Rebecca Hay is a practising and accredited sports dietitian and joint founder of nutrition advice website, The Athlete's Kitchen.
She currently works with athletes of all ages, from primary school children right up to elite athletes, and across a variety of sports from cycling, athletics, and triathlon, to rowing and soccer.
An avid cyclist, she continues to compete in Masters cycling events. This makes her ideally qualified to put Wiggle's Nutrition range to the test, so we sent her a bundle of nutritional joy to get her thoughts.
Wiggle Nutrition Energy Bar
These Energy Bars taste really good. There are a great variety of flavours - apple, berry and coconut - that are likely to suit most palates. They have a chewy texture making them easy to eat while exercising – not crumbly so you choke, and not too hard that you cannot bite into them.
Each bar contains 45g of carbohydrate. This is on the higher-end for most products on the market. They are also compact in size, making it easy to put a couple in your jersey pocket if you are a cyclist.
One of the more practical advantages with the higher carbohydrate content here is you don’t need to squeeze too many into your pockets or bag, either on long training sessions or when racing.
The list of ingredients indicates they use of a mix of real foods and some additives. The main ingredients are: date paste, concentrated juices, oats and oat flavour and fruit pieces.
I used these bars one box at a time. In hindsight I should have mixed the three boxes I had around to avoid flavour fatigue. I was a little over the first box of Apple bars by the end of it!
Great taste and very easy to eat whilst exercising with a higher carbohydrate content so you don’t have to carry too many whilst training. A good blend of ingredients using a mix of real foods.
Wiggle Nutrition Energy Gel
The Wiggle Nutrition Energy Gels are not too thick or runny in texture. These gels are mid-range for their viscosity and are easy to swallow without being too watery.
Most people have different likes when it comes to thickness and flavour of gels, so testing these out is a good idea. There are loads of flavours and they do come with or without caffeine, although the choice of flavours containing caffeine is smaller.
Each caffeinated gel contains 30mg of caffeine. This is not particularly high, but for most athletes using one of these gels will still give a performance boost. The suggested level of caffeine intake to provide a performance boost is in the range of 1 to 3mg of caffeine per kg of body weight. This would be one shot of espresso coffee for smaller athletes and perhaps a double for larger athletes.
The gels follow suit with the multiple carbohydrate sources you’ll find in the Energy Drink mix and in total contains 22g of carbohydrate. Typically, gels contain somewhere between 22 – 30g of carbohydrate per gel. These gels can be combined confidently with the energy drink and energy bars, and up to 90g of carbohydrate could be consumed each hour using these Wiggle products.
Not every athlete needs this amount of energy and I would only suggest they consume this amount if they are competing in an event of 2 ½ hours or above and had practiced this routine ahead of their chosen event. This level of fuelling should be discussed with an Accredited Sports Dietitian.
Taste and flavour
Loads of options with flavour, so there should be something for all tastes. I tried the mocha (with caffeine) and the peaches & cream, which were both agreeable. I didn’t love the flavour but I am not really a big lover of energy gels!
Mid-range viscosity makes these very easy to swallow whilst exercising, with multiple carbohydrate sources for optimal gut absorption. Huge variety of flavours to choose from to suit all palates.