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Tested: Formula X Sport

formula x sport drink

Formula X Sport is a protein-containing sports drink similar to Accelerade but is supposed to taste better, present fewer GI issues, and not clump in your water bottle.

If you read my Accelerade review and others around the web, you would know that those are common issues with the product, so it would be cool to see a new product that competes with it. I got a free sample of a newer drink called Formula X Sport from Biomechanical Technologies, so let’s see how it stacks up…

Health and Nutrition

First, let’s review the ingredients:

Dextrose, Fructose, Whey Protein Isolate, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, Monopotassium Phosphate, Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Calcium Lactate, Magnesium Lactate, Zinc Lactate, Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Vitamin E (Acetate), Calcium D-Pantothenate (B5), Pyridoxine HCI (B6), Riboflavin, Vitamin A (Palmitate), Folic Acid, D-Biotin, Cyanocobalamin (B12)

It has a nice blend of sugar (dextrose, fructose, and maltodextrin) coupled with protein (whey protein.)

What impresses me is the rest of the ingredients, specifically the natural flavors and colorings. It’s hard to consider any sports drink to be “natural,” but it’s still a nice touch to see this stuff rather than “Yellow #5.”

I also like the addition of B vitamins along with the standard electrolytes in there.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving size 24g (makes 16oz)
Calories 92
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 20mg
Potassium 110mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.5g
Sugars 19g
Protein 2.5g

Judging by this, it looks like Formula X Sport is a nice middle ground between a standard sports drink and a high-protein sports drink. Whereas Accelerade has a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein, this has a more subtle 8:1 ratio. (Hammer Perpetuem has about an 8:1 ratio as well.)

Formula X Sport is low in protein and also calories. I was getting up to 360 calories in a bottle of Accelerade, and at least 270 calories per bottle with Perpetuem, but only 92 with this stuff. That’s the big difference I see.

Note: Formula X Sport recommends one packet per 30 minutes, or two packets per hour. However, that would require drinking at least 32oz water per hour. I only drink about 16oz water per hour so that wouldn’t work.

Formula X Sport Taste Test

Formula X Sport comes in two flavors: Berry and Citrus. Here are my thoughts after testing them on a few bike rides (I mixed one packet Formula X Sport in one 24oz water bottle.)

Berry:

This is purple, smells like grape, and tastes like grape. I find myself referring to it as the “Grape” flavor! It looks good and smells good, with the scent reminding me of Kool-Aid rather than a typical sports drink.

The taste, not surprisingly, is a lot like grape Kool-Aid. The overall taste/texture is like a mix of Hammer Heed and Gatorade. It’s sweet like Gatorade, but the texture is a little rougher than Gatorade. Just a bit though. Not as chalky as Heed and Perpetuem can be, but due to the maltodextrin content, it’s similar.

Berry could almost be too sweet for some people. I enjoyed it on one hour rides, but I have to wonder if I’d still enjoy it when used for 4+ hours straight.

But overall, it’s a very, very good flavor!

To make things even better, there is no aftertaste!! It leaves my mouth very crisp and clean (i.e. there’s no sugary or chalky film left over like with certain other drinks.)

Citrus:

After having the berry, I was expecting an orange Kool-Aid flavor. Wrong!

The citrus flavor seems more natural and has quite a “bite” to it! It is perhaps a mix of lemon-lime, orange, and grapefruit. But I’m not sure.

It’s unlike any other drink I’ve tried. It’s surprising at first, but the flavor is good. It’s certainly less sweet than the berry was, which could make it more palatable over longer rides due to the milder sweetness without being watered down.

formula x sport

Mixing Formula X Sport

For any drink containing maltodextrin and/or whey protein, you have to wonder about how easy it is to mix up…

On my first attempt, I put a packet of Formula X Sport in my water bottle, added about 20oz cold water and a few ice cubes, and shook it up for 20 seconds.

It got foamy and looked to be mixed up, so I crossed my fingers and headed out for a ride.

On my first sip, I realized it didn’t mix as well as I thought. I could taste the unmixed maltodextrin. Halfway through the bottle, I think the mixing was complete because the taste was much better!

