A few months back I told you about CNP Professional sending a few products through to me to test. Well, I have tested the products over and over, although it took longer than I had expected. But it did give me the time to feel if and how the products were working for me.
For those who don’t know the name, CNP Professionalis a sports nutrition company that aims to produce quality and effective formulas that aid elite athletes and general gym users alike to achieve their physical goals when combined with regular exercise and healthy diets. Below are the products they have outlined will be of most use to all cyclists.
I’ll start by saying overall I enjoyed taking all the products that I was given. They were very easy to use and the instructions were simple. It pretty much did as it “said on the tin”. The different drinks as well as the snacks and gels were easy on the stomach and I didn’t suffer through the day or more importantly, during a ride. This is an important thing to rememeber when buying/trying supplements.
So, what I have done is broken this review down into three parts: Before, During, and After. This is to help illustrate better when to take the products. So here goes:
The first on the list is Pro Peptide. I tested the wild strawberry flavour. Now the site describes the product as:
… an advanced blend of bioactive fast and slow proteins (Whey protein high fraction concentrate, Hydrolysed whey, Egg white and micellar casein) that provide both anabolic and anticatabolic properties, meaning less wasted protein and better protein utilisation. Also included are probiotic organisms (friendly bacteria), which assist in protein metabolism leading to improved nitrogen retention (the perfect environment for muscle growth) and maintaining a healthier digestive system. A high concentration of peptide-bonded glutamine ensures a superior absorption of this vital amino acid. Pro-Peptide is low in fat and lactose allowing further ease of digestion, is the most advanced protein supplement on the market today and is ideal for the health conscious individual to the serious athlete.
In a nutshell, Pro Peptide is a fast and slow protein shake with pro and prebiotics. It contains peptide bonded glutamine which means the body absorbs it more effectively. Ideally you would use at breakfast and a hour before bed. And as it contains micellar casein (milk protein) it means that the body is drip fed quality protein for up to 8 hours.
So if you are hard at training, then make sure you’re on this daily so your body has all it needs to cope with the stresses it is being put under.
Although this product falls into both the Before and After categories, it’s better suited for Before as it helps you kick start your day and training. Word of caution, if you’re not putting in a lot of miles in your training, then you could pick up weight when using this.
Directions for use: 3x scoops (65g) with 500ml of water
Tub size: 908g
Servings per container: 14 x 3 scoops
Nutritional information (per 3 scoops (65g)):
- Calories 230
- Proteins 45g
- Carbohydrates 6g
- Dietary Fibre 3g
- Sugars 3g
- Total Fat 3g
- Saturated fat 1g
- Cholesterol 45mg
- Sodium 350mg
- Potassium 350mg
Flavours: Chocolate, Wild Strawberry, Vanilla, Banana (new) and Choc Mint (new)
Now we move onto the products we use during our exercise or competiton. Pro Hydrate is a hypotonic drink for hydration and energy. I tested the Orange flavour but it also comes in Berry.
The product description for Pro Hydrate is as follows:
Pro Hydrate is a hyptonic drink which actively pushes fluids and carbohydrates into your blood and cells to ensure optimum hydration. This outperforms water or isotonic drinks which do not flow into the blood until you start to become dehydrated. A 2% loss in hydration can cause a 10% loss in performance so optimum hydration is essential for peak performance.
Pro Hydrate is a complex carbohydrate drink which will provide sustained energy for exercise plus electrolytes to replace lost salts and improve hydration. Taurine has been added for increased hydration and to promote blood flow which will combat muscle tiredness. Pro Hydrate is easily absorbed without bloating.
I really enjoyed using Pro Hydrate through all my training and group rides. The orange flavour was very pleasant and didn’t leave any after taste in my mouth.I also found that it worked quickly after I had a mouthful. I must say that over a 40km ride I found that I easily went through two 500ml water bottles.
Plus, it’s super easy to prepare. Each 500g tub comes with its own scoop, of which you only need to add two of these to each 500ml water bottle. So making your water bottle takes only a minute to do.
I’ve used Science in Sports PSP22 Energy before and found that it had a very sweetened taste and left a layer of film in my mouth after I had a drink. To add to this it’s a very sticky drink, especially if it spilt onto my hands or bicycle frame while out riding. I’ve landed up having to clean my bike after each ride from the remnants of the PSP22 Energy.
