Let’s face it, energy gel is more of a necessary evil than something we cyclists actually love to ingest. Or is it?
RRP – £9.99 (20x38g)
Website – www.wiggle.co.uk
I’ve got a bit of a love hate relationship with energy gels. Often disgusting, gels have taken a bit of a back seat in my rear pockets in recent times, replaced by a clutch of delicious cereal bars and oaty delights.
But, of course, energy gel exists for a reason. Concentrated bursts of energy, and in some cases, caffeine, a handful of gels on a ride of decent length can come in handy. God knows I could have done with several when I bonked hard in the Forest of Dean only a few weeks ago (take adequate supplies on century rides, kids).
To be frank, the best solution is probably a mix. Cheap cereal bars to keeping filling a hole, and relatively more expensive energy gel to give you a bit of pep when you most need it. All energy gel? Not a chance – I’d vomit.
Wiggle Nutrition Energy Gels
Several types of gel have passed these lips. Without naming names, not many have been entirely pleasant. I can think of only two brands I’d even consider going regularly too. Luckily for Wiggle, they produce one of them. Luckily for me, Wiggle produces one of the cheapest gels on the market.
The other benefit, of course, is that Wiggle’s gel is – as far as gel goes – absolutely delicious. To get the full range of flavours, I opted to sample its ‘full flavour collection’ – Blackcurrant, Fruit Punch, Lemon and Lime, Lemon Meringue, Orange, Peaches and Cream (Snoop Dogg’s gel of choice), Strawberry Split, Mocha (added caffeine), Citrus (added caffeine). I’ve yet to find one I haven’t enjoyed.
And to be honest, flavour is the main thing. All gels, after all, perform roughly the same function – 22(ish) grams of sugar and a little salt per 38g of gel usually has the desired effect.
But the consistency of the gel is also pleasant. Some can often be too watery, and some far too viscous, with the former being a little insubstantial and irritating, and the latter somewhat unpalatable. These are neither.
Design of pouch has also been considered here, with a narrow outlet and large tearing tab making the contents rather easy to imbibe on a hard ride. Simply whip one out, rip with your teeth and ingest. No need to slow. Certainly no need to crash.
I haven’t yet tried every gel on the market. Until then, I can’t claim these to be the best. But I can say is that any gel tasting better than Wiggle’s is liable to end up as part of a pudding, and not as fuel on a bike ride.