You can't beat gels for their convenience, and it's hard to better Torq gels for tastiness, with Cherry Bakewell and Lemon Drizzle a far-cry from the often awful cough syrup taste sensations of so many gel products I've choked on over the years. They're fairly priced and deliver a solid dose of carbohydrate, making them ideal for sportives and racing.
Pros: Tasty, easy to digest, easy on the stomach, litter-free pull tab
Cons: I wish they were cheaper
The nutrition market is awash with gels and knowing which to choose can be tricky. Flavour and taste are a good separator and here there is a lot going for UK company Torq. It has a knack of producing gels that actually taste nice with a range of appealing flavours to choose from, including, as tested here, Cherry Bakewell and Lemon Drizzle.
Though it's not like eating a cherry bakewell tart or lemon drizzle cake, they do taste like those cakes their flavour profiles are modelled on. It's quite uncanny how Torq has managed to distil the taste of a cake into a gloopy gel. If you don't normally like gels, these might well change your mind.
Knowing they're this tasty means you're far more likely to use them rather than put it off until you really, really need one – by which point it's probably too late for it to kick in. I know, I've been there. The gels are very sweet, though – borderline sickly if I'm being critical – but the 45g portion is just small enough that it goes down quickly.
As important as taste is, it's the energy delivery that is really critical. Torq uses a 2:1 mix of maltodextrin to fructose to deliver 28.8g of carbohydrate, along with five key electrolytes. The maximum amount of carbs the body can absorb per hour is about 90g so Torq recommends two to three gels per hour, or combine with its energy drinks and bars to get the required energy into your body.
Each 45g gel also provides 114 calories, 9.6g of sugar and zero fat. They're made with no artificial sweeteners, no colours and only natural flavourings, and are dairy- and wheat-free and suitable for vegans.
The Torq Gels come in a small size sachet with an easy tear-off (or not quite off) tab topper that, rather neatly providing you're not too vigorous, stays attached to prevent littering.
Gels can be expensive, but working out at £1.60 each for the sample pack of 11 or £1.54 if you buy a box of 15, they are in the ballpark for what you can expect to pay, and certainly no more expensive than say SIS or Stealth energy gels, but more expensive then Wiggle’s low cost gels. Torq also offer a few different options if you're buying by the box direct from the Torq website – you can choose to keep it simply by just going for a box of your favourite flavour, or you can by a pre-mixed box, or you can select your own mix of flavours. Torq also do some good offers. That said if you're happy to buy just the one flavour can find these gels for sale at considerably below list price at a number of leading online retailers.
Gels are ideal for racing or really fast-paced rides and challenging sportives and gran fondos, when you need to take on energy quickly and conveniently. With great tasting flavours and reasonable prices (compared to other gels), these are easy to recommend. I'll be buying some more when my review samples box runs empty.
Tasty energy gels with a decent energy boost at a fair price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Torq Performance Energy Gel
Size tested: 45g
Tell us what the product is for
Torq says, "This product has been carefully formulated to deliver TORQ's unique blend of multiple-transportable carbohydrates and electrolytes to the working muscles extremely quickly and efficiently using research-proven 2:1 Maltodextrin:Fructose technology and all 5 key electrolytes. It also goes without saying that our flavour profiles are innovative to say the least and our reputation precedes us in this respect. TORQ Gel forms part of the TORQ Fuelling System, so can be used alongside TORQ's energy drinks, bars and chews to fuel optimal performances. Please take the time to read about the TORQ Fuelling System and ensure that you get the most out of this product."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Multiple Transportable Carbohydrates
Part of the TORQ Fuelling System
Contains 5 key electrolytes
Silky smooth texture
Most gels seem to be rather expensive. This isn't the cheapest, but you can still pay more.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Delivers a good dose of carbs when you're going flat chat.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Taste great (for a gel).
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pricey, but so are most gels really.
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 overall score
The taste is good but the price is high, as are most energy gels really, but the choice of flavours make the Torq Gels more palatable than most – for me anyway.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.