The Bike List

CNP Hydro Gels Box of 24 £48.00

Tested by Nik Cook, tester for The Bike List

Like the Race Drink, CNP Hydro Gels have been developed in conjunction with British Cycling and Team Sky nutritionist Nigel Mitchell to address a specific performance issue. During a course of a race, they found that riders could handle 2-4 regular gels but, in planning for the Olympic Road Race, reckoned that the riders would need in excess of 10 gels each. So, they needed to try something different. They came up with the idea of using natural fruit juice with added maltodextrin. They provided them to the riders in zip-tie bags, they worked, the feedback was excellent , and so with CNP, they developed the idea into this commercial product.

Although the 2012 Road Race didn't quite go to plan, I can definitely report that these gels have. With coconut water and pineapple juice, it's more like taking a drink than a gel, they go down easily and, even on hot days, you don't feel the instant need to down loads of water with them. In fact, amazingly, you actually want to leave the taste to linger a little while in your mouth.

The downside of the increased liquid content compared to some other gels is that the package size is a little larger but this is marginal and, delivering 22.6 g of time released carbohydrates per serving, the amount of energy per gel is good.

They're certainly easier on your stomach. After long gel heavy rides I'll regular suffer from what my wife refers to as "gel guts", the main symptom of which is a prodigious amount of wind. Thankfully, for her, with the CNP Hydro Gels this unfortunate training side affect was considerably reduced.

On the bike, they're pleasant to take and on hard 3-hour tempo rides where I'd take 2 per hour with Race Drink, I suffered no gastric distress at all.

For the final hour of a long ride or a pre race boost there's also a Hydro Gel Max with natural caffeine (gurana) available for £52.80 (Box of 24). I've been using these mainly before time trials and track races and, although the caffeine hit isn't as big as some other caffeinated gels, they're super palatable, easy on the stomach and definitely give your legs a bit of a lift.

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At a glance

Verdict A gel you actually look forward to taking.

CNP says:

Product details:

CNP Hydro Gel is a groundbreaking gel developed with Team Sky and British Cycling to provide easy to use energy for athletes who struggle to consume traditional gels. Containing natural energy sources from pineapple juice and delivering natural electrolytes from coconut water, this great tasting product is already a favourite in the peloton. CNP Hydro Gel will help boost your carbohydrate and energy levels to help you achieve your goals either on race day or during training.


  • Concentrated fruit juice gel with coconut water
  • Extra hydration
  • Naturally high in electrolytes
  • Time released energy
  • Gentle on the stomach
  • Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans
  • Additional vitamin and electrolyte mineral mix
  • No allergens
  • 65g serving
  • 22g of carbs

Supplier: CNP Professional Limited, +44(0)161-368 3850 ,