As with the Nuflex warming gel the accompanying cooling gel appears to do what it says on the tube (also in a spray version), but the feel good factor is much more obvious than with the warming gel when it comes to treating your post exercise aches and pains.
Again, where opinion divides is whether, or to what extent, it can really help in speeding up the recovery or healing process.
While the majority of physios and soigneurs appear to promote the notion that massage or physical warm ups/downs are more critical, the oily medium used for rubs being secondary, this is a product that's aimed principally at athletes looking for home 'solutions' rather than to trained and paid masseurs, and as such it's pleasant to use. You smooth it on rather than massaging it in and the cool tingly effect is fairly instant, remaining for an hour or so after application.
The instructions recommended that you should apply it 'several times a day' after exercise, so a 100ml tube will disappear pretty quickly. If you're the cost conscious type you're probably only going to be using it after competitive events or more vigorous training sessions.
The dominant ingredients are lemon oil as 'natural aspirin', anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and analgesic plus peppermint oil to increase blood circulation and act as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. As with the warming gel, these are big claims that, in the words of our tame soigneur, "conjure up elements of reality that will certainly appear to work for some."
Actually, I found the cooling gel to be far more effective (or at least satisfying to use) than the accompanying warming gel. The anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anaesthetic effects appear to be more than just skin deep and the strong menthol aroma reflects the almost instant effect it has on your legs. It goes on easily and within just a couple of minutes has obvious dulling effects on minor post exercise muscle aches.
I kept using it several times a day for a couple of days after hard sessions. The ache-dulling effect certainly isn't as long lasting as an occasional Ibuprofen fix, but the feel-good aspect is streets ahead.
The claims for the ingredients and their effects sound ambitious but the feel-good effect is fairly potent.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Nuflex Muscles & Joints cooling gel
Size tested: N/A
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
For post exercise recovery. It appears far more effective than the accompanying warming gel. The sensation of using it is pleasant but the effect is very temporary
Very pleasant to use and surprisingly effective in the short term, but not as long lasting as a (much cheaper) Ibuprofen.
Disappears quickly if you use it regularly.
Easy and very pleasant to use
Expensive for regular use.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Ambitious claims matched by glimmers of reality.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The potent smells.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Very pleasant to use but could become an expensive habit.
About the tester
Age: 58 Height: 181 Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Merlin Ti My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
<p>Steve's passion for riding started around fifty years back with blatting about in the woods, closely followed by CTC rides, touring, schoolboy track league, a brief obsession with time trials then onto road racing, touring and cyclo cross... roughly in that order. Mountain biking and triathlon got a look in later. He tested and wrote about bikes for over 25 years and rode about 2000 of them. Steve also rode for the British team in three World Championships in the very early days of mountain bikes. He left us after <a href="http://road.cc/content/news/115389-cycling-journalist-steve-worland-dead... a heart attack at the Ashton Court Parkrun</a> in March 2014, and is fondly remembered and greatly missed.</p>