Review: Whitworths Shots (a complement to gels)

Whitworth products can be produced on Amazon

How a triathlete fuels during endurance events is vital to how they perform on the day. Often terms like ‘bonking’ or ‘hitting the wall’ are used to describe depleted energy levels, affecting an athlete’s ability to maintain performance.

Endurance athletes will spend months training for long distance events with a performance goal in mind. For me, when training for a long distance event like Ironman, I will often practice and test out fuelling strategies during my training.  This often involves testing new products (shop bought and home-made) and examining how different products work together.

For regular readers of my blogs and reviews, you will know I promote eating as naturally as possible but I realise that the convenience of using gels, bars and powders is appealing. I use a variety of products when training and racing, and do prefer a mixture of liquid and solid food.

During this review I will examine a product not usually associated with sports nutrition, to see whether it has a place in my fuelling strategies of the future.  I will be testing Whitworths Shots.

Whitworths are more commonly recognized for their dried fruit, nuts and seeds, and although I have used their products previously, it has been more for baking than triathlon. In the supermarket recently I came across Whitworths Shots which are small handy sized packets (similar in size to a gel), and thought they would be convenient for training.  I will often crave something solid when out on a long bike ride because I get sick of just fluid and gels, so these Shots are worth testing.

The Shots come in 9 different flavours but I have only tried the 4 available in my local Asda supermarket. I tried the following flavours:

Predominately the Shots have been marketed at the weight loss market but given their mainly natural ingredients (minus small pieces of chocolate, toffee and biscuit), I think they are perfect fuel to complement more sophisticated energy products. The carbohydrate content in each pack is decent depending on what flavours you chose. The table below gives the nutritional value of each of the 4 flavours I tested against a standard SIS energy gel.

Toffee & Pecan Raisin & Choc Berry & W/choc Fruity Biscuit SIS Gel
Calories 99 kcal 91 kcal 93 kcal 93 kcal 87 kcal
Carbs 14.9g 15.8g 17.7g 17.3g 22g
Of which sugars 12.6g 12.6g 13.5g 12.1g 0.7g
Protein 1.1g 1.0g 0.7g 0.7g 0.0g
Fat 3.7g 2.3g 1.9g 1.1g 0.0g

Verdict

I really like these Shots. Now I am not suggesting you replace your gels with them, although they do cost less than a standard gel (I paid £0.50 per pack).  However I do feel there is a place for them within my fuelling strategies.  I can see me taking one or two of these on a long bike ride to take in-between gels, adding texture and crunch to what I am consuming.  The packets are just as easy to open as a gel, and the flavours are natural and tasty.  I would probably struggle to eat these on a run without stopping but I will definitely be buying them again for long bike rides.

Whitworth products can be produced on Amazon

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