A revolutionary-sounding new energy drink could be the answer to the prayers of runners who get a dodgy tummy from slurping gels on the run.
The usual method of fuelling your performance is to consume more energy – mostly in some form of sugar – to top up your carbohydrate stores.
Avrox Ei8ht is different; the makers claim it increases the body’s ability to transport oxygen to the muscles by 5 per cent for at least 80 minutes after it has been consumed. What’s more, they say effect can be noticeable just five minutes after consumption.
It’s the product of a collaboration between Harrogate-based research company Avrox technologies and researchers at the University of Oxford, and was originally planned for use by people with cancer.
The drink is taken as a sachet mixed with water and shaken for 30 seconds. The shaking is important, as this is what creates the friction that, apparently, stimulates the production of ‘micro bubbles’ capable of carrying oxygen in the bloodstream. The ingredients are vegan and the drink contains B vitamins, too.
Still with us? Good. The micro bubbles (500 times thinner than a human hair, say the researchers) pass through the stomach wall and into the bloodstream within five minutes of consumption, ready to pair with oxygen.
Trials were pretty impressive. The results have been submitted for publication and show that over a 10-mile time trial, the performance of a sample group of cyclists improved by, on average, 37 seconds, with the drink inducing a 6.6 per cent increase in peak power output.
Did it work on us?
Our tests were less scientific, but we tried Avrox Ei8ht on five different runs: a 40-minute track session, a five-mile tempo run, a one-hour interval run and two long runs of over 15 miles. We drank the sachet just before starting a session and there was a marked reduction in perception of effort; also, we didn’t feel that post-gel crash that makes you suck up another one. All the runs felt like those times when you go out, have a really good session and feel strong throughout. There was no ‘turbo boost’ sensation, just a relative lack of fatigue compared with what we were used to. It was great not having to think about fuelling on the long runs, either, or having to work out when to take gels on board. We didn’t try this on a marathon-distance run (17 miles was our longest), so can’t say whether you’d be able to run 26.2 miles without some sort of fuelling, but, overall, we were impressed. The price is steep but, for many, the improved performance will be worth the outlay.
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