The Rawvelo energy gels offer a rather traditional amount of carbs but boast all-natural ingredients that should be easier on your stomach. Promising a fast-absorbing 'jolt of energy', these gels consist of fruit juices, coconut sugar and natural brown rice syrup and have no artificial colours, preservatives or synthetic flavouring. If you don't mind a sweet gel, these are some of the best cycling energy gels for those of us who prefer all-natural ingredients from a sustainability-conscious brand.
Rawvelo makes three flavours: passion fruit and coconut, blood orange and a caffeinated blueberry and hibiscus. I found these flavours a good mix, with all of them tasting of what it says on the package – and quite strongly so.
I can imagine that the three flavours are not goingto be enough to suit everyone's taste, though, as I have plenty of riding pals who cannot tolerate coconut and personally I'm not a fan of blood orange. In terms of sweetness, I found that these gels were at the very sweet end of the spectrum – and that's coming from someone with a sweet tooth.
Each of the gels weighs 50 grams and contains 20 grams of carbs, with the caffeinated flavour adding 50mg of caffeine to the mix. These figures are pretty standard for cycling energy gels and mean that you'd be consuming anything between one to four gels – or more – per hour depending on the intensity of your ride.
The mix of natural ingredients provides both glucose and fructose, which assists your body in absorbing more carbs than a gel containing just one carb type, and the pinch of salt assists in keeping your body hydrated.
These gels are not the most liquid in consistency but rather resemble thickened juice. This means the gel doesn't squirt out the wrapper in an uncontrolled way, but it isn't as thick as something like Maurten's Gel that stays inside the package until squeezed out.
Did I have stomach issues with these? Not that I noticed. I did multiple longer, low-intensity rides relying on these gels and didn't find them upsetting my system. I did, however, feel like the amount of sweetness was too much and I struggled to have more than two gels in an hour because of that – and I don't think I'd manage 80g (four gels) even if I were to mix the flavours.
There are lots of different brands of energy gels and many seem to offer the same end product, just packaged differently. The Rawvelo Energy Gel packaging, however, is recyclable. Okay, you do need to send the wrappers back to Rawvelo for recycling, but this is still better than many other brands offer.
For someone who values sustainability this is a great addition, and Rawvelo is also part of 1% For The Planet, which means it donates one per cent of its annual sales revenue to help address the world's 'most pressing environmental challenges'.
The brand's sustainability credentials are something that would encourage me to buy its gels and pricewise the Rawvelo energy gels are competitive, though at £2 each if you buy a box of six, they're not the cheapest.
The price comes down five per cent if you buy 12 gels and 10% if you buy 18. In comparison, the SiS GO Isotonic Gels that Dave liked have 22g of carbs and cost £1.70 a piece.
The Torq Energy Gels that David reviewed cost £1.95 a pop and have even more, 29g, of carbs. But Rawvelo's brand's sustainability commitments might weigh in here and make the gels better value than the main competitors.
If the three flavours suit you, these are a good energy gel option for easier rides, as their strong flavours would make it hard to consume too many of them on one ride.
Good, basic energy gel from a brand whose excellent sustainability credentials add value
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Make and model: Rawvelo Organic Energy Gel
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?
Rawvelo says: "Designed for use immediately before or during exercise to tackle exertion with a fast-absorbing energy boost. Some athletes find that traditional energy gels can cause digestive issues. That's the last thing you need when you're tackling an epic mountain ascent."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rawvelo says: "Our gels are clean, organic and natural, made from a delicate balance of fruit juices, coconut sugar and natural brown rice syrup. No preservatives. No artificial colours. No synthetic flavouring. It makes our gels gentler on the stomach and stokes your furnace with a fast-absorbing jolt of natural energy."
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Great packaging, which is also recyclable if you send the wrappers back to Rawvelo.
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for value:
At £2 a piece if you buy box of six, or £1.80 each if you buy an 18-gel box, they are more expensive than Science in Sport Isotonic gels (£1.75 per gel, six-pack). High Five gels come in at £1.30 per gel when you buy 20 (and they have more carbs per gel, in a smaller size). Then again, the wrapper recycling scheme and brand's commitment to giving 1% of profits to environmental causes adds to the value.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The flavours are strong and Rawvelo's wrapper recycling scheme.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The taste is a little too sweet for me – and I have a sweet tooth...
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Rawvelo energy gels are competitive, but not the cheapest at £2 a pop in a box of six gels. The price comes down five per cent for 12 gels and 10% if you buy 18. In comparison, SiS GO Isotonic Gels have 22g and cost £1.70 a piece. Torq Energy Gels cost £1.95 a pop and have 29g of carbs.
Did you enjoy using the product? They do the job
Would you consider buying the product? Yes – but only for easier rides where I don't need to have too many gels
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – if I know they really love sweet stuff and the flavours of these gels
Use this box to explain your overall score
These gels are a great energy source for rides where you have other sources of energy, as well. The flavours are strong, which is both a pro and con and because of the sweetness, you might struggle to consume more than a couple of these in an hour. The added sustainability credentials make the product stand out from competitors.
Age: 30 Height: 164cm Weight: 52kg
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Sl6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb, Ultra-distances
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