Featured Nutrition Reviews

MuleBar Kick Gels

MuleBar Kick GelsSometimes it’s the little things in life that matter, the detail that amplifies the underlying excellence – like the dab of rouge on the woman’s cheek in Seurat’s La Grande Jatte. Okay perhaps we’re waxing a little too lyrical for a gel review, but MuleBar Kick Gels are ridiculous easy to open…


Opening a gel one-handed on a bike can be precarious at best, but the angled rip top on MuleBar Kick Gels is a breeze and (generally) the tab stays attached so there’s no quandary about stashing two bits of litter and no eco-embarrassment from the top taking flight behind you. On a further environmental note the Kick Gels are registered organic, have no synthetic ingredients, artificial preservatives, colourings or flavourings and are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Although the wrappers are not compostable like many of MuleBar’s energy bars, we suspect they’re working on that too.


All this would count for nothing if the gels didn’t perform in the energy department, but they stack up here too. Values differ very slightly between flavours – Apple Strudlel, Lemon Zinger, Café Cortado and, our favourite, Cherry Bomb – but generally you can expect around 110kcal with 27g of carbs (25g of which from sugars) from a 37g sachet. Carbohydrate sources again vary in their specifics between varieties but are a mix of fast and slower release sugars from fruit sources and high GI brown rice syrup (which can also be easier on the stomach than fruit derived sugars.)


Flavours are excellent with the Lemon Zinger and Cherry Bomb both delivering a welcome tang to cut through the sweetness, whilst the Café Cortado, as the name implies, adds 100mg caffeine – a little more than you would get from an 80ml espresso or two regular 330ml cans of Coke (should you really not care about your health.) The Café Cortado also throws in natural guarana extract which, combined with the caffeine, delivers a noticeable kick. To partially counter body-salt loss from sweating all four varieties of MuleBar Kick Gels include 100mg of sodium derived from Himalayan crystal salts, and although we applaud adding something that sounds like it’s been collected by Lara Croft, it would arguably have been good to have included some potassium too. Sweat rate and sweat composition vary massively from person to person but with anything between 400 and 1800mg lost per litre of sweat even 2-3 gels per-hour are not the complete solution.


Tiny niggle aside (who relies on their gels for rehydration strategy anyway?) MuleBar Kick Gels have a great deal to recommend about them. Boxes of 12 are £19, boxes of 24 gels £38 – further details and online purchase at



Science in Sport Launch REGO + Fruitflow® gel

Science in Sport Launch REGO + FruitflowScience in Sport (SiS) have announce the launch of their innovative new SiS REGO + Fruitflow® gel, designed to aid faster recovery and consequently allow athletes to train to a higher level than they were previously able to do. The first of its kind in the UK, SiS REGO + Fruitflow® is an easily-digested recovery gel specially designed to help reduce the muscle inflammation caused by intense exercise by helping to reduce the overstimulation of blood platelets during exercise – which, in turn, helps to contribute towards healthy blood flow. To achieve this the gel employs Fruitflow®, a tomato extract containing naturally occurring tomato compounds which can beneficially interact with blood platelets and counter the coagulation effect of adrenalin and a protein called thrombin which are produced during strenuous exercise.


Commenting on the launch Luke Heeney, New Product Director at SiS, said, ‘Our commitment at SiS to helping athletes perform better through effective, scientifically underpinned nutrition has led us to launch this new recovery gel. We are delighted to be adding it to our successful REGO recovery range…’


Designed to be taken between one-and-half and three ours before exercise, SiS REGO + Fruitflow® comes in banana and mango (combined) flavour, in 60ml sachets and do not require additional water. They are available to buy at an RRP of £2.29 in selected specialist sports stores and online at


Cyclo will bring you a full review soon.


Featured Nutrition Reviews

Bikefood Pure Energy Gels

What sort of food do you need on a bike? The obvious answer, of course, is ‘bike food’ which should make the handily-named and easy-to-remember Bikefood Pure Energy Gels a shoe-in of a choice when it comes to the crunch. But having nabbed the best name and web address ( do they stack up in the areas that really matter?


For those that care about such things (which Cyclo hopes is all of you) these live up to their ‘Pure Energy’ tag; containing no preservatives, artificial sweeteners or thickening gum agents and delivering all of their 117.2kcal per 40g pack via natural sugars; a blend of honey – the primary source – plus agave syrup and carob. The decision to pack them with sugars results, in addition to an incredibly sweet taste that won’t suite all palates, in a relatively high carbohydrate content of 28.8g.


But fear not the idea that sugars alone can result in peaks and troughs of energy (the dreaded ‘sugar crash’); the theory goes that because the sugars here are derived from a variety of sources – as opposed to simply fructose as an example – the energy release is both staged and sustained; something we certainly found in testing. With a dash of lemon oil added to the mix, these undeniably tasted like Lockets which, whilst not unpleasant by any means, made for a slightly nostalgic ride with connotations of missed school days. Also worth noting that this is virtually a carb-only gel; just .05g of protein, nowhere near enough to make any difference to absorption rates.


As suggested already, Bikefood Pure Energy won’t be to everyone’s taste and anyone who struggles to digest other brands’ already sweet gels should probably avoid. But for our part Cyclo enjoyed mixing things up on the ride and using Bikefood in conjunction with other energy sources and gels; the natural and vegetarian (though not vegan) credentials were welcome and the approach to recycling – via where returned wrappers from any manufacturer get you entry into a monthly prize draw – is a fun and useful initiative.


Bikefood Pure Energy Gels takes an unusual and welcome approach to serving up sustained levels on the ride – a product for those who care about what they put into their body and what they don’t drop all over the road. Retailing at £1.45 each or £33.75 for a box of 25. Further details at


Nutrition Reviews

Shot Bloks

Shot Bloks reviewOkay hands up anyone who actually likes the taste of sports gels? Anyone? Anyone? Quite so, and with only the odd exception (we quite like the taste of High5 Berry Flavoured IsoGels) Cyclo agrees. So imagine our delight when we tried out Shot Bloks from the ever-reliable Clif Bar makers, which are available in three pretty palatable flavours – Mountain Berry, Orange and Strawberry. Okay, so we’re not suggesting serving these up as canapés pre-dinner, but they are (particularly the Mountain Berry) jolly good. Quelle surprise!


Taste, of course isn’t everything so how else do Shot Bloks stack up? For a start the thing that sets them apart is that they are a semi-solid chewable source of electrolytes and carbohydrates (50/50 mix of simple and complex) with each pack containing 6 little blocks (bloks?) each delivering approximately 8 grams of carbs meaning that for their weight and pack size they total around double the values of a traditional single gel pack. The other advantage – besides being far less messy than liquid gels – is that, if you so wish, you can simply nibble a little cube every 10 or 15 minutes to drip-feed your bodies needs rather than necking a gut-load every 30minutes to an hour.


As with all Clif products there is nothing artificial in terms of flavours or sweeteners on offer here and they use a combination of natural Carnauba wax and pectin (a fruit extract) rather than gelatine making them suitable for consumption by vegetarians. The wax/pectin has one other slightly surprising advantage: there is a noticeable consistency in texture across a really wide range of temperatures, we’ve even used them in daytime temperatures topping out at 45°c and they’ve still held their own. If you’re looking a little extra boost the Orange flavour also packs in 25mg of caffeine per pack, but we have to say this was our least favourite, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.


RRP around £2 with more information at: