OTE Energy Drink comes in convenient sachets, tastes good and, we found, doesn't upset your stomach during hard efforts.
OTE is the new kid on the somewhat busy, nutrition block. A break away for one of the founders of SiS, the pitch is a natural stance, with an emphasis on function and new thinking in sports nutrition.
We're testing the the blackcurrant energy powder here, packaged in single serving (43g) sachets. A neat and tidy design, it's a different branding style than the rest of the market, which on talking with sporting outsiders can often appear very industrial and intimidating. The sachet features two tear points: a small opening and a large one, for different bottle neck sizes - to help avoid sticky power going where you don't want it.
Each sachet provides 40g of carbohydrates, which OTE recommend sipping on for 45-60min of exercise. Stemming from the generally accepted 60g/hour, OTE have designed their range to provide carbohydrates in multiples of 20g, so that they can be combined throughout an hour to achieve your recommended carbohydrate intake. One sachet mixed with 500ml which fill two of their servings. If you're pushing hard or racing you might complement the bottle with a gel.
The bulk of my testing of the OTE Energy Drink was during a 12-hour mountain bike event. Racing with a team of four, I took it out in my bottle each lap - roughly 45min. Doing lots of broken up interval sessions like this over a long period is a real test of the stomach and can often be the limiting factor. I took to the OTE well, probably because of the other selling point being that it is pH natural. Acid build up from lots of sugar will often put you off eating and drinking enough in such an event but I had no such problem here.
Equally the taste helps make OTE much more drinkable. With natural flavouring and maltodextrin and fructose as carbohydrate sources, it's a very clean blackcurrant flavour, with no sickly sweetness to it. Rather, there is a noticeably salty edge to it, which makes it almost savoury off the bike, similar to the ZipVit range. The added sodium taste is due to the 'balanced electrolytes', which should help hydration. As taste changes during exercise, sweetness tends to trump the salty taste making the OTE very pleasant indeed.
I was interested to try OTE after popping up on the radar with a very swish design and lots of talk. The energy drink passed one of the hardest tests to past, repeated race efforts with no ill effects and I would definitely choose to use it again. I can confidently recommend the powder to those that have had a hard time finding a energy drink that doesn't taste like a corner shop soft drink or have had issues digesting other drinks. At £1.25 a serving, it is about what I'd expect to pay for a single serving. There is a bulk option but it offers no discounted price; perhaps this will come down the line.
An excellent energy drink. The almost-savoury taste is pleasant, the packaging's convenient and the balanced pH stops acid build-up.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: OTE Energy Drink
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
An energy drink for before, during and after exercise. 'Maximise your workout with our naturally blackcurrant flavoured energy drink mix with added electrolytes.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Just add water!
Maltodextrin and Fructose
Natural, delicious flavouring
Free from: artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives
DualDelivery packaging system
45 to 60 minutes of energy (see our energy guide)
Suitable for: vegetarians, vegans, gluten free and dairy free
A little more thought than normal has gone into the packaging with two tear points.
Did the job and with no ill-effects.
Natural pH means no acid build-up for easy constant drinking on longer events. I liked the almost savoury test.
About average for energy drinks but this on is a little more thought through.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Natural taste and pH level.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No discount for bulk purchase or tub rather than sachets.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 23 Height: 184cm Weight: 66kg
I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,