Energy & recovery gels
Multipower's Multicarbo Energy Gel distinguishes itself from other gels by its low sugar content and use of a maltodextrin/fructose combination. This combo has been shown to increase the amount of carbs that the body can absorb in a given amount of time. Nutritionally, each 40g gel provides you with 104kcal and 26g of carbs, of which 10g is sugar. In addition, Multipower have included some electrolytes which should help with hydration over the course of a ride or race.
We've already tested Zipvit's ZV7 energy gel here on road.cc - and we liked it - but now we're testing the ZV7c. The 'c' suffix stands for 'caffeine'.
In most respects the two varieties of gel are the same. Both weigh in at 60g, with carb makings up 50g, providing just over 200kcal of energy. The source of the carb is maltodextrin, and other key ingredients include sucrose and glucose syrup. Also in the mix is potassium and sodium to replace electrolytes lost in sweat. And on top of that is 160mg of caffeine.
The first thing that strikes you about Zipvit's ZV7 is its size. At 60g, it's a big thick sausage of a gel - almost double the size of some other gels available.
But we all know size isn't everything, so what's this gel got inside? Within the 60g, carb makes up 51g, providing 200kcal of energy. The source of the carb is maltodextrin, presumably maize derived (as the gel is gluten free). Other key ingredients include sucrose and glucose syrup. Also in the mix is potassium and sodium to replace electrolytes lost in sweat.
Honey Stinger is an American brand making various bars and gels, as well as these energy chews. Even though the look and taste like wine gums, they really are made of honey - along with cane juice and tapioca syrup and grape juice - which means they're more healthy than real wine gums. They're also gluten free, dairy free and 90% organic.
This 60ml gel contains a whopping 51g of carbs – which is twice as much as some others out there, which in terms of energy makes them pretty good value. That energy comes mostly in the form of malodextrin with sucrose (table sugar) and glucose syrup and provides you with 154 calories of energy. That’s enough to keep you going for maybe 30-40mins on the bike – depending on how hard you’re riding, your size and so on.
When the Agisko box arrived I delved in expecting the usual pile of gel sachets. No... what we had here was something different. I don't know why I was taken aback by gel in a bottle but I was, and I had my reservations as I set out on an Agisko fueled 70 miler on the South Downs.
Zipvit are heavily involved with the Cervélo Test Team and these ZV10 energy chews were first used by Thor Hushovd and Roger Hammond in the 2010 Paris Roubaix. The outcome? Second and fourth places, respectively. Okay that's probably not all down to the chews but they are tasty, and a good, easy-to-eat mix of the stuff you need when you're out riding.
Back-pocket food to eat on the go in a long sportive usually falls into one or two categories - bars and gels. (I’m not counting the other high-tech stuff like bananas, fig-rolls and oat-cakes.) Shot Bloks come somewhere in between: a stick of chewy jelly.
As well as carbohydrate, these gels contain protein, caffeine and guarana to help maximise your performance.