22 September 2019

Sports nutrition test: 33Shake

April 2, 2015

Sports nutrition is a complex and often baffling subject and as someone who is prone to low blood sugar crashes it’s something I should take more seriously, but in recent years I have become disillusioned with the whole area, 33Shake might just have restored my faith!


I am a bit old school really, I was competing before the days when there were energy bars, and gels hadn’t been invented. We survived on flat coke, diluted orange juice, fig rolls and bananas, and to be honest it did us fine.

Then came along all manner of powders, which we would mix up as energy drinks for really long races. I remember when Powerbars were introduced – I quite liked them, but their overly chewy consistency made them hard to consume whilst racing, especially if it was cold when they became rather brick-like. Then came the sickly sweet gels and a whole gamut of pre, during and post event products – it felt like you needed a science degree to understand it all.

More often than not I struggled to get it right, sometimes I would overeat and feel ill, other times I would underestimate the event and crash and burn. Despite having a sweet tooth, the hideous flavours and sugar rush of many products was just too much to stomach, so I ended up shunning science in favour of a normal food like a jam sandwich, current bun or banana and perhaps the occasional hydration tab.

This approach has been perfectly adequate for my recent low-key endeavours,  however I am now embarking on something a little more challenging – my first triathlon and I really need something more effective. So who better to trust than triathlete extraordinaire, Chrissie Welllington, who is helping support new brand 33Shakes and their innovative approach to race day and in-training training sports nutrition.


33Shakes are outspoken in their dislike of many brands, claiming that the average traditional energy gel contains less than 1p’s worth of ingredients yet retails for as much as £2.30. Not only that, but many are made with the cheapest, nastiest and least healthy ingredients. Basically it sounds like we’ve been taken for mugs, but I’m no expert so I’ve studied the 33Shakes facts and ingredients, tested the products and watched their promotional film and I am impressed by their approach.

I like the idea that all the ingredients are 100% natural and 100% unprocessed, that there are no additives, preservatives and nothing manmade. And, I am not alone, some of the most popular articles on Sportsister are the ‘home made’ Sports nutrition recipes, so I am guessing that you might like this too.

So, what exactly are the products? I tested both the Recovery Shake and the Energy Gel and I love them both – especially the shake mix which to be honest I could use on a daily basis.

Both products come in a dry state that you then mix with water, juice or milk according to taste. For the shake I added milk to the mix of 33 natural ingredients which includes organic hemp, pumpkin, flaxseed, organic goji and acai berries alongside a number of herbs like turmeric, cinammon, ginseng and maca.

33Shakes recommend using a blender, but I just used a fork which worked fine. The taste is great, and probably my favourite is the Cacao although it’s hard to choose, it’s thick and lumpy in a good way with seeds and chewy berries really adding to the experience. Truly delicious, but more importantly, I had no post training crash.

The gels are probably more unusual in that you inflate the pouch of seeds, add water or juice and leave for 10 minutes to gel-up. They are really easy to use during the event – you can swallow the mix easily but I quite enjoyed chewing on the tiny seeds, it helped take my mind off the session!

Obviously I can’t give you scientific proof that 33Shakes work, ultimately it’s down to personal preference unless you have a serious or professional interest in nutrition, but the product works for me – it tastes great, I have confidence in it and well, lets face it who wouldn’t trust Chrissie Wellington!


All-in-one endurance shake
Cost: £6.99
Flavours: Cacao, Orginal (vanillery), Mocha
Full information: www.33shake.com

Chia Energy Gel
£1.99 each (purchased in pack of 5)
Flavour: Original vanilla
Full Information: www.33shake.com

There’s a huge amount of information and videos on the 33Shake website, which I strongly recommend –  click here to find out more.

Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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