My second attempt had me mixing up half the bottle (12oz water) and letting it sit for 10 minutes or so before finishing mixing and heading out for my ride. This seemed to work better, but wasn’t perfect.

The big problem is the foam. When you shake things up, Formula X Sport creates a ton of foam. So if you shake it up and then try to add more water, you have to drink the foam to make room for the water.

I think the best option would be to dump the powder in the bottle with about 12oz water and let it sit in the fridge at least 30 minutes before your ride. You can swirl it a bit, but don’t shake it up.

Then before you head out the door, add the rest of the water and ice. Then shake!

Overall, it’s still easier and faster to dissolve/mix than Hammer’s stuff, but not super fast like Powerbar Endurance drink.

Formula X Sport In Use

Here’s some more info about actually putting Formula X Sport to use, plus other random thoughts…

Test #1. Use a bottle during a fun ride.

This was just a general test to see how Formula X Sport would taste while riding. I went out for about an hour on the mountain bike – mostly low to moderate intensity, with a few hill climbs that were higher intensity. It tasted good, provoked no GI issues, and overall, no problems. [This was 1 packet in a 24oz water bottle.]

Test #2. Test out citrus flavor during weight lifting and bike ride.

This test was similar to the first, except I drank a little bit during a quick weight workout and finished the bottle during a 50 minute bike ride. It was a casual pace except for four, 15-second sprints. I felt perfectly normal the whole time and the drink tasted good.

Test #3. Intense running and plyometrics.

So far, the drink performed flawlessly in my low-intensity testing. So I wanted to test it out with a mix of weight lifting, sprinting, and plyometrics. I was basically chugging the drink and then sprinting or jumping around (rather than staying calmly seated on a bicycle.)

The taste still good and still no real aftertaste or stickyness. The only bad thing was that you notice the grainy texture and aftertaste a tiny bit more if you’re just chilling in the weight room vs being outside riding mountain bike trails.

At times, it was a gut-wrenching workout, but I kept drinking my Formula X Sport and had absolutely no issues. I felt great.

Test #4. Use a double-strength bottle during an intense ride.

I wanted to see if I could get more calories per bottle, so I emptied two packets into my 24oz water bottle. This was a little harder to mix up, and a lot foamier, but not too bad.

This is what I’d use for my longer mountain bike races, so I did a pretty tough ride that included a six mile dirt road hill climb.

First, let me say I had no GI issues or anything like that. But remember everything I said about the good taste and texture? Forget it! Taking a double dose of this stuff ruins the flavor, texture, and aftertaste! It’s bitter and chalky. The sweetness is similar, but otherwise, it’s not enjoyable at all!!

After that, I highly recommend sticking with one packet of Formula X Sport per 24oz water bottle!

formula x sport foam post-ride

Post-ride cleanup.

Great news! Post-ride, there is nothing left in the bottle except a little purple foam. A quick rinse with water and it’s spotless inside the bottle! So much easier to clean than Accelerade!!

Pricing

It’s not cheap ($2 per packet,) but the price is reasonable. It fits right in between the prices of Hammer Heed and Perpetuem.

Can you compare to Accelerade’s GI issues?

One other thing I have to say. Formula X Sport is marketed as being easier on your GI tract than Accelerade is. But Formula X Sport has half the protein content of Accelerade. It’s much lower in calories, too (especially when mixed how I like it.)

So you should keep in mind those differences when comparing the two.

My final verdict is…

Formula X Sport is a good-tasting drink that gives you a nice balance of protein and carbs without a lot of calories, making it a good choice for shorter races and training rides where you want a carb/protein drink but don’t need tons of liquid calories.

I plan to stick with Hammer Perpetuem for my long mountain bike races, but I was very happy with Formula X Sport. The carb/protein mix and natural ingredients list really won me over.

Official website: www.ExtremeSportsDrinks.com

[Note: The website seems to have gone offline in late 2016.]
Product Review Details
Company: Biomechanical Technologies
Product: Formula X Sport
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2017-01-16
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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Levi Bloom is an experienced endurance athlete who has been training and competing for over 17 years. A former Cat 1 road and mountain bike racer (professional class on the regional circuit), he is now a cycling coach (USA Cycling Level 3 Certified) and sports nutrition coach (Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified).

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Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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