Directions for use: 2x scoops
Tub size: 500g
Servings per container: 12 servings
Nutritional information (per 2 scoops (40.5g) made with 500 ml water):
- Kcalories 141
- Protein 7.4g
- Carbohydrates 27.9g
- of which sugars 0.0g
- Fat 0.0g
- of which saturates 0.0g
- Fibre 0.0g
- Sodium 0.17g
Flavours: Orange or Berry
PRO ENERGY MAX and PRO ENERGY GELS
Energy Gels are a convenient way to provide energy while you are riding plus electrolytes and active ingredients to provide a boost and increased mental focus. I tried out two versions of the gels, the Pro Energy Max Gel and the Pro Energy Gel.
The product description has Pro Energy Max Gels as:
CNP’s Pro Energy Max Gel has been developed in conjunction with British Cycling and the Sky Pro Cycling Team and is used by their riders. British Cycling and Sky Pro Cycling Team specifically requested CNP to not use citric acid in the formulation as they believe it can upset the riders’ stomachs. Pro Energy Max Gel can be used by cyclists of any level to give a boost during their ride.
Pro Energy Gel with maltodextrin for a sustained release of energy. L-caffeine and guarana for energy & focus. Glucoronolactone for mental alertness. N-Acetyl-Tyrosine & Phenylalanine to elevate mood and enhance alertness.L Taurine for improved hydration and blood flow. B vitamins may enhance energy levels. Potassium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride for improved hydration.
The product description has Pro Energy Gels as:
CNP’s Pro Energy Gel has been developed in conjunction with British Cycling and the Sky Pro Cycling Team and is used by their riders. British Cycling and Sky Pro Cycling Team specifically requested CNP to not use citric acid in the formulation as they believe it can upset the riders’ stomachs. Pro Energy Gel can be used by cyclists of any level to provide a sustained release of energy
Pro Energy Gel with maltodextrin for a sustained release of energy. Potassium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride for improved hydration. Naturally occuring Tocopherol (vitamin E) for it’s anti oxidant properties.
The main difference betweem the two gels is the Max gels contain Caffeine, Guarana and Electrolytes. Whereas the normal gel comes with antioxidants. The most noticeable difference is in the taste. Max gels come in cola and mixed with caffeine it has a very strong and almost bitter taste. But as my mother and doctor always used to tell me when I was younger, “the worse things taste, the better they are for you.”
Now using the product while out on the road is super easy. It stores very easily in your back pocket alongside any other snacks you may have. And using it is very straightforward too as all you have to do is rip off the tab at the top and squeeze the contents into your mouth.
The secret is knowing when to use it. If I knew a climb was coming up, about 2-3km’s out I would take a gel and by the time I got to the climb, I could feel the difference in my legs. My suggestion for you here is to try the gels while out training and find out at what point you need it in your ride ahead of where you need it most, be it a sprint or a climb.
Box contains (and servings per container): 24x 45g gels
Nutritional information (per 45g gel):
- Calories 101Kcal
- Protein 0.0g
- Carbohydrate 25.0g
- of which sugars 0.0g
- Fat 0.0g
- Of which saturates 0.0g
- Fibre 0.0g
Flavours: Cola (Max Gels) or Berry (Energy Gels)
PRO ENERGY BAR
These are delicious snacks for on the bike. The product description for the Pro Energy Bar is:
Pro-Energy bars are high in time-released carbohydrates for energy and low in fat. They are made from dried fruit and whole grains and are ideal to maintain energy levels. The berry flavour contains antioxidants from the cranberries.
These are super little snacks to have while on the bike if you are looking to keep your energy levels up. The bar isn’t too thick (half as thick as the flapjack) which makes it easy to eat on the ride. In addition to this, it is slightly moist (not very) but definitely not dry which made it easy to chew while riding. On top of this, I found the banana flavour very pleasant to eat too. The bar is easy on the stomach and doesn’t make it feel heavy at all. A must for any rider.
Box contains (and servings per container): 12x 70g bar
Nutritional information (per 70g bar):
- Calories 232Kcal
- Protein 2.4g
- Carbohydrate 49.7g
- of which sugars 28.6g
- Fat 3.0g
- Of which saturates 0.5g
- Fibre 1.9g
Flavours: Banana and Berry
Next up is Pro Recover. The product description on the site says:
…a post work out drink that contains a blend of high glycemic (fast acting carbohydrates) and fast acting proteins in the form of hydrolysed whey and whey isolate providing a high concentration of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) that aid muscle repair and growth. Pro Recover post work out drink also contains antioxidants that also help to limit muscle damage caused by intense exercise. Pro Recover post work out drink is ideal to take after most forms of exercise and sports.
