ZipVit ZV7C caffeine energy gel £1.75

Cycling rocket fuel

BikeRadar score 4/5

ZipVit's energy gels are well known for packing a big punch, and the ZV7C caffeine gel is no exception. The 60ml sachet contains a whopping 51g of carbohydrate – a mixture of maltodextrin, sucrose and glucose. Add in 160mg of caffeine along with potassium and sodium salts and you have the cyclist's equivalent of rocket fuel.

The gel is available in two flavours: cherry cola and blackcurrant. We weren't particularly taken by the taste of either (the cherry cola gel was a little like cough medicine) but once down they did sit well on the stomach and were easily digested. There was no doubt they worked, too.

We took a full gel (normally more carbohydrate than we can stomach) within the final 30 miles of our regular 100-mile Sunday ride. The last part of this ride usually includes an extended period of hard tempo and it always hurts, both during and afterwards. The ZV7C helped take the edge off  thanks to a decent hit of carbohydrate and caffeine, and we finished the ride with surprisingly good legs.

ZV7C costs £1.75/$2.49 per sachet (cheaper if you buy as a box of 24) so it's pricier than other gels, but it also packs twice the punch.

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