|Rating:||8.6 / 10|
|Value for Money||2.0 / 2.5|
|Taste||2.0 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.4 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.2 / 2.5|
While energy gels are more often used in endurance sports like running and cycling, my reason for reviewing this type of product on a hiking website is that I’m in the process of planning a long distance thru hike with consecutive days of big distances. From monitoring myself over the past few years on how my body reacts to big days on the trail, there are days where I easily burn around 8000+ calories. I have found on these big days that sometimes I just need an energy boost and products such as these come in handy.
For those of you that have never tried energy gels before the best way to describe them is as a soft jelly like cordial. You definitely need a sweet tooth here and with some of the varieties a love of caffeine as well.
Clif recommends that you take one of these gels around 15 minutes before activity and then 1-2/hour thereafter. While this recommendation probably works well if you are racing on foot or by bike where it’s a bit hard to eat a proper meal I’m not about take take 11-20 of these a day for a big day out hiking. Where I do see these products being useful for is those times when you start to have a bit of a slump energy wise and just need a quick boost. The gels and Shotblocks will do just that and ideally while you would want to back that up with something more substantial there really isn’t to much else available that will provide you with as quick an energy hit.
I usually get up at 4:30am each morning and have done for over 20 years, and as a result I tend to hit a wall in the afternoon at work and will usually go for something like chocolate but I tried these as an alternative.
Between the different flavours I found that they all did indeed give me an energy boost, some more than others, and I certainly had those that I preferred taste wise which is what will dictate which ones I am likely to use again in future.
I found that when I tried the Clif Shot Bloks or th GU Energy Chews it was too easy to eat the whole packet as they really look, and to a great extent taste, like giant lollies. For me the gels are one of those products that I will treat as an ‘as required’ product and not eat them just because they are there.
So how did the testing go?
In consuming this product over a period of days I also didn’t find any adverse digestive responses which is something I wanted to confirm before committing these to a hike. Having said that this should be something you test out and see what your response would be. Listen to podcast episode 057 Nutrition on the trail for additional information on supplements and hiking.
Would I use this product? Not as part of my normal hiking but on those days when I’m trying to cover big distances, over long hours I will definitely include them as part of my nutritional intake.
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$2.99 AUD RRP /packet
Clif also do Clif Shot Bloks Energy Chews which also provide an energy boost
Cliff Shot Energy gels
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker