Local triathlete George Bright came to the sport as a form of meditation. He spoke to us over the summer about the huge impact training for triathlon has had, building his confidence and giving him the tools and motivation to make positive changes in his personal life.
This week we sent George to review some puds for us, but rather lazily, he arranged for two of his mates to do the hard work for him. If this doesn’t put you off, his blog is below.
When asked to review Sainsbury’s latest offering in the world of seasonal sports nutrition, I must admit I found the prospect a little daunting. As a fairly recent entrant into the world of cycling, triathlon and sports in general, I’m not exactly renowned for my nutritional nous.
Luckily, I’m a modern man, so I applied that most wonderful of modern concepts: crowdsourcing.
Meet test subject number one. This is Craig, from Planet X. Craig’s very happy in this picture because I’ve just paid him a couple of grand for a new bicycle, and then forced him to eat free Christmas pud for the inconvenience.
The first thing we deduced is a bit of a problem before you even get to the eating part: the packaging for these small bundles of Christmas joy is some pretty sturdy stuff, suitable for a quick nibble under the tree maybe, but when you’re out on a bike it’s going to give you trouble. Multi-tools may be required. Not off to a good start.
The Sainsbury’s Christmas pudding does have a very nice fruity flavour to it; it tastes like good, wholesome food without the chemically tang of other nutrition options such as gel. Craig explained to me that he didn’t use any of the conventional sports nutrition options as they didn’t really agree with him over long distances, so the pudding got extra marks in that respect. However, we did have to give it another black mark for a slightly slimy texture. Craig said he couldn’t see himself eating it on a bike without a spoon, but I read an article recently that said people only think they’re capable of about 40% of their true potential, so I think it could be done if you tried really, super hard.
My other consultant on this issue is Matt, my housemate. As you can see, he is a… colourful character. He’s a pretty strong cyclist, and a dab hand in the kitchen, so exactly the sort of pedigree I’m looking for.
Matt highlighted how the £1 pudding was a perfect size for Jersey pockets – in fact, you could probably fit a couple in each pocket, which is handy when you’re out clocking the miles with that one friend who always ‘forgets’ to bring any food with them.
At 313kcal, these little bundles of festive joy are packed with plenty of energy to fuel your athleticism. However, Matt felt that the dish was a bit lacking, so you’d maybe need to take an extra water bottle filled with double cream or the like just to add some texture. If you’re going this route you probably want some aero-bars so you can guide the bike with your elbows while you prepare the dish. We’ve thought this through, see.
Overall, I’d have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed by Sainsbury’s effort. On the positive side, the flavour is good and it holds plenty of nutritious value; however, the texture’s a bit bland – I was particularly disappointed by the lack of nuts – and the overly secure packaging almost makes you think it’s not really designed for cyclists at all. I’ll give it a 6/10, but I can’t help but feel there may be better options on the market for budding pedal pushers.