Review – High5 Zero Electrolyte Tabs
High5 have built up an excellent reputation for nutrition products and their range includes everything from recovery protein shakes to energy bars.
The Zero tabs are extremely popular amongst cyclists, but they are not and do not claim to be an energy drink. What they do is replace the electrolytes and minerals lost via sweat through exercise, which can help stave of muscle cramps.
Many of us suffer from muscle cramps especially on longer rides, and the Zero tablets make a marked difference in reducing the chances of cramp on longer rides, or even shorter rides if you are especially prone to them.
This is because the Zero tabs contain vital electrolytes – magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium to name a few of the more important ones. This is extremely important in exercise as the electric charge in electrolytes is vital for the muscle cells to contract effectively and replacing the ones that have been expended with go a long way to avoiding fatigue and cramp.
Zero’s name comes from the tabs’ lack of sugar and carbohydrate – although they do contain carbs the number is so minimal (0.1g p/tab) that it will make no difference whatsoever. Zero tabs are advertised as helping you burn 41% more fat than regular energy drinks.
This is really just clever marketing though as most energy drinks are loaded with carbohydrates to give the body more energy to burn off; as Zero tabs don’t provide the body with carbohydrates to burn the body will naturally burn fat off instead. In reality you will burn just as much fat off by drinking plain water, although the electrolytes in the tab will mean you are more likely to perform for longer.
The tabs come in four flavours – Berry, Pink Grapefruit, Cherry-Orange and Citrus. For our review we tested the Berry ones. The fact that they are tablets is a big plus point as it means you can take a couple in your jersey pocket and add them during the ride to your water: much easier than taking powder and a spoon.
The soluble tablets dissolve quickly and the strength of the flavour is dictated by the number of tablets you add. Zero recommend that you add 1 tab to 750ml of water for a weak flavour and two for a strong. We tried both, and both options are well flavoured so we suppose it comes down the intensity of your ride.
Although the tabs do taste like their flavours there is definitely a metallic hint there, which comes down to the magnesium content. It’s certainly not unpleasant though and it’s a small price to pay to avoid cramping when working out.
Although they are small enough to fit in a jersey pocket and simple to use you will still need to take out some energy bars or gels with you on longer rides to ensure your body has enough carbohydrates to perform well as simply replacing electrolytes isn’t adequate for fuelling your body.
The High5 Zero Electrolyte Tabs are ideal for making your perform longer without suffering from cramps. They taste good and their lack of calories means that they are not giving you more work to do in terms of losing weight. A vital nutritional item if you suffer from cramps or do long rides often; they would also be ideal for before/after an event. They should be included as essential kit for any activity, whether you’re taking them on a long cycling ride or throwing in with your hiking gear for a long weekend in the mountains.
+ Cheap, effective way of replacing electrolytes
+ Tabs are great for putting in jersey pocket to add later in the ride
+ Effectively prevent muscle cramp and increase endurance
– Slightly metallic taste
– Claims to burn fat – has the same fat-burning properties as water
– Still need to carry carbs on longer rides to maintain energy
Overall we give the High5 Zero Electrolyte Tabs 8/10