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Best Energy Gels for Triathlon

The Best Energy Gels in 2018

The other day, we witnessed a famous triathlete (whom we won’t name) ‘hit the wall’ midway during a triathlon.

He had to retire halfway through the bike section of the race!

It wasn’t lack of conditioning or improper training that caused him to bonk.

Instead, it was miscalculated long-run nutrition.

Having witnessed the event firsthand, we figured it was a great time to create a list of the best energy gels for our readers.

Oh yes, those pocket-sized gooey lifesavers that tuck into your jersey pockets and deliver an instant glycogen boost (with some caffeine to boot).

Like it or not, there’s no better source of instant-energy on a size-to-nutrition perspective. Having a few of these can keep your body fueled for any long-distance sporting event.

Fuelling up during a race is critical, but choosing one of these isn’t as simple as walking into a supermarket and picking a granola bar.

Energy gels have exploded in popularity off-late and the market today is flooded with hundreds of varieties, many of which are overloaded with more carbs than what one typically needs. That’s a ticket to gastric distress folks.

Others taste like industrial byproducts and you’d do well to push that down your throat even with a beverage amidst a run or a cycling event.

To make things easier, we tried the most promising ones for their palatability, energy, size and ease of access and rated them accordingly. This isn’t the most definitive list of options you have because we know that different people react differently to nutritional products and some of these may or may not agree with you.

However, we have tried to jot down the best features as well as highlight any nits in an unbiased fashion. We hope this helps you make an informed choice.

Here’s our review of the best energy gels.

#1 – Huma Chia Energy Gel

Huma, a recent entrant into the world of endurance sports nutrition, draws its name and inspiration from the Tarahumara tribe of Mexican Indians, or so it claims to.

Despite the fancy name and the unique ingredient blend, this gem of an energy gel is our personal favorite in this list.

It tastes fantastic and has an impressive nutritional profile that goes beyond the typical carbohydrate-caffeine mix.

best energy gels

HUMA CHIA energy gel review



Here’s a closer look.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The Huma Gel contains 24gms of carbohydrates in a single pack which is similar to most other brands.

But it’s the carbohydrate source that differs. Huma uses a blend of fructose and cane syrup. That’s a natural sugar mix that’s absorbed faster and will be gentler on your tummy.

The electrolyte content is equally impressive.

It packs in 240mg of Sodium, 60mg of Potassium, 25mg of Calcium and 14mg of Magnesium.

And to top it off, there’s a chia seed blend that gives it a unique texture and throws in some fiber to aid in digestion.

Palatability: We found the taste, consistency and flavoring spot on.

 We tried the Strawberry Lemonade and the Apples and Cinnamon. Both the flavors taste amazing.

They are not overly sweet nor do they have the chemical aftertaste.

The Chia seeds are very finely crushed and you’d never realize that they are there except for some very tiny bumps that can be felt.

We were able to gulp the gel down without water.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: With 25mg of Caffeine and the fast absorbing carbs, we noticed an energy spike after 5-10 minutes of popping one of these.

The energy release is slower due to the chia mix and this actually keeps you going for a longer time frame.

how big are gel packs

Size: The packing is pretty small and not bulky either.

You should be able to tuck in five to six of these easily in a hydration belt.

Ease of access: You can easily tear the top off even with sweaty palms.

The slightly watery texture makes it easy to extract the gel.

Possible cons: None!

#2 – Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel

SiS or Science in Sport is a brand that we first came across during the Tour de France last year.

‘Team Sky’ happens to be one of their sponsored athletes.

And they even retail a Team Sky four-hour nutrition kit. (On our wishlist)

science in sport energy gels

Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel

They have been around since 1992 and have an ensemble range of endurance nutrition products that are quite popular in the UK and Australia.

The Go Isotonic Energy Gel happens to be their flagship.

Here’s the low down on it.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The SiS Go Isotonic Energy Gel gives you 22gms of fast absorbing carbohydrates per gel pack.

With a recommended average of 60gms of carbs per hour for vigorous physical activity, you’d need to carry a bunch of these if you are participating in a long sportive event like a triathlon.

We’ll come to the size part in a bit. The primary ingredient is Maltodextrin.

Palatability: The term Isotonic means that you do not need to gulp water or an energy gel to wash this down. 

That means that there are fewer chances of barfing or feeling bloated. It has a watery texture which is a welcome change from the chewy energy bars of yore.

On the flip side, we did find the flavor slightly bland. We tried the lime and the pineapple flavors. But that’s precisely what makes this lighter on the stomach.​​​​

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: The fast absorbing carbs give you an instant hit and keep you recharged for about 30 minutes or so.

