Consuming energy products on the go can be a trial, though the problem is usually the taste not the texture. The Powerbar Performance Energy blend is tasty and more substantial than your average gel but the texture won't appeal to all.
The plus point of the Performance Blends is their fruitiness but the thicker texture is very different from most gels. Think perhaps of something on the lines of well, baby food. The fruit feels as if it has been pureed, giving a fuller texture that feels a bit strange after years of gels as we are used to them. The flavours aren't bad though.
Lots of gels are pretty similar; Powerbar have brought forth something a little different. The Performance Energy Blend gels are more akin to something a bit more fulfilling. The two flavours, apple/mango/strawberry and banana/blueberry come in handy little pouches that are easy to carry and open with a twist top.
In terms of nutritional value, the 90g pouches are full of energy, carbohydrates and vitamins. By value you get 374Kj of energy, 21.5g of carbohydrates of which 19.8g are sugar (quite high) and 76.57mg of vitamin C. Powerbar recommend taking one pouch 30-60 minutes before exercise with no more than four in a day.
The pouches are quite bulky compared to your average gel; you'll need a lot of storage space to stow more than a few of them. The pouch has a solid plastic nozzle that once you get the easy twist cap off makes it easy to neck. The pureed texture is a bit of a surprise but both flavours are tasty.
Do they work? The Powerbar Performance Blends offer a fruity alternative to other sweet gels, so as an alternative the answer is a definite yes. However as they are bigger than your average offering you won't or can't carry too many. But they are worth making the effort for, especially if you're a fan of fruit puree.
Bulky gels that have a pleasant flavour and unusual, pureed-fruit texture
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PowerBar Performance Energy Blend
Size tested: Individual pouch price - £1.60, 12 pouches sent in - 6xApple, Mango and Strawberry blend and 6xBanana and Blueberry blend
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?
Aimed at riders looking for an energy boost whilst on a long ride. Designed to replenish tired muscles fast.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Contains no fat or salt but does include carbohydrates, fat, sugars, vitamin C and E as key ingredients.
The Powerbar Performance Energy Blends does hit the spot from a boost and flavour point of view but it is a definite Marmite product when it comes to texture - you will either love it or hate it. There won't be any middle ground on this one.
You will never get a boost for hours from any gel but it can be enough to get you home, over the next hill or to the feed station. A short hit is what you need from these pocket sized energy products.
At 90g they are bulkier and heavier than the other gels products so you will only carry one or two at most.
With a box of 12 costing almost £20 that represents an individual cost of £1.66. That's pricey so you would have to use them sparingly.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Powerbar Performance Energy Blends do provide the boost required but given the texture it makes them difficult for me to enjoy them.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The flavours cannot be faulted, fruity and enjoyable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The texture - I really didn't get on with them.
Did you enjoy using the product? Overall I would have to say they are not for me.
Would you consider buying the product? No for the texture and the cost.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I would suggest trying them.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
This is the first time a gel has divided my opinion so much. Great flavours are let down for me by the bulk and cost, lets not mention the texture again.
About the tester
Age: 45 Height: 178cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three My best bike is: As above
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT