Expensive Food Replacement Drink Delivers Custom Blend
Infinit Nutrition isn’t the first sports nutrition company to offer a drink mix intended to replace all other nutrition on a ride. But it ups the ante with its custom mix that is formulated specifically for individual customers. I have been testing the customized blend for about six months now.
Infinit offers individual consultations where you can speak directly to one of their staff members. The person I spoke to was Ryan, a Cat 1 rider, so it was comforting to know I was dealing with an active athlete who was also using the product himself.
In our conversation I was asked how much I weighed, how much I sweat (lots!), what type of riding I do, how hungry I feel at the end of a ride, plus a number of other question, the answers to which were used to build my profile in order to customize the mix.
Based on my answers, Ryan adjusted the flavor, carbs, calories, electrolytes, protein, amino acids and caffeine. He also explained what the impact of each was and why he was recommending each amount. (See the illustration of Infinit’s web tool that allows individual customers to “dial in” their own mix of ingredients to create their proprietary blend.)
The company claims to use no artificial colors or ingredients. (Since I don’t have access to a mass spectrometer, I am taking their word for it.)
Preparation No Different From Any Mix
Preparation is simple and is just like any other drink mix. Add two of the measured scoops per bottle and add water. I found it easier to leave a little room, shake the mix and then completely fill and shake again to fully dissolve the powder.
Infinit claims that the mix can deliver all of your needed nutrition during rides, provided that you drink one bottle an hour. The mix I have delivers slightly over 300 calories per bottle.
On the Bike Testing
For my first ride, though, I wasn’t yet ready to trust the mix completely to deliver all my needed nutrition, and so brought along a couple of bars and gels just in case.
I was out on the bike for over four hours on that first test of the endurance mix that was formulated for me. Here’s where one of the issues with using only a drink mix presents itself.
Since I only wanted to carry two bottles, I needed to bring along extra pre-measured mix for a couple of refills. I did that using plastic bags, which caused a couple of admittedly minor issues. Two scoops of the mix takes space in your jersey pockets, about the same as a bar. Then comes the dispensing and mixing time at the rest stop. Finally, despite my best efforts, I ended up with sticky hands. Like I said, not a huge deal. However, it was certainly less convenient than, say, eating a Clif bar.
(I know, too, though, that experienced mix users have any number of proven techniques for carrying and mixing their extra powder on rides. I’m sure I’ll figure out a system that works well for me without getting sticky every time out.)
On the plus side, my energy levels remained constant. I was able to ride all day long and the extra food and gels I brought along went untouched. My stomach accepted the drink well, with no upset, unlike other protein mixes I’ve used in the past that have caused stomach cramps.
Using Infinit I felt better at the end of longer endurance rides than usual, with more energy to spare. I also found I had less of the highs and lows that I tend to get when using gels, probably due to their simple sucrose formula.
The mix was easy to drink and not at all chalky. There are a number of flavor choices, and I tried both fruit punch and salted caramel for the review. Despite initial reservations on something that sounded like a “better on paper idea,” I found the salted caramel was delicious, and a nice change from citrus flavors. This will be a purely personal choice, of course.
Intensity Mix vs. Endurance Mix
I also tried a proprietary intensity mix. This mix removed the protein and focused more on simple rather than complex carbs, with the aim of delivering quickly available energy rather than the long burn of the endurance mix.
As with the endurance mix, I was able to ride using just the mix as a source of calories without the need for any bar or gel supplement.
However, I found the intensity mix less useful since the “intensity” rides are typically much shorter, and I could rely on my body’s glycogen levels to provide adequate energy without a real need for supplementation.
Off-The-Shelf Mix, And Cost Comparisons
Infinit Nutrition offers off-the-shelf mixes in addition to its custom blends, which are also formulated either for endurance or intensity riding.
The one thing and only thing that gives me pause about the product is the cost of the custom mixes. Although there are often coupon codes available, a 25-serving bag costs around $53. If you follow the recommendation to drink one bottle an hour, a four-hour ride means four bottles, which would cost approximately $8. It’s not an expense that compares with a round ofgolf, but it is a factor. (The off-the-shelf version works out to around $14 less per 25 servings.)
To get my own mind around the cost, I compared the calories delivered, and cost, to my usual on-bike food of choice, a Clif Bar, which costs about $1 and delivers around 200 calories. In comparison, a bottle of Infinit endurance mix delivers just over 300 calories. On a longer ride, I can see the cost getting closer to balancing out, as I would need to add in more gels and bars.
Despite the expense, I found one strong argument in favor of using Inifinit to fulfill my nutrition needs. You have to drink while riding, no matter what. Every time I drink when using Infinit, I’m also taking in my nutrition, not just hydration. This results in a more steady intake of calories during my rides, and I never end up running low – which I would sometimes do when drinking and eating separately.
The Last Word
I have since re-ordered Infinit following my review sample. Although the cost is higher than other mixes and of a combination of drinks and solid food, I have made it my No. 1 source of nutrition for longer rides.
The ability to customize the mix to be exactly what my body needs is terrific. More importantly, it has meant I am always taking in calories and my energy levels are remaining constant throughout rides of most any length.
Of course, as with most things having to do with taste and nutrition, we each have our own personal likes, dislikes and tolerances. Some will always want to supplement liquid with solid nutrition. And some of us just can’t stomach a large quantity of one homogenous item. Then there’s touring and other ultra-distance events for which these and other factors come into play.
Which is why Infinit’s money-back guarantee is a welcome part of the company’s approach. You can experiment to find a mix that works for you (or find that it simply does not).
Paul Smith regularly reviews products for RBR. He’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in thePiedmont area of North Carolina. He commutes often, and his car is worth less than any of his bikes. Click to read Paul’s full bio.