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Myprotein is a sports nutrition brand (the UK's No 1, according to its website) with a large portfolio of products ranging from fish oil tablets to weight gain powders, and including these Energel energy gels, which are tasty, effective and good value.
These Energels (it's written ENER:GEL on the packaging) are available in various flavours, and we're testing the Orange Zest variety. They definitely taste of orange. To be more precise they taste of orange flavouring – like the taste you get in sweets and fizzy pop. And it's definitely zesty too; tingling on the tongue, not surprisingly reminiscent of Tango.
This impression is further enhanced by the Energel's texture and consistency. They're pretty runny; more like a drink than a gel in that respect. That's a plus for riders who find some other gels on the market a bit thick and hard to swallow, especially when the legs are starting to fade halfway through a race or big sportive.
According to the Myprotein website, Energel's main ingredients are water, maltodextrin and fructose. There's also citric acid, sweetener (Sucralose) and natural flavouring, plus some minerals (sodium chloride, calcium lactate, potassium chloride, magnesium carbonate) and vitamins (niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B12).
The minerals in the gel will help replace the ones you lose via sweat, and so may help ward off cramps, while the B vitamins are nice to have (although I was unable to ascertain if their inclusion actually makes the gel more effective). But the most important aspect of an energy gel is, er, the energy, and each 60g gel provides 101 kcal, consisting of 25g of carbohydrate. There's no protein or fat, and virtually no fibre.
For most riders, 25g of carb provides enough energy for between 20 and 40 minutes on the bike (after an initial two hours or so, when you don't usually need extra fuel), depending how hard you're riding and other aspects such as physiology. I tested the gels on a couple of long training rides and then in a 100-mile sportive, and they certainly powered me along nicely.
The weight if these gels is worth noting. At 60g they're pretty bulky, and if 25g of this is carb, then you're carrying 35g of other stuff – mainly water – in your back pocket. There's nothing wrong with that if you're a rider who likes to combine liquid intake with carb intake. But if you prefer to get your liquid from your bottles, and carry less weight in your back pocket (or at least, more carbs for the weight) then there are other gels available.
On price, a box of 24 x 60g Energels costs £23.99 from the Myprotein website, so just over £1 each, once delivery is taken into account (although at the time of writing there's a 25% off special deal). Most competitor brands are about £1 to £1.50, and often a smaller size (25-40g), so on that basis Myprotein Energels are good value.
However, as mentioned above, each Energel contains only 25g of carbohydrate, but even on a blunt carbs-per-quid basis, this is still good value compared to most competitors.
There are other energy gels available which weigh less overall and/or have a higher carb content, so if that's your main concern then Energels might not be for you. But if you like to combine your gel and liquid intake, and enjoy a lively taste, and save a few bob into the bargain, then Myprotein Energels are well worth a try.
Effective and tasty energy gels. Bulky compared to most competitors, but good value.
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Make and model: Myprotein ENERGEL Orange Zest Flavour
Size tested: Orange Zest
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?
This is an energy product. It's main purpose is to provide you with carbohydrate - a key source of energy - while you're cycling (or doing another sporting activity). There's deliberatly no protein, fat or fibre. The manufacturer's website says:
'ENER:GEL is a unique energy gel containing both Electrolytes and B Vitamins. Each 60ml sachet of ENER:GEL contains over 21g of carbohydrates. The unique formula has been scientifically designed to help promote endurance levels during prolonged exercise through its combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The website goes on to say:
'This premium energy gel includes an essential blend of electrolytes to encourage proper hydration levels whilst supporting the production of energy through its optimum inclusion of B Vitamins. Designed to be consumed before and/or during endurance based activity ENER:GEL can help fuel your exercise and improve your overall performance without leaving you bloated or full."
Performance is very good, in that the carb content of each gel powered me along for about half an hour before I needed to eat again.
At 60g, these gels are big compared to many competitors.
25g is carb, the other 35g is mostly water.
Nothing wrong with that if you like to combine liquid intake with carb intake. But if you prefer to get your liquid from your bottles, and carry less weight in your back pocket, then other gels are available.
Value is very good. At just over £1 each, the price of these gels compare well against competitor brands which mostly costs about £1 to £1.50, and often a smaller size (25-40g), so on that basis Myprotein Energels are good value.
Each Energel contains only 25g of carbohydrate, but even on a blunt carbs-per-quid basis, this is still good value compared to most competitors.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The product is designed to be consumed on the go during a bike ride and to provide energy, and it does just that - with a zesty taste.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Zesty taste. Very easy to consume (more like a drink than a gel)
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Personally, I prefer gels with more carb content.
These Energels are also very sticky if you happen to spill any on your fingers while consuming on the move.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Personally, no. But only because I prefer gels with more carb content.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially if they found it difficult to stomach gels with a high carb content.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Overall, this is an impressive product: tasty, effective and good value.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,