Taste Test: Fancy Protein Powder, Energy Drink, and Caffeinated Gels

We put three new products to the test.

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Gatorade Endurance Caffeinated Energy Gel

$30 for a box of 21, Amazon.com

Sports nutrition giant Gatorade Endurance is throwing its hat into the caffeinated energy gel ring with two new gels. Offering a moderate amount of caffeine—30mg per pouch—it’s just enough to give you a gentle buzz, but nothing crazy. The two flavors, lemon-ginger and strawberry, are both palatable and similar in taste and consistency to many others on the market. The tiny packets fit into shorts or trisuit pockets easily. With 80 calories per gel, they are slightly lighter energy-wise than two of their main competitors (e.g., Gu and Clif both have 100 calories per gel), but other nutrition facts are comparable—like carbs, sugar, and sodium content. With athletes like Lionel Sanders and runner Molly Huddle championing these gels, you can surely expect to hear more about them.

Plantfusion Peptide Protein

$44 for 1-pound tub, Amazon.com

The sheer number of protein powders now available is nothing short of bewildering, so when this “next gen performance protein” landed at Triathlete HQ, we were more than a little intrigued to try it. What makes it different? For one thing, it contains something known as activated plant peptides, which are considered to be a one-stop shop when it comes to recovery—combining the potency of whey protein, bone broth, and collagen. We’ve been testing it after high-intensity strength workouts, and it certainly delivers a mega hit of recovery goodness in that critical refueling window: 30g of plant protein, 6.5g of branch chain amino acids (BCAAs), and even 18mg of iron. It comes in two flavors, vanilla and chocolate, and is not cheap at $44 for a 1-pound tub, but it tastes surprisingly good. Definitely worth trying when you’re looking to recover fast and well.

Infinit Nutrition: Go Far Endurance Fuel

$40, Amazon.com

Infinit Nutrition has cornered the custom market with its intelligent, no-nonsense approach to fueling. With a focus on zero stomach distress but maximum calories, carbs, and electrolytes, Infinit has done plenty well already, but this is one of the most impressive products we’ve tried in their range. As an isotonic all-in-one drink, it gives you a huge 280 calories per packet together with 66g of carbs, 4mg of protein, and a healthy kick of electrolytes (including 379mg sodium and 110mg potassium). Recommended usage is one packet (mixed with 20 ounces of water) per hour of activity, and it’s remarkably easy to drink. This is ideal on longer rides or brick workouts when getting in adequate calories is key. It’s available in fruit punch flavor, but as with all Infinit products, you can also customize it via their website.

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