Containing 29.7g of carbohydrate and 21.9g of sugar, the Etixx Triple Action Energy Gel + Caffeine really packs in the energy. Most energy gels are around the 22-23g mark, and how much difference the extra 7-8g makes is relatively difficult to tell from a non-scientific review, but I certainly got a boost after using one.
Taste is pretty important too, and here it's... interesting, and will divide opinion. It's a strong kick which is almost alcoholic – the kind of aftertaste you get with a strong cocktail. This comes from the use of ginseng in the gel, which is meant to promote alertness and energy. Again, I can't claim to be able to give a definitive answer on whether this works or not, but the kick certainly seemed to wake me up a bit.
The gels also provide 40mg of vitamin C, which 'support energy production and protects cells from oxidative damage'. The science seems sound, and I didn't get scurvy midway through a ride, but short of using a science lab the effects are hard to quantify.
At £2.49 per sachet the gels are fairly expensive, although bulk buying will lower the unit price. Based on the individual price, these are more expensive than other gels on the market, but with the additional 7g of carbs compared with competitors they're also likely to work for longer.
And overall, they work well. The ginseng gives them a kick that wakes you up – a bit like when you bite a piece of ginger, for instance – and you can certainly feel the effects of the gel after using one. Whether this justifies the slightly higher RRP will be your choice, but I'd be happy to use these for long rides or races.
An expensive gel, but one that wakes you up mentally and provides heaps of energy
road.cc test report
Make and model: Etixx Triple Action Energy Gel + Caffeine
Size tested: 50g sachet, Red Fruits Flavour
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?
Etixx says: 'Triple Action Energy Gel contains different carbohydrate forms that release energy at different times providing a sustained supply of energy. These carbohydrates use different transporters in the body to help reduce saturation and increase absorption.'
Not a scientist, so can't accurately say this is the case, but the flavour is a real kick and gives a definite energy boost after use.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
50 g energy gel contains: Sugar Syrup 32 g (Dextrose 8% / Sucrose 55% / Maltose 6% / Higher sugars 31%) , Dextrose 6 g , Guarana (Seed) liquid extract (Paullinia cupana, alcohol, water) 1.5 g (3%) , Green tea leaves liquid extract (Camellia Sinensis, water, alcohol) (leaf) 1.5 g (3%), Ginseng (root) liquid extract (Panax Ginseng, alcohol, water) 0.75 g (1.5%) , Siberian Ginseng (root) liquid extract (Eleutherococcus Senticosus, water, alcohol) 0.75 g (1.5%) , Taurine 0.75 g , Ascorbic Acid , Preservative: Potassium Sorbate , Flavour: Red Currants / Cherry flavour , Water
Good texture, not too thick, not too thin.
Gave me a really good boost, exactly what you need from a gel.
Expensive compared with some, but given the added energy it gives, it kind of balances out.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it gave me a real kick when needed and the almost alcoholic taste really wakes you up when you need it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The kick when you use it; the ginseng is a shock to the system.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The flavour will be divisive, some will prefer more traditional flavours.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Works really well for an energy boost. The addition of ginseng also mentally wakes you up, which is surprisingly good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.