Nutrition TrueStart

Published on March 14, 2016


TrueStart is branded as ‘Performance Coffee’ – but what exactly does that mean and how might runners benefit from this unique selling point?

Back to basics

To begin at the beginning TrueStart is, fundamentally, instant coffee. There’s no getting away from the fact that there are those who enjoy an instant coffee and those who will opt, at every opportunity, for ‘real’, fresh coffee in whatever form that may take from fresh brew to espresso or creamy latte.

TrueStart is pure Colombian Arabica and free from anything synthetic or otherwise unwanted. ‘Ethically sourced’, though not Fair Trade, as instant coffees go this has excellent depth of taste, without bitterness and certainly sits at the superior end of the flavour spectrum.

The TueStart different

Of course it’s easy enough to differentiate almost any product simply by adding the word ‘performance’ to the branding. In the case of TrueStart the unique selling point comes in the form of a very specific level of caffeine per serving. There are plenty of pros (and the odd con) to caffeine consumption – take a look at the RunningMonkey feature here or TrueStart’s own website – and the ability to more precisely control the intake levels is clearly of benefit to any athlete overly concerned by such minutiae.

Caffeine levels in coffee can vary enormously – TrueStart claim anything from a mere 20mg to a head-thumping 300mg+ is possible. Here though the caffeine is promoted as 95mg per scoop – by way of comparison the average caffeine content of a 1.5fl.oz espresso shot would be around 80mg.

What’s the scoop?

So, as noted TrueStart tastes good for an instant coffee – certainly much better than the value brands and comparable to most premium brands. The downside may be that the advertised 95mg of caffeine is ‘per scoop’ – in theory that should be 2g of TrueStart granules – but is dependent on you not just heaping in a good-old-fashioned spoonful.

There are also natural variances in caffeine levels however carefully you might prepare your brew (or how meticulous the manufacturer may be.) TrueStart itself – despite the advertised headline figure of 95mg – actually has a variance or +/- 20mg per serving with the caffeine content noted per pack as being 3.75% to 5.75%. That means however judiciously you prep your cup there are no absolutes.

Final analysis

TrueStart absolutely comes from the right place. The founders – both keen triathletes – certainly know their beans and the product is sound. Whether you buy the benefit of a (more or less) specific caffeine serving is a personal matter, but either way you’ll get yourself a good cup of coffee.

Priced at £6.99 for an 80g pouch – which, if our maths is good means about 17.5p per cup – TrueStart is at the upper reaches of instant coffee price point. By way of comparison Cafédirect Fairtrade Classics averages £3.50 for 100g and upmarket Nescafe Azera Americano Barista Style Instant Coffee is £4 for 100g. That said, TrueStart is a small start-up and the cost will certainly be worth it to those who enjoy good instant coffee and enjoy hitting the metrics when it comes to training and racing.

Full details and online purchase of TrueStart at

Until March 31 there’s the chance to win a pack of TrueStart in our latest competition – enter here.

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