drink such as this and happen to have jam lying around, why not -- but if somebody's main goal were the drink, then no emulsifier would be needed. ("Nutritionally, brown sugar and white sugar are not much different." -- NY Times.) What does blackberry juice taste like? (Blackberries I know; blackcurrant juice [heavily sugared before bottling] I know; blackberry juice I've never encountered.)
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
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Yokohama
#3
I grow them in my garden

I made a massive batch of home grown blackberry jam
Brown sugar is not "demerara" they are very different - Also what I am trying to point out is that there is very little difference in nutritional values between pre-packed "energy drinks" and jam drinks. Remember majority of carbs that we get are from sugar so not really sure where you are going with the "emulsifier" as the sugar is used in the "drink" as a energy source along with the fructuous from the fruit as the sugar is mixed at a 50/50 ratio it is still easily soluble in water.

Out of the 3 drinks listed only HIGH5 doesn't have the majority of its carbs from sugar.

But I would like to know what you are looking for in a drink when out riding - do you use plain water or are you buying energy drinks or mixes? For me I need and Isotonic drink that is refreshing and also supplies me with energy and minerals.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#4
I grow them in my garden
But . . . they're weeds! You're not supposed to grow weeds!

(Not that I'm objecting. Me, I'd find them much more welcome than at least half the stuff that responsible citizens like to cultivate.)

But I would like to know what you are looking for in a drink when out riding - do you use plain water or are you buying energy drinks or mixes? For me I need and Isotonic drink that is refreshing and also supplies me with energy and minerals.
I might benefit from something like that too, but so far I've been drinking water, mostly. If I want a hit of sugar I'll try Calpis Soda (not something I'd want to drink in other circumstances). If I pause for lunch I'll happily drink alcohol-free near-beer. Recently I've started with tomato juice (in small quantities). The "sports"/"energy" drinks I've tried taste more or less like dishwater.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#8
COSTCO Acai smoothy mix. (nothing but fruit pulp and quite sour). Some oligosaccharide syrup and a lemon slice. As the ride progresses, I just continue to dilute the bottle. Pretty much after 3 or 4 hrs it's just water and the lemon slice. Depending my mood I'll top it up with something else, even yogurt drink. But in line with the 'isotonic' theme - mainly water and salt-to-tears. The Acai smoothy stuff degrades pretty rapidly, so it's something you want to start the ride with and not carry it in your pocket. What's wrong with just using whole fruit mashed up? That's quick and easy. Grab a watermelon slice, blueberry, grapes, whatever and mash them into your bottle. I agree - probably not much different than the overpriced powders and stuff - but just less convenient and portable. Plus dosage is not as accurate. On the otherhand - I think it's pretty hard to over-dose on fresh fruits. You'll get 'full' long before you've exceeded the carb / sugar concentration. That's another hazard of the powders - it's very easy to over consume and turn your gut into a Fukushima melt down. (One big reason I'm shying away from this more and more). I NEVER feel stomach issues when I just eat real food.
 
Likes: rommelgc

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#10
We had 'kompot' in Northern Italy as well - mainly preserved fruits in kind of a vinegarette - some people referred to it as mostardia, too - but I think that mix was very similar , nearly to a chutney and regular compote could be anything from preserved fruits or fermented version kind of like ume-shu here in Japan...
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#11
compote |ˈkämˌpōt|noun1 fruit preserved or cooked in syrup.• a dish consisting of fruit salad or stewed fruit, often with syrup.2 a bowl-shaped dessert dish with a stem.ORIGIN late 17th cent.: from French, from Old Frenchcomposte ‘mixture’ (see compost) .