ZYM Electrolyte Review

Nutrition Pro Reviews

ZYM Rival
Rival adds a slight cloudy orange coloration to the water, and has a nice tangy orange flavor, and a mild sweetness, with a minor initial bitter tinge (common to Stevia), which is hardly noticeable. It sort of reminds me of very watered down Tang, mixed with OJ. It has a nice finish in flavor, leaving a cleansed palate, with no strong after taste, and the sweetness is just right. Rival contains no sugars, nor artificial sweeteners, and instead uses the natural Stevia sweetener. Stevia is a small South American herb which is part of the Asteraceae family (Sunflowers), and the green leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant have a delicious and refreshing taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar. In addition, Rival contains Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root, Roseroot), which is a plant in the Crassulaceae family, that grows in cold regions of the world. It supposedly improves physical and mental performance, and may reduce fatigue.

I really liked Rival, since it doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners, something that I am always weary of. The electrolyte blends in Rival, along with some vitamins, helps with hydration, fatigue, muscle cramps, and lactic acid build-up, giving one longer endurance, and that extra energetic push when required. Overall, I found the Rival blend provided the maximum athletic performance and enhancement of the three products, with good flavor and mild sweetness.

Ingredients: Citric acid, Sodium bicarbonate, Magnesium sulfate, Potassium bicarbonate, Sodium carbonate, Ascorbic acid, Inulin, Natural orange flavors, Stevia, Calcium carbonate, Maltodextrin, Beet root red (color), Niacin, Rhodiola rosea, Calcium D-pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Cyanocobalamin, Folate.

ZYM Catapult
Catapult adds a very slight purple tinge to the water, and has a flavorful berry taste, and some decent sweetness, fringing on more of a syrupy feeling, though not over bearing. It has a nice finish in flavor, leaving a great berry taste on the tongue, with no strong after taste. Catapult contains no sugars, and uses the natural Sorbitol (doubtfully processed that way) and the artificial Sucralose sweeteners.

  • Sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sucrose, and was discovered in 1976 by scientists from Tate & Lyle, in collaboration with Leslie Hough and Shashikant Phadnis. It is manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose, which converts three of the hydroxyl groups to chlorides.
    C12H19Cl3O8
  • Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol which is 60% as sweet as sucrose, and is slowly absorbed by the body, was first discovered by a French chemist in the berries of the mountain ash in 1872. It is obtained by reduction of glucose, changing the aldehyde group to an additional hydroxyl group.
    C6H14O6

I really liked the Catapult’s berry flavor, and it was my favorite flavoring of their three products. The electrolyte blends in Catapult, helps with hydration, fatigue, muscle cramps, and lactic acid build-up, giving one longer endurance, and that extra energetic push when required. When you get tired and the day drags on, or if you are feeling fatigued before the ride, the energy boost, from the natural stimulant Guaraná (100 mg of caffeine), really helps maintain stamina, and the addition of a large dosage of B12 prevents caffeine jitters. Overall, the Catapult berry flavor ruled, and the caffeine was sometimes beneficial (not always), though it did have more of a syrupy and stronger sweetness than the others.

Ingredients: Citric acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Natural Raspberry flavor, Sorbitol, Potassium Bicarbonate, Guarana Powder, Caffeine, Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Sucralose, Beet root (natural color), and Cyanocobalamin q

ZYM Endurance
Endurance adds a cloudy yellow green color to the water, and has a stronger lime then lemon taste, and a mild sweetness. It has a slightly tart overtone, that leaves a cleansed palate, with no strong after taste, though it has a touch of bitterness.

“Bitte baby”

Endurance contains sucrose (table sugar), and the artificial Acesulfame Potassium sweetener.

  • Acesulfame Potassium or Acesulfame K is 200 times sweeter than sucrose, and was discovered accidentally in 1967 by German chemist Karl Clauss at Hoechst AG. It is manufactured by the transformation of an organic intermediate, acetoacetic acid, and its combination with the naturally occurring mineral, potassium.
    C4H4KNO4S

The electrolyte blends in Endurance, helps with hydration, fatigue, muscle cramps, and lactic acid build-up, giving one longer endurance, and that extra energetic push when required. Overall, Endurance provided a good blend, somewhere between its two brethren, and it mild sweetness was nice, but the flavor wasn’t my favorite.

Ingredients: Citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, sucrose, ascorbic acid, cyanocobalamin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium D-pantothenate, acesulfame potassium, riboflavin-5-phosphate (natural color).

ZYM – Supplement Facts

Specification Rival Catapult Endurance
Calories 7 4 7
Carbs 0 0 1g
Sugars 0 0 1g
Sodium 300mg 250mg 250mg
Potassium 100mg 100mg 50mg
Magnesium 50mg 17mg 50mg
Calcium 30mg 18mg 30mg
Caffeine 0 100mg 0
Guaraná 0 200mg 0
Stevia 75mg 0 0
Rhodiola rosea 20mg 0 0
Vitamin C 150mg 100mg 100mg
Vitamin B2 1.7mg 0 0
Vitamin B3 20mg 0 0
Vitamin B5 10mg 0 0
Vitamin B6 4mg 0 8mg
Vitamin B9 10mcg 0 0
Vitamin B12 40mcg 500mcg 40mcg

zym_rival

Bottom Line
I really enjoyed the ZYM product, as it gave me a discernible increase in performance and endurance, and reduced fatigue. Each of the products had a different blend, which was beneficial depending on your mood, the intended ride and current physical condition. Each of them was great tasting, refreshing, easy to use, left no residue, and had no overwhelming sugariness. The major benefit, outside of the electrolyte replacement, was that it helped me drink the required amount of water on a ride, since it was nicer to drink, with enough sweetness and flavor to make it more enticing .

