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Torq Naked Flavourless Energy Gel x 15

7
£32.25

VERDICT:

7
10
Smooth consistency and ideal for those without a sweet tooth
Very palatable
Gentle on the stomach
Weight: 
45g

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This Torq Naked Flavourless Energy Gel is palatable, easy to consume and sits well on the stomach. It's one of number of 'flavours' (if flavourless can be a flavour...) that Torq offers in its large line-up of staples for getting carbohydrates and other key ingredients into your body while exercising.

If you are looking at gels, I'm guessing you are riding to a level where you need extra fuelling on the bike, and that basically means carbohydrates.

The Torq gel packs a punch of 30g of multiple transportable carbs (basically different types of single carbohydrates – here it's 2:1 maltodextrin/fructose) per 45g sachet/pouch, which it describes as 1 Torq Unit. These relate to Torq's entire fuelling product options which it says have been designed to all work together to deliver the two to three 'units' required per hour, whether that's gels, drinks, chews or bars.

> How to conquer long bike rides without getting too tired

You can see the ingredients list in the report section below.

The main criteria for me when using nutrition is how well it sits on the stomach and how palatable it is when actually swallowing it.

Basically, I haven't really got much of a sweet tooth, so sticky, sickly gels can make me feel nauseous, and the fact that I struggle to eat or drink on the bike full stop means I have to force myself to consume something either savoury or very bland.

That's probably why I've got on so well with this Naked Flavourless option, which lives up to the name. The texture isn't too thick either; with some gels you need to wash them down with a drink, but that wasn't the case here. I could easily swallow it while riding, and the shape of the tube allows you to squeeze all of the contents out of it one-handed. The pouch is also easy to open using your teeth if needs be.

> How to eat right for sportives and long rides

In terms of gains, it's a bit hard to say outside of a laboratory, but I generally know how many miles I can do and at what intensity before things go a bit pear-shaped. If I did push too far and started to bonk or feel my energy levels start to ebb away, about 10 minutes after necking one of these I could feel myself come back to life. Or if I stuck to a bit of a regime I could comfortably ride further and faster than I normally would without eating anything.

I'm basically saying that these worked well, and the fact that they taste good meant I was happy to keep using them every half hour or so on very long rides.

One thing worth bearing in mind is that these Naked versions don't contain electrolytes, so they can keep that neutral flavour. Other flavours do, though, and there are plenty to choose from, including Cherry Bakewell, Lemon Drizzle, Strawberry Yoghurt, Black Cherry Yoghurt, Orange and Banana, Apple Crumble, Raspberry Ripple, Rhubarb and Custard, Forest Fruits, Banoffee, Caramel Latte and Cola Caffeine. Those last four include guarana.

Value

The Torq Energy Gels cost £32.25 for a box of 15 pouches, and this can be made up of a single flavour or a range. Torq is showing discounts of 10, 15 and 20% off on one, two or three boxes respectively. So, without discount that's £2.15 per gel, and 4.7p per gram.

The Rawvelo gels that Suvi reviewed last year worked out around the same price, £2 a pop, and though 50g each they only contain 20g of carbs, and Suvi did find the three flavours very sweet.

Science in Sport's Beta Fuel gels come in a 60g pouch with 40g of carbohydrates, and work out at roughly the same as the Torqs, £2.33 a sachet. But you are getting a bit more in each one, so it's slightly cheaper at 3.8p per gram.

Conclusion

Overall, these do the job they are designed to do, in my eyes, and at a similar price to its competitors. The key thing for me is just how palatable this, erm, flavourless flavour is, so if you aren't one for sweet nutrition, I would definitely recommend these Naked gels.

Verdict

Smooth consistency and ideal for those without a sweet tooth

road.cc test report

Make and model: Torq Naked Flavourless Energy Gel x 15

Size tested: 45g x 15 sachets

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Torq says, "This product has been carefully formulated to deliver TORQ's unique blend of multiple-transportable carbohydrates and electrolytes to the working muscles extremely quickly and efficiently using research-proven 2:1 Maltodextrin:Fructose technology."

I found them easy to consume with no side effects.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Torq lists this nutritional information:

Ingredients: Maltodextrin (Glucose Polymers) (43%), Water, Fructose (22%), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Acid (Citric Acid).

per 100g per 45g serve

Energy (kJ) 1079 486

Energy (kcal) 254 114

Fat (g) 0 0

of which saturates (g) 0 0

Carbohydrate (g) 64 29

of which sugars (g) 25 11

Fibre (g) 0 0

Protein (g) 0 0

Salt (g) 0 0

Sodium (mg) n/a n/a

Chloride (mg) n/a n/a

Potassium (mg) n/a n/a

Calcium (mg) n/a n/a

Magnesium (mg) n/a n/a

Allergy Information: No allergens.

No Colours // No Artificial Sweeteners // No Flavouring // Wheat-Free // Dairy-Free // Suitable for Vegans

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Pouch is easy to open while riding and well shaped for squeezing all the contents out one-handed.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

A palatable gel that you can eat over the course of a long ride without side effects.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy on the stomach.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

On the whole they are similarly priced to a lot of the products we have reviewed recently. You do get 25% more in the SIS option mentioned in the review for the same price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A good all-round gel in terms of performance, taste and consistency.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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6 comments

Avatar
jaymack | 1 month ago
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Alternatively you could eat some real food. Homemade energy bars and gels are a cinch to make, you get complete control over the ingredients and they're far less expensive. There's loads of ideas on the Internet and GCN's cyclists cookbook is an excellent resource. And before anyone says that they don't have time, if you've got time to train you've got time to prepare and eat proper food.

Avatar
Capt Sisko | 1 month ago
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Another reason for me liking Torq gels is they don't contain artificial sweeteners, and in particular Sorbitol or its variants. Too much Sorbitol will have you running for the toilet like nothing else if you're susceptible to its side effects!

Avatar
mctrials23 replied to Capt Sisko | 1 month ago
0 likes

Genuine question...why would energy gels contain artificial sweetners. They are almost entirely sugar. 

Avatar
mark1a replied to mctrials23 | 1 month ago
0 likes
mctrials23 wrote:

Genuine question...why would energy gels contain artificial sweetners. They are almost entirely sugar. 

No they are not, they are mostly maltodextrin, which doesn't really taste of anything. 

Avatar
mike the bike replied to mark1a | 1 month ago
0 likes
mark1a wrote:

 No they are not, they are mostly maltodextrin, which doesn't really taste of anything.  

Then why do they always remind me of stale and slightly mildewed honey?  

Avatar
mark1a replied to mike the bike | 1 month ago
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mike the bike wrote:

Then why do they always remind me of stale and slightly mildewed honey?  

That would most likely be (depending on brand) the flavourings, preservatives and antioxidants also added by the manufacturer. 

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