Clubbed with an energy drink and some food which you’d typically carry, this can easily keep you fueled throughout the event.

how big are gel packs

Size: These are not the smallest-sized energy gel packs.

And considering that you’d need at least two of these per hour, you’d have to pack light or reduce the other things that you’d carry in your jersey or hydration belt.

Ease of access: The packing is extremely easy to open.

We had no difficulty whatsoever accessing the gel during cycling and running.

It flows out nice and easy.

Possible cons: The only possible downside to the SiS Go Isotonic Gel is the slightly bland flavor. Also, the packet will take up more space than some of the other options in this list of the best energy gels.

#3 – CLIF SHOT – Energy Gel

Clif Shot is the on-the-go fuel version of the famed Clif Bar. 

It is one of the more popular energy gels these days due to the natural flavoring they use and the compact-sized packets.

Also, it packs in a whopping 24gms of fast absorbing carbohydrates per pack making it a slightly better choice than the SiS Go Isotonic gel on a carb-level rating.


CLIF SHOT Energy Gels

However, a non-isotonic design means that you’d need to gulp this down with water or a beverage of your choice.


Here’s a closer look.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: 24gms of fast-absorbing carbohydrates in a reasonable-sized pack.

The primary ingredient is Brown rice syrup which seems a little strange because Maltodextrin is the more popular and commonly used choice. That doesn’t affect the absorption rate or the taste. So, no complaints!

Palatability: Flavor-wise, the Clif Shot rates among the best in the business. They are available in a whole range of natural flavors.

We tried the Strawberry, Razz Sorbet, Cola, Double Espresso and Mocha. We loved the Mocha with the blend of natural cocoa and the sweetness of the brown rice syrup.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: There is a noticeable energy boost within 5 minutes of consuming the gel. The hit (if that’s the right word for it) lasts for about 30 minutes or so. So, two of these should be more than enough to get you through the last hour of your sportive.

The caffeinated version delivers an extra kick with about 100mg caffeine. That’s akin to an 8 ounce serving of coffee.

how big are gel packs

Size: A single gel pack of Clif Shot is slightly smaller than the SiS Go Isotonic gel.

It is a 1.2-inch foil pack that features the famed ‘litter-lease’ that prevents the tiny stub on top of the pack from falling off and littering the place. This also allows you to anchor the pack on to your hydration belt or sternum strap.

Ease of access: Tearing the foil pack is reasonably easy.

However, due to the typical gooey consistency of the gel, it isn’t easy to squeeze out the entire content of the pack.

No matter how hard you try, a little amount always remains in it.

Possible cons: Not as easy as some of the other gels in the market to extract from the pack, especially when you are cycling or at the end of a marathon with fast-dwindling energy levels.

#4 – GU Energy Gel

GU Science has undoubtedly been one of the most popular brands in sports nutrition for a while now and the Energy Gel remains their bestseller despite facing stiff competition from newer brands like Huma.


Often known as the good-old gel, it has remained unchanged in its flavoring, consistency and ingredient list over the years.

energy gels comparison

GU Energy gel review



But why fix it if it works?

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The GU Energy gel delivers 20-23gms of fast-absorbing carbohydrates with the primary source being maltodextrin and fructose.

It also contains a blend of electrolytes and amino acids that help reduce muscle fatigue and cramping.

For athletes and endurance runners who frequently experience cramping, there’s a Roctane version of the gel that contains double the amount of amino acids and electrolytes.

Personally, we like the regular version of the gel more than the enhanced one.

Palatability: These gels have a slightly thicker consistency as compared to the HUMA or the GO Isotonic gels.

You will require a beverage to chug these down. The flavoring is pretty good in the Chocolate Strawberry, the Vanilla bean and Peanut butter versions.

However, some of the other flavors, like the Island Nectar are a tad oversweet for our liking. That’s subjective though.

They also have a flavorless or bland version of the gel if you prefer that instead.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: You will feel an energy surge in 10-15 minutes of taking the gel.

It’s not the easiest to digest though and without water or a beverage, you might experience some stomach distress.

how big are gel packs

Size: The packs are pretty small and compact.

You can easily pack at least four to five of these in your shorts or jersey pockets without them looking bulky.

Ease of access: GU gels are frequently used by cyclists and runners because the packs are easy to tear open, even when you are on-the-move.

The thicker consistency does make it a tad difficult to squeeze the gel out of the pack during a run.

Possible cons: Inconsistent flavoring and a thick consistency/texture are a letdown, especially when you have newer, better tasting options in the market.

#5 – Powerbar PowerGel Energy Gel

Last but not the least, we have the PowerGel Energy Gel from Powerbar that contains the maximum carbohydrates in a single gel pack that we have ever tested.

