There can be much to love or loathe about an energy gel and, taste aside, sometimes the devil can be in the detail. Whilst starting a review about an energy gel with details of how easy one is to open might be like Jeremy Clarkson kicking off a Veyron feature by waxing lyrical about the bonnet clip, we really do love how easy the MuleBar Kick Gels are to get into…
Opening a gel one-handed on the run can be a fiddly affair and the resorting to the teeth-n-tear method seldom ends well, but the angled rip top on the 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 MuleBar Kick Gels didn’t perform in the energy department, but they stack up here fantastically. Values differ very slightly between flavours – Apple Strudlel, Lemon Zinger, Café Cortado and, RunningMonkey’s 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 suggests, 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 teeth or the practicality of cans on the run.) The Café Cortado also throws in natural guarana extract which, combined with the caffeine, delivers a noticeable kick to the Kick Gel.
To partially counter body-salt loss from sweating on the run all four varieties of MuleBar Kick Gels include 100mg of sodium derived from Himalayan crystal salts – it would arguably have been good to have included some potassium and a couple of other ‘body salts’ too but then these are not intended to be the complete solution to hydration needs. The viscosity of the gels is well judged but a tiny swig of water certainly helps things go down.
Boxes of 12 MuleBar Kick Gels are £19, boxes of 24 gels £38 – the mixed boxes, either 12 or 24 at the same price, are an excellent way of mixing things up. Further details and online purchase at mulebar.com