I have used various High 5 products on and off for several years and have mostly found them to be fairly good. Following an approach by ProBikeHut I am giving the High 5 energy gels a good road test and in my review below reflect on their usefulness for cyclists and runners alike.
High 5 produce a comprehensive range of sports nutrition products including energy, hydration, recovery and these come in various options (trial packs, singles, bulk packs etc). The range is pretty comprehensive in my view and is suitable for quite a wide range of sports, not just running and cycling. The High 5 range claims to be suitable for "beginner to pro" and I reckon they're spot on with this.
My first experience with energy gels was in training for my first half marathon, some years ago. The advice given by those "in the know" was always to try out these things in training ahead of a race: the last thing you want to do is use something new the day before a race and find it doesn't agree with you, worse still in the race itself. Happily I have never had any bad reactions myself.
The energy gels come in a 40g (32ml) sachet and has a squishy feel to it. The top is secure so it won't leak and yet very easy to rip open while you're on the go. Once open simply stick it in your mouth and squeeze the energy gel. These are not particularly sticky, perhaps just a little, as it is almost inevitable you'll get some on your hand if running and taking these gels in at the same time.
They are caffeine free (which is a must for me now) and each contains 23g of carbohydrates. The recommended dose if one every 20 minutes and this should be sufficient for anyone taking part in an endurance sport.
High 5 say these energy gels do not contain any ingredients with gluten. There are no artificial sweeteners and the sweetness is from real fruit juices.
How I get on with these
Now I am used to these energy gels, I quite like to use them from time to time. Normally I don't bother if it's just a shortish run of less than one hour. I do find that when I'm running or cycling for 90 minutes I am starting to run a little dry so these energy gels come into their own then. The beauty of these, of course, is that they're so easy to carry in a pocket or in one of the specially designed race belts where runners often have 6 - 10 gels ready for use.
As you can see from the above photo, I keep a supply of these in my car! This is one of those cup holders in my Honda's dashboard. Most people use these for drinks. Some use these for sunglasses, hairbrushes and the like. Me? Energy gels! This is so I am stocked up for an after-work-stress-busting-run and it's always nice to know they are there.
Sometimes the effect of these is subtle, other times I know I'm getting a real energy boost, almost as if someone has flicked a switch or pressed the turbo button. It seems to take a good 15 to 20 minutes before these take effect, so it's worth bearing this in mind. Being a gel, they are very easy to digest and I never feel as if I am full in any way. When I did my last Marathon, I settled on about 2 each hour as a good balance but it's good to know I could take more if I needed to.
There's a number of different flavours and the samples I received were lemon. The taste isn't strong at all, quite subtle and fairly pleasant; there's nothing to dislike.
These are great for using on-the-go in cycle or running events. I don't tend to use them if I'm running or cycling for under 90 minutes; after this point they are useful for an easily digestable boost of energy.
Thanks to Adam Lowe of ProBikeHut for asking me to review these. A pleasure.
Click for the ProBikeHut webpage.