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Born Super Liquid Gel review

Verdict:

Fuel for running and cycling that's easy to consume but hints at problems if you sink too many in one ride

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
12 for €24.95 (advisory sales price)
For 
• Easy to consume without water • Tasty flavour
Against 
• Hints of the trouble you can get into if you eat too many in one training session

Energy gels and how they work are subjects investigated by Cyclist before. The science is clear on how these products work in delivering energy to weary limbs, but what can't be predicted with as much accuracy is just how each of us might react to any given product on any given day.

The Born Super Liquid Gel is a tasty, easy to consume product but as with any gel I would suggest using it in a supplementary or back-up capacity on longer rides, rather than the key source of energy to cover the entirety of something like a 100 mile route.

Each to their own of course and some people will gladly consume the maximum recommended of 15 gels in one day, but for me and others one or two during the latter stages of a ride should be plenty.

Good for cycling... 

I received my first batch of these gels on a Ridley-Belgian Cycling Factory trip to Liege-Bastogne-Liege back in the spring. Bike brand Ridley regularly brings together cycling journalists from across Europe and further afield to learn about new products from a range of brands including Born, GripGrab and Cycliq.

In attendance was Born's Roy Slangen who presented the properties of his brand's products and encouraged those of us assembled to try them out during the Liege sportive.

With temperatures in the mid- to high-20s, hydration and fuelling were even more important than usual as we took on the medium 145km route.

The Born Super Liquid Gel was good for the ride but one or two was enough, along with plenty of water and real food, which I'll discuss further below.

Since then, I haven't headed out on a ride without one or two of these gels in my jersey pocket. Good for the latter part of a ride when energy is depleted and home seems like a significant distance away, like any gel the Born products can give you enough of a boost to get back before getting too light headed or wobbling dangerously on the bike.

...and running too

As well as use when cycling, these gels have become a favoured choice before parkrun or a longer training run (apologies to any 'purists' and 'proper cyclists' who think people who cycle should only cycle and not partake in any other physical activity).

Taken last thing before setting off, they've helped keep energy levels up into the closing stages of a run - or at least that has been my perception.

As with the new craze of carb rinsing - swilling carbohydrate drink around in your mouth and then spitting it out, tricking the body into thinking it's received fuel and so works harder on less energy (or something like that) - this perception of topped up energy levels could just be my imagination, but I'd rather that than jelly legs in sight of a finish line.

The outer packaging proudly states that the Born Super Liquid Gels are 'easy to drink; no water needed', which is certainly true when cycling but even so a sip of water is welcome before setting off on foot, but that's likely to be personal preference rather than necessity.

Ride like Tom, but don't 'do a Dumoulin'

Born is the nutrition partner of Team Sunweb, the home of star rider Tom Dumoulin. After winning one Grand Tour, coming second in two more (consecutively, too) and with many time trial wins, including a rainbow jersey, Dumoulin's riding should be all we talk about.

But then, some people may be more familiar with the Dutchman for his roadside sit down on Stage 16 of the 2017 Giro d'Italia, a race he won overall regardless.

He'd made a similar impromptu stop in a fans' camper van at a previous Tour de France.

One theory is that the lad just loves his food (which you'd be hard pushed to believe looking at his ribs and cheekbones at the recent World Championships) and as such does not follow his nutrition strategy carefully enough, and so gets himself in these situations.

Whatever the actual cause of his woes, I could see how such a situation might come about after too many Super Liquid Gels.

I am pleased to report that things didn't get as serious for me as they did for Tom, but any more than probably two of these gels in an hour or even a whole ride and there were some rumbles of discontent.

I took the warning and I now stick to one per ride or run, as I would with other nutrition brands too, which leaves me fuelled and trouble free.

I'd be fine with two or three over a ride of 130km or more, but would err well below Born's own recommended dosages.

'One to three Super Liquid Gels per hour during active exercise,' says Born's product information, while it says the upper maximum is 'up to 15 Super Liqud Gels per day.'

I had to read that two or three times before transcribing it in this review.

Perhaps if I was riding the latter stages of the Transcontinental and the finish line was within one big day of riding I might smash 15 of these runny sugar boosters, but on any normal weekend ride this would be a wild level of stomach-troubling consumption.

Conclusion

A tasty and easy to consume product, the Born Super Liquid Gel is a good product but comes with the usual warning of over-consumption that should be kept in mind when consuming energy products from any brand.

This is in no way should be taken as a warning away from Born's range of nutrition, simply a heads-up that problems found with any other energy gel can be present here, too.

Fuelling with real food should always be the first choice but sinking one of these from Born could be the difference between sticking with the bunch or being dropped on a local climb.

Born Super Liquid Gel: Key information

• Ready to drink fluid energy gel with no water needed
• Each gel contains 21.5 grams of mixed carbs to ensure an efficient usage of the body’s energy sources
• Contains sodium to optimise hydration
• Use: During exercise
• Gelm size: 55ml
• Glucose:fructose ratio 2:1
• Fast absorption in the blood
• Completely fluid
• Easy to drink, no water needed
• Easy on the stomach
• Mix of fast and slow carbs
• Glutenfree
• High caffeine content
• High caffeine content: 54 mg per 100ml
• Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast feeding women

The brand's recommended intake

• One to three Born Super Liquid Gels per hour during active exercise
• A maximum of 15 per day

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