Embrocation Review - Mad Alchemy vs DZ Nuts inHeat

Mad Alchemy Medium vs DZ Nuts inHeat Review:

As the season now switches to colder morning rides, I have taken my arsenal of my winter cycling gear out. New to my arsenal this year, is embrocation. I found that my legs, and in particular my knees developed pain after riding in the cold. After using DZ Nuts inHeat embrocation for few weeks I decided to give the highly acclaimed Mad Alchemy brand Medium and Mad Alchemy Russian Tea (Medium) its first test.

Mad Alchemy (Medium) and Mad Alchemy Russian Tea (Medium);

The only difference I found between these two was the smell. The Russian Tea does smell better but after rubbing it in, you can't tell the difference. They both glide on easily and give your legs a nice shine. It took about 45mins before I felt the warming effects coming on which is quite normal. My legs and knees weathered the cold quite well and i thought this would be my "go to" embrocation for the remainder of the winter months. Not! I'm going to have to re-think this decision, as this stuff is way too hot and painful to deal with after one's ride.

The downside of Mad Alchemy is in its removal. After a long ride, and after shedding my layers, my toes almost frost bitten, as well were my fingers, I just wanted to jump into a nice hot shower. Well that could not be achieved with Mad Alchemy's embrocation on. The water will cause a sunburn effect on your legs. I found that out the hard way. So now my new regiment is before jumping into the shower, you must first wipe with a towel, then use baby wipes or even rubbing alcohol to remove it and then shower.

DZ Nuts inHeat (Medium):

At the other end of the embrocation spectrum is a relatively newcomer, DZ Nuts inHeat.
I found DZ Nuts taking a little longer to activate. 1-1.5 hours. It does have a nice aroma and goes on very easy. It lacks the "shine" that Mad Alchemy gives and takes a little more effort to rub it in. However, again, it did the job in giving my legs and knees the warmth and protection it needed. When I got home, I used the same repetoire for removal, dawn liquid soap and a scrubbing towel. It came off a lot easier and there was very little "stinging like a sunburn" feeling while in the shower. David Zabriskie, you and your lab are onto something here ?

Winner: Mad Alchemy

Despite Mad Alchemy's difficult removal, I still prefer it over DZ Nuts inHeat due to its smooth glide on application, aroma, and most importantly "even heat dispersion" across my legs. I'm willing to put up with the "sunburn" effect , although I will try the towel off, then baby wipes and then hot shower. I can't wait to try the "non warming" Mad Alchemy next spring.


  1. We are doing our best education people about embrocation. 9/10 times these products have a negative effect on the muscles !
    The sunburn effect is caused because these products only heat up the skin. This causes the blood to get retracted out of the muscle towards the skin. That is why your skin turns red and gets irritated.
    Go and check out these products are used by about every Pro tour team ! Sky, HTC, Garmin Cervelo, ....
    It penetrates deep in the muscle so it REALY warms up. More lactate acid is flown of that way. If the weather is extreme than a second product can be applied to insulate the heat.

    This is the only good way to perform when it’s cold !

    The products are getting imported by
    Ask your local dealer for more info.

  2. thanks. However, until is easily available in my area. I'll continue using Mad Alchemy.

  3. Anonymous11/21/2011

    thanks for the review. if you use dawn dish soap (a powerful degreaser) and massage it into your legs before getting into the shower, it sheds the M.A. brilliantly and really helps to take away the burn