Club that with the C2MAX 2:1 glucose to fructose blend that delivers more energy in lesser time and you have, what seems like a winning bet.

 At least, in theory, it does appear like one.

power bar power gel reviews

POWERBAR POWER GEL review



Here’s what we found though.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: With 28gms of carbs in a gel pack, you can do with less of these in your jersey pockets.

To add to the carbs, there’s about 200mg of Sodium for electrolyte replacement.

Not a bad nutritional profile at all. It is available in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions.

Palatability: The flavoring is a hit or miss.

We found some of the flavors to be overly sweetened, a problem that seems to be common with many of the popular energy gel brands.

The green apple was decent. But it’s only available in a caffeinated version.

The consistency of the gel is thicker than all the others in this list of best energy gels.

Powerbar recommends that you consume one pack of the gel with at least 150 ml of water.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: The extra carbs and the fast absorption rate gives you an instant energy spike in as less as 5 minutes.

The energy boost lasts for almost 45 minutes.

No complaints there.

how big are gel packs

Size: The PowerGel energy gel pack is the same size as a pack of GU Gel.

It can easily fit into your shorts or jersey pockets as well as your hydration belts.

It is compact and lightweight and you can easily pack a lot of these without adding too much weight or bulk.

Ease of access: You can easily tear open the pack.

But extracting the gel during a run had us fumbling with both hands.

A thinner consistency would have made this a lot easier to squeeze out.

Possible cons: A thick consistency mars this promising energy gel with one of the best nutritional profiles.

To sum it up

Eventually, it all boils down to the palatability, the nutritional profile and the number of carbohydrates one typically needs to fuel the body. Serious athletes and marathoners need about 60gms of carbs in an hour while a casual runner can do with a lot less.

Consider your energy requirements, the flavoring, the caffeine levels and the size before you pick an energy gel for your next endurance sporting event.

Sprint Distance Triathlete. Swim, Bike, Run, Fitness. IronMan is on the cards for 2018. Love the tech behind triathlon equipment and spend far too much time testing everything out so you don’t have to!!

castelli pro gloves

Best Cycling Gloves

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Best Cycling Gloves

I was never a big fan of wearing gloves when out on the bike but when the weather changes and the road gets a bit rougher I am glad of them.

I have always loved the responsive feel on the handlebars from my bare hands as I speed down the asphalt. It feels more natural and the steering pinpoint accurate.

However, as time has gone by and I have had a few too many tumbles I always reach for my gloves before I head out for a spin.

Plus as we move towards colder weather at this time of the year your hands could do with the extra layer to keep them working as they should. Frozen hands loose power and with that you loose control and end up on your rump in the middle of the road…

Plus, like my shorts I like a bit of padding where it counts for longer journeys…

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[/vc_column_text][vc_spacer size=”25px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_seperator=”no-seperator” top=”20px” bottom=”0px”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”4761″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” link=”https://amzn.com/B00EOXZILU/?tag=trigear-20″][vc_heading title=”Pro’s & Con’s” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Comfort

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Gel Padding & Grip

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Durability

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-times” icon_color=”#dd3333″]A bit pricey

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_spacer size=”100px”][vc_heading title=”Castelli Pro Gloves” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_column_text]First, let’s take a look at the Castelli Pro Gloves. I have been a fan of Castelli for years and have owned, tested and punished many of their products when out racing.

Quality has always been one of their selling points and these gloves are no exception. [/vc_column_text][vc_spacer size=”10px”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_spacer size=”10px”][vc_heading title=”our verdict” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_column_text]

Overall these are a great set of gloves. If your budget allows then you should invest in a pair today. They feel great on and have plenty of grip and because the gel pads are not the usual leather type they do not destroy your bar tape.

 

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$5.00
Castelli Free Cycling Glove (Black/Red, X-Large)
Castelli - Misc.
$39.99 from $34.99

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_seperator=”no-seperator” top=”20px” bottom=”0px” bg_color=”#fefefe”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”4778″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” link=”http://amzn.to/1FBpfRq”][vc_heading title=”Pro’s & Con’s” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Comfort

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Gel Padding & Grip

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Throw them in the washing machine and they are as good as new…

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-times” icon_color=”#dd3333″]Velcro gripper is a bit long

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_spacer size=”100px”][vc_heading title=”Giro Bravo Gloves” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_column_text]

Next on our list it the excellent Giro Bravo Gloves. These gloves are pure class and a great reflection on the quality of Giro products.

Built from synthetic leather with great gel pads throughout these breathable cycling gloves are strong and offer excellent grip on even the longest of rides

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Overall a nice comfortable set of cycling gloves from Giro. Again up in the price range a bit but worth the spend if you are looking for quality. A few of the guys love these and even throw them in the washer to keep them in tip top condition for race day.