I really liked Rival, with its great blend of electrolyte and vitamins, and most important, the use of the natural sweetener Stevia. Catapult had the best flavor, and the caffeine and Guarana jolt was nice when it was desired.

Rival – Overall Rating: 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
Catapult – Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
Endurance – Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Visit the ZYM Product Website at http://gozym.com/products/

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • chad says:

    seems like you reviewed camelbaks elixir tablets a while back? really like that stuff, how would you compare the two (if that was in fact you)?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    That was me! The Elixir is sweeter, and in direct comparison has more of a syrupy texture to it (for a water based sport drink), so it goes down pretty nicely, while the ZYM has a mellower taste (though I wouldn’t call it watered down). In regard to athletic performance, they both are about the same (never did an accurate qualitative/quantitative test), though the ZYM Catapult has a better energy boost to me (combo of the Guarana and B12).

    What sets apart ZYM is their Rival, which has no artificial sweeteners in it, and some additional vitamins. You can plow through the reams of supposed dangers of artificial sweeteners, that make you pause for a second thought about them. Truth or fiction, not sure, but it makes you think about it?

    I might have to test ZYM, Nuun and Elixir on the same long hideous on different days to have a true cross comparison?

  • chad says:

    Nice, thanks.

    • Claire says:

      Gram, you are one prolific mofo. Don’t know how you even peretnd to care about some salt-tabs. Never mind manage to write a review’. Well done. I hope you were well paid.It’s like that handlebar one. How much do they cost, what do they weight, will they take my weight for my riding style, do they come in black? That’s it.But you managed to write an amazing amount. And with multiple photos. You’d have thought that seeing one black alu tube w white markings was like seeing them all.But your efforts are impressive. I love the little forays into wikipedia for chemistry and stuff. Great. Don’t know how you do it. If someone came to me to sell compressed salt for a massive markup as some kind of useful addition to our kit, I just couldn’t get motivated. I’d feel like I was encouraging innocent people to waste money on useless consumables that they could get elsewhere for nothing thereby reducing the amount they have to spend on more important things.

  • armyslowrdr says:

    Seems terribly expensive say to fill a 100 OZ bladder on a hot day.
    Convenient sure.

    I usually cut Gatorade Endurance formula by half and add in some elete drops. I need to figure the cost but I don’t believe it is anywhere near 4 or 5 dollars per 100 oz.

    Sounds intriguing though and if I stumble upon the product at a Texas eveny, i will be sure and try.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I will check out the ingredients of Gatorade Endurance, thks.

  • CycleBmore says:

    I’ve been using the Zym Endurance for several years during road biking season and really love the product. The new Rival is a welcome addition with the new taste (like it a little better than Endurance) to add variety up and the additional B vitamins and natural sweetner. The low sugar content was my initial reason for switching to Zym (used Gatorade before) and haven’t turned back since. I don’t go on a long ride (anything 30 miles or more) without my Zym tabs. I also like how Zym discontinued using Aspartame as a sweeter in the Endurance flavor a few years back over the concerns about the cancer causing risks. In addition to the great products Zym is a great company to deal with…fair, honest and customer friendly!

  • J says:

    Gram, you are one prolific mofo. Don’t know how you even pretend to care about some salt-tabs. Never mind manage to write a ‘review’. Well done. I hope you were well paid.
    It’s like that handlebar one. How much do they cost, what do they weight, will they take my weight for my riding style, do they come in black? That’s it.
    But you managed to write an amazing amount. And with multiple photos. You’d have thought that seeing one black alu tube w white markings was like seeing them all.
    But your efforts are impressive. I love the little forays into wikipedia for chemistry and stuff. Great. Don’t know how you do it. If someone came to me to sell compressed salt for a massive markup as some kind of useful addition to our kit, I just couldn’t get motivated. I’d feel like I was encouraging innocent people to waste money on useless consumables that they could get elsewhere for nothing thereby reducing the amount they have to spend on more important things.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    J, thanks for the acknowledgment and Kudos, in fact, I am not paid at all, just a guest reviewer, and I do it because I am passionate about things. My additional research and in depth analysis of things, means it takes considerably longer to create the final output, so you’ll rarely get a typical 1-2 paragraph review. I try to make the reviews interesting, thought provoking, technical and entertaining? Thanks again, you made my day!

  • salimoneus says:

    Why waste money on expensive stuff like this or Gatorade, when you can very easily make your own for pennies on the dollar? http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=612921

  • Brian Mullin says:

    salimoneus, I admire your initiative, but I like the convenience of tablets, and not having to create a batch, I will look into the information of the homebrew method, and I appreciate the data. Thks.

  • salimoneus says:

    The homebrew method is really not much of a bother, it only takes a few minutes initially to mix the ingredients together. You could even then fill a small portable container (gum dispenser, etc), toss it in your pack, and just add a bit to your drink whenever desired.

    It’s also a lot more environmentally friendly, every 10 servings you’re going through another plastic container. The homebrew method nets over 200 servings from the initial purchase. If we’re going to the trouble of being nutritionally conscious we might as well be environmentally conscious as well =)

  • Brian Mullin says:

    salimoneus, I have previously used elete electrolyte drops http://new.eletewater.com/, which offers 45mg Magnesium, 125mg Sodium, 390Mmg Chloride and 130mg Potassium, and it is very cheap.

  • salimoneus says:

    The Elete 32oz. Team Size does offer a good value, although it is a bit low in potassium. It also comes in an easy to use liquid form. I still prefer a homebrew electrolyte due to being able to precisely control the amount of each mineral (all bodies require slightly different formulations). Elete is probably the best commercial option available.

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