For this product to have optimum effect, it needs to be taken within 30 minutes of completing the exercise or race. It contains fast acting whey protein to help the muscle recovery and fast acting carbs to bring the blood sugar level up, thus helping the body adapt and stopping the craving for sweet food.
Out of all the products I tested, this one I found worked the best for me. This is mainly because it is the first time I found a product that helped take away that hunger I felt everytime I finished a ride. That is why I cannot tell you how important it is to have a drink such as this straight after a training ride or a race. I did a test one day after I rode to work in that I did not take any Pro Recover. What I found was that throughout the day I was hungry and desperately snacking on rubbish (crisps and chocolate), basically anything I could find to try and fill the gap. However, on previous occasions when I have taken Pro Recover, I found that my body didn’t crave anything extra after my ride. My body felt great! Plus, you can’t beat the taste of strawberry.
Something else I like about Pro Recover and Pro Peptide for that matter is that both use water and not milk when you mix it. As anyone who suffers with sinus problems will tell you, diary products do not help whatsoever, it just makes it worse. So a big thumbs up for having it mixed with water!
Directions for use: 2x scoops (80g) with 450ml of water
Tub size: 1.28kg
Servings per container: 16
Nutritional information (per 2 scoops ):
- Calories 297
- Protein 23.59g
- Carbohydrates 48.45g
- (of which sugars) 48.45g
- Fat 1.05g
- (of which saturates) 0.83g
- Vitamin C 250mg
- Vitamin E 10mg
Flavours: Chocolate and Strawberry
These are delicious wholesome snacks for off the bike. The product description for the Pro Flapjack is:
Pro-Flapjack high protein bars are not your typical high fat, high sugar flapjacks found in most stores today. Pro-Flapjack high protein bars have been specifically designed for the health conscious individual and is a delicious way of providing quality protein (micellar casein, collagen, sodium caseinate, whey protein concentrate) and complex carbohydrates (oats). With the hectic lifestyle faced by many people today, it has been easy to rely on poor nutritional, quick fix snacks or even worse miss a meal. Pro-Flapjack high protein bars are the perfect solution to these problems and can easily fit into pockets, bags, car glove compartments etc providing a convenient high nutritional snack any time of the day.
Now this flapjack is quite a mouthful when compared with the Energy Bar. It’s a lot thicker and isn’t really meant to be consumed on the bike. But that could all depend on how hungry you are and if you took a bar with you on the ride. The flapjacks taste delicious and I found myself scoffing them down so quickly that by the time I thought about it, the bar was finished. This is the perfect meal to end your day of training and racing, once you have consumed your Pro Recover drink.
But just as its description states above, the flapjack is not just limited for use while out on the bike. It can be used every day when you are stuck for a meal as it contains all the nutrition you need to get you through the day. So, make sure you keep one in your bag, just for emergencies!
Box contains (and servings per container): 12x 75g bar
Nutritional information (per 75g bar):
- Calories 278.6
- Protein 18.8g
- Carbohydrate 34.9g
- of which sugars 5g
- Fat 7.1g
- Of which saturates 3g
- Fibre 2.6g
- Sodium 75mg
Flavours: Cherry Almond, Chocolate and Chocolate Orange
The above sticker was something I spotted on the back of my Pro Peptide. It’s good to know (and see) that CNP Professional allow samples of their products to be sent off to accredited independant labs for the testing of substances banned by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).
Last thing you need is to find out that you’re using a supplement that contains banned substances. Just like former junior triathlon and duathlon world champion Rebekah Keat found when she was banned for two years for failing a drugs test. It turned out that her positive test was caused by Hammer Nutrition’s supplements which contained the steriod precursor norandrostenedione.
I’ve really enjoyed using each one of these products from CNP Professional. Easy to follow instructions and it all tasted great, not forgetting the increase in my performance on the road as well. Ultimately that’s what you are after so I’ll definitely be stocking up on goods for the coming months in preparation for my ride to Amsterdam.
An important thing to remember though when buying supplements is to make sure you test the product at least four weeks before a race or big event. What you don’t want to find is that during a race the product doesn’t agree with you and you start to cramp. That’s why training rides are so important, it’s where you try things out, including your food and drink intake.
An added bonus about these products are that they are also being used by Team Sky, Twenty3c-Orbea Cycling Team and GB Cycling, to the extent that Team Sky are even helping the company develop their products to the level that professionals require. So you know you’re getting the best and you’re able to take yourself to the max!