There was a noticeable and instant energy boost with the MyProtein Ener:Gel

I’m not a big user of Energy Gels. Having said that, I do use them on every ride but not at the rate the manufacturers prefer (or is it recommend?), which is 2-3 sachets every hour of exercise.

Our Guide to Energy Drinks & Foods gives more info on these types of products but fundamentally, Energy Gels are carbohydrates, which are technically hydrates of carbon, and they are an ideal source of energy for the body. This is because they can be converted more readily into glucose, which is the form of sugar that’s transported and used by the body.

So, the idea behind Energy Gels (for those that don’t use them), is they give you an instant energy boost lasting for around 20 mins or so.

Review

The guys at MyProtein contacted me recently and asked if I’d like to try some of their MyProtein Ener:Gels and Tri-Carb from their Energy & Endurance range. So, disclaimer time. The samples were free but the review is 100% genuine. This review covers the Ener:Gel and I’ll cover the Tri-Carb in a few weeks once I’ve used it several times and can give a thorough view.

My current Gel is the SIS GO Isotonic which comes in a 60ml sachet. There’s no particular reason that I use SIS Gels so whilst I’m not married to these gels, it does make sense to compare them as they are the ones I use on a regular basis.

I have a two-hour loop that I ride every Sunday morning so it seemed sensible for the purpose of this review to try the Ener:Gels on that ride as I know it very well and know when my energy levels tend to flag.

The route is flat (I live on the Wirral) but I ride it as fast as I can to ensure I burn off some calories. After one hour, I stopped to try the new MyProtein gels, which were Orange Zest Flavour.

The packet is almost identical to the SIS GO one and is very easy to open, even wearing gloves (which is important in winter). The flavour was indeed orange and a little bit more zesty than the SIS.

Like many gels these days, it was easy to swallow but as I did, I realised that there was nothing on the packet to indicate whether to take the gel with water. Having made this mistake in the past, I drank around half-a-bottle of water, just to make sure. This is one of two key differences between MyProtein Ener:Gel and SIS GO Isotonic Energy Gel as the SIS gel can be taken without water. The SIS product is patented in this regard and as such, they may (I do not know for sure), have exclusivity on this.

Edit: Since publishing this product review, MyProtein have confirmed that the Ener:Gels can be taken without water.

Anyway, break over, I set off for the second half of the ride. There was a noticeable and instant energy boost with the Ener:Gel, more so than what I was used to with the SIS GO Isotonic gels. At the time I wondered how long this would last so I consciously monitored my energy levels. Straight away I felt myself pedaling slightly faster and then soon after, I moved through the gears to pick up even more speed.

Without scientific equipment or an exact AB test, it’s hard to categorically state but I felt (that good old fashioned human emotion that many believe men don’t possess), that the effects of the gel lasted at least 20 mins and possibly as much as 30 mins.

This isn’t what I’m used to with the SIS gels, so what’s the difference? This brings me on to the second point of differential between the two products – sugar.

SIS GOEner:Gel
Sachet60ml70g
Energy86 kcal101 kcal
Protein0.0g0.0g
Carbohydrates22g25.2g
– of which sugars0.6g10.1g
Fat0.0g0.0g
Fibre0.1g0.3g
Sodium10mg34mg

60ml is effectively 60g so at 70g, the Ener:Gel is around 16% bigger, which explains the Carbohydrate differential. However, the amount of sugar in the Ener:Gel is almost 17 times higher. When we look at this per 100ml / 100g, we see that the MyProtein sachet is 14.4g and the SIS is 1.1g, which is a huge differential.