The CNP Hydro Gel is a pleasant gel that has a nice taste, is easy on the stomach, and delivers a more sustained energy boost than most of its competitors. Out only real concern was the seriously high price.
More sustained energy boost than most gels
Easy on the stomach
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A natural energy gel (although not organic), as gels go the CNP Hydro gel is fairly liquidy. The reason for this is that the Hydro Gel has been developed to deliver electrolytes from coconut water as well as energy from fruit juice.
The CNP Hydro Gel is available in two flavours: pineapple, and passion fruit, which we tested (CNP also produce a Hydro Gel Max in blackcurrant which contains caffeine). With coconut water as the main ingredient, the taste is much lighter than we’ve come to expect from most energy gels, and is certainly easy to stomach even at the end of a long ride.
One 60g gel delivers 22.9g of carbohydrate, a similar amount to competitors such as the SiS Go Gel, if not a huge amount for such a large gel, but with only 1.6g of this being delivered via sugars, the energy boost will be more sustained rather than a sudden hit. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on the situation.
Our main concern with the CNP Hydro Gel was its bulk and volume (for comparison the Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel is roughly half that weight). Although this means a milder flavour that is easier to stomach, it also means it will take up more room in your jersey pocket, and cannot be swallowed in one go, something that’s important in the cut-and-thrust of a peloton nearing the end of the a race.
Other than that, the main thing to consider is the price. At almost fifty quid for a box of 24, this is a significant outlay, especially compared to the likes of the £1-per-gel High5 Energy Gel, and this is possibly a price to pay for the Team Sky connection.
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.