These £5 tablets helped me cycle more than 100km and kept me feeling bright after post-ride pints

Fuel your fitness regime or cure a hangover... these whizz aids will help you rebalance your electrolytes

Suzie McCracken
Tuesday 08 June 2021 10:21
<p>I understand that some long-distance athletes will lick their own sweat in order to regain electrolytes, but lapping at my forearm like a cat does not appeal</p>

I understand that some long-distance athletes will lick their own sweat in order to regain electrolytes, but lapping at my forearm like a cat does not appeal

Once upon a time, I thought all performance-enhancing drinks were guff – “magic” liquids marketed to fitness people whose obsessions with shaving a second or two off their times meant they were susceptible to the con. But then in my twenties, I developed a love affair with cycle touring… and quickly became familiar with the need for hydration.

After a couple of “bonks” (when you run out of energy and you find yourself crying on the ground – in my case, on the foothills of Mount Fuji), I knew I needed to take action.

Travelling at slow speeds doesn’t save you from the need for nutritional know how when you’re exercising for eight hours a day. That mystical mix of salts and sugars, along with a steady supply of cereal bars and rice cakes, is the only way to avoid the dreaded downturn.

I understand that some long-distance athletes will lick their own sweat in order to regain electrolytes, but, I’ll be honest, lapping at my forearm like a cat does not appeal. Instead, over the years I have become a connoisseur of effervescent rehydration tablets, which you pop in your bidon (or glass) in order to give your body back the salts it’s lost during exercise… or during a session of hard drinking.

So when Phizz sent me a bunch of their tablets to try during the course of a week-long bike trip around Suffolk that was due to be punctuated by pint-populated evenings, I was more than happy to give them a go, and to report back on the tablets’ effectiveness.

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Phizz multivitamin hydration orange tablets

Buy now £4.99, Amazon.co.uk

First up: the branding. Most effervescents are either medicalised or have a pro-sports vibe, both of which can be off-putting for hungover office workers or those about to get on a long-haul flight. Phizz, thankfully, has a modern feel that helps alleviate any shame, screaming “my headache is a lifestyle choice, thank you very much” to any casual onlooker.

In terms of taste, it’s certainly one of the better effervescents I’ve tried. The combo of salt and sugar needed to make these things effective is always going to create a slightly odd-tasting beverage, but Phizz is closer to the orange-squash end of the seltzer spectrum. All five of us on the bike tour had no problem popping two tablets in our water bottles every morning, which was incredibly important considering we were cycling during the hottest parts of the day in the mercifully sunny half-term weather.

Phizz is definitely a better option than traditional sports-drinks hacks that are intended to replenish electrolytes and aid recovery – half coca cola and half water is a classic, as is a squash with a teaspoon of table salt. But both taste strange at best, don’t contain the added vitamins and minerals in Phizz, and are far more calorific. This doesn’t matter so much when you’re exercising, but I like the fact this 18-calorie bev didn’t feel like a meal in itself when I was just consuming it to feel a bit brighter at my desk.

Read more: 11 best summer cycling jerseys for women that are cool and comfortable

The taste of Phizz is a little harder to swallow when you’re experiencing the morning-after blues… but to be fair, so is anything. And my results were hard to argue with: the day after my 30th birthday, a Phizz gave me enough life to be able to visit a gallery with friends, despite the fact I’d, um, had a series of evacuations during the night. The red splodges on the skin around my eyes (a new treat for my latest decade) also dissipated considerably after a glass of the orange stuff.

The verdict: Phizz multivitamin hydration orange tablets

As someone who is always on the lookout for affordable rehydration tablets, I’m impressed with Phizz. They taste better than many of the competitors out there and are cheaper than the most well known brand. I like the branding and they kept me from bonking over the course of a week-long cycle tour in the blazing Suffolk sunshine.

If you’re after something to keep you hydrated on your next athletic pursuit, these are a great buy that are easier to track down than some of the more sporting-specific brands out there. And if you are just feeling a bit worse for wear, they will definitely help you limp through the day with something approaching a smile on your face. I’m looking forward to trying the apple and blackcurrant flavour next time I’m in need… which, now that I’ve turned 30, is likely to be sooner rather than later.

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