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Giro Bravo Gloves, Black, Large
GIRO - Sports
$23.35

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_seperator=”no-seperator” top=”20px” bottom=”0px” bg_color=”#fefefe”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”4781″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” link=”http://amzn.to/1QJUVnS”][vc_heading title=”Pro’s & Con’s” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Comfort

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Gel Padding & Grip

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Breathable so hands stay happy

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-times” icon_color=”#dd3333″]The velcro strap detail de-laminates but a bit of glue and away you go again.

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_spacer size=”100px”][vc_heading title=”Louis Garneau Nimbus Glove” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_column_text]

I have always been a fan of Louis Garneau and the Nimbus Gloves are one of my favourite pairs of cycling gloves. 

Packed with all the features you would expect these gloves are ultra comfortable, a great fit and have plenty of padding for that long journey.

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[/vc_column_text][vc_spacer size=”10px”][vc_heading title=”our verdict” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_column_text]

A great pair of gloves for the money. Backed by a 1 year guarantee if you have any issues but being Louis Garneau you should be fine. 

A few people have commented on the velcro strap de-laminating but glued it back together and still going…

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$17.96
Louis Garneau - Nimbus Evo Bike Gloves, Black, L
Louis Garneau - Sports
$34.95 from $16.99

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As the weather turns colder and the seasons shift towards winter your hands will get very cold when you are out on the bike. Insulation is critical for your hands but they also need to be able to breathe to stop them getting all sweaty. 

A good pair of winter cycling gloves are essential for you comfort when on the road.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_seperator=”no-seperator” top=”20px” bottom=”0px” bg_color=”#fefefe”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”4788″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” link=”http://amzn.to/1jvNhmS”][vc_heading title=”Pro’s & Con’s” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Warm and Breathable

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Gel Padding & Grip

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Conductive thumb and index finger tips for smartphone use.

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-times” icon_color=”#dd3333″]Not ideal for very cold weather

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When the weather gets colder you need a good quality pair of winter cycling gloves to keep your hands warm and functioning properly. Thats where the Elite Softshell Gloves from Pearl Izumi come into their own.

Plenty of Gel padding for longer rides and they even have conductive thumb and index finger tips so you can use your smartphone. (not while riding though…)

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Overall a solid pair of comfortable and durable gloves from Pearl Izumi. Pricing is fair and the quality is top notch.

Remember not to use your smartphone while on the go…

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$35.00
Pearl Izumi - Ride Men's Elite Softshell Glove, Black, Large
Pearl iZUMi Ride - Sports Apparel
$60.00 from $25.00

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_seperator=”no-seperator” top=”20px” bottom=”0px” bg_color=”#fefefe”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”4790″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” link=”http://amzn.to/1jvPA9w”][vc_heading title=”Pro’s & Con’s” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]High Quality

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Wind Proof

[/vc_list_item][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-check” icon_color=”#81d742″]Thermo Lining

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_list_item icon_name=”fa-times” icon_color=”#dd3333″]None

[/vc_list_item][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_spacer size=”100px”][vc_heading title=”Gore Power Windstopper Soft Shell Gloves” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_column_text]

When it comes to warm weather clothing no list would be complete without including Gore. The Gore Power Windstopper soft shell gloves are designed to keep you warm and comfortable on every cycling journey.

You might be our for a leisurely training session or a flat out race but rest assured your hands will stay warm and comfortable throughout.

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[/vc_column_text][vc_spacer size=”10px”][vc_heading title=”our verdict” color=”#444444″ position=”left”][vc_column_text]

Great for keeping your hands in tip top condition when out on a long ride. Windproof but breathable your hands will thank you for choosing Gore the next time you head out in the cold.

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$35.96
Gore Bike Wear Men's Power Soft Shell Windstopper Gloves (Black/Red, X-Large)
Gore Bike Wear - Sports Apparel
$55.99 from $20.03

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Final thoughts on the Best Cycling Gloves

 

These products are what we consider the best cycling gloves on the market today and have been chosen based on user reviews and honest feedback. We hope you find the right pair to suit you for your next cycling trip.

If you have a brand of cycling gloves that you use on a daily basis and feel they should be on the list then drop us a comment below and we will take a look.

If suitable it might even get a test run and make it on to the list next time around.

Thanks for stopping by and happy cycling.

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Sprint Distance Triathlete. Swim, Bike, Run, Fitness. IronMan is on the cards for 2018. Love the tech behind triathlon equipment and spend far too much time testing everything out so you don’t have to!!