When you’re pushing your body to the limits, you need to keep your fuel levels up. While a sandwich and piece of cake can do the job, and in a very pleasant manner, sometimes that’s just not efficient enough.
An energy gel or chew is a very quick and simple way to get a load of easy to digest energy straight into your system.
We’ve been consuming gels and chews from a range of companies to find out which one gives the most palatable of energy hits.
The best energy gels for cycling, as rated by our expert testers
- High5 Energy Gel Aqua: £1.25
- OTE Apple Energy Gel: £1.40
- SiS Go Isotonic Energy Gel: £1.40
- Skratch Energy Chews: £2.20
- Aptonia Long Distance Energy Gel: £1.24
- Torq Caramel Latte Gel: £1.85
High5 Energy Gel Aqua
Glucose, maltodextrin and fruit juice combine to give a surprisingly natural berry flavour while the gel’s thin texture – the ‘aqua’ refers to its near-liquid consistency – makes it very easy to swallow.
It’s suitable for vegans and High5 has a policy of never using World Anti Doping Agency (WADA)-banned substances, so it can provide batch-tested products and it contains no likely allergens.
- Weight: 66g
- Calories: 95kcal
- Carbohydrate: 23g
- Sugars: 3.3g
- Price: £1.25
OTE Apple Energy Gel
Do you like apple sauce? This resembles the pork-accompanying condiment with a slight sweetness to it and a thinnish texture that’s easy to swallow and digest, though make sure you don’t spill it.
This vegan product is one of the most natural-tasting gels we’ve sampled and you’ll get enough energy for 20 minutes of exercise from the maltodextrin and concentrated fruit juice ingredients.
- Weight: 56g
- Calories: 84kcal
- Carbohydrate: 20.5g
- Sugars: 6.1g
- Price: £1.40
SiS Go Isotonic Energy Gel
This gel from one of sport nutrition’s best-known names is based around maltodextrin and is not only isotonic but contains no nuts, wheat or soya and is both lactose- and gluten-free, and suitable for vegans.
A light texture, not-too-sweet taste, widespread availability and a good price – especially when bought in bulk – rounds out an excellent gel. The fruit salad flavour’s super-tasty, too!
- Volume: 60ml
- Calories: 87kcal
- Carbohydrate: 22g
- Sugars: 0.6g
- Price: £1.40
Skratch Labs Energy Chews
Gels aren’t the only way to go for an on-the-move belt of instant energy with Skratch’s natural-tasting, USA-made chews being another option.
Similar to fruit pastilles, these take longer to consume but they’re mess free and allow you to spread your energy intake. These vegan, gluten-free chews may look expensive, but each bag contains 10 chews, which equals two servings.
- Weight: 50g
- Calories: 160kcal
- Carbohydrate: 40g
- Sugars: 28g
- Price: £2.20
Aptonia Long Distance Energy Gel
Decathlon’s Aptonia French-made gel is batch tested, which makes it suitable for competitive athletes. Available in different versions and various flavours, the long-distance lemon sachet is enough for 45 minutes and comes in at under £1 for a pack of 12.
It’s not that sweet, is easily digested and contains vitamins B6, B12 and 20g of caffeine; though it may also contain traces of fish or milk.
- Weight: 32g
- Calories: 88kcal
- Carbohydrate: 22g
- Sugars: 12g
- Price: £1.24
Torq Caramel Latte Gel
Warning: ‘contains high levels of caffeine’ it says on the wrapper, and it also packs a hefty calorie hit and guarana for even more stimulation.
It has a real coffee taste, but the maltodextrin and glucose syrup stops it from becoming too bitter. It’s also one of the thicker gels here, with a texture that feels like a gloopy milkshake – though thankfully, it’s not too much to swallow.
- Weight: 45g
- Calories: 114kcal
- Carbohydrate: 28.6g
- Sugars: 10.5g
- Price: £1.85