Kendal NRG Gel

Kendal NRG Gel, a new mint flavoured gel with a 100 year old history

Kendal NRG Gel is a new development of an old product, the Kendal Mint Cake. If you’re a British person of a certain vintage, you probably remember the Kendal Mint Cake. They’d be fished out midway through long family walks to revitalise tired kids.

Kendal NRG Gel is available in individual sachets or bulk packs
Kendal NRG Gel is available in individual sachets or bulk packs

However the humble Kendal Mint Cake also had its adventurous side. Whether climbing Everest with Chris Bonington or trekking across Antarctica with Shackleton, that minty wonder was fuelling explorers and athletes. It came as solid white cakes of sugary energy that were perfect while trudging along muddy country lanes.

Now however the Kendal Mint Cake has been updated! You can now enjoy that minty Kendal freshness in gel form. The original KMC was made from three simple ingredients; sugar, glucose syrup and peppermint oil. The new KMC NRG GEL contains 27g of Dual-Charge Carbohydrate, four key electrolytes and B Vitamins (B3, B5, B6 & B12). KMC’s Dual-Charge Carbohydrate is a 2:1 mix of Maltodextrin and Fructose, which maximises carbohydrate absorption.

Kendal Mint Cake is still made the traditional way

Kendal NRG Gel comes in 70g sachets, each of which contains 27g of carbohydrate. Flavours available are citrus and mint, chocolate mint, mint caffeine, citrus and mint caffeine, and raspberry and mint. As you can see there’s a taste theme going on here.

What does it taste like?

While I did love munching on a Kendal Mint Cake back as a grumpy child, what would it be like as an energy gel? Well I tried the citrus and mint and was pleasantly surprised. The taste was not too strong, but has a definite peppermint flavour that isn’t overpowering. I used it on long training rides and two gravel races, the Gravel Fondo Limburg and the Gralloch. During the races found I was consuming seven sachets worth of gels without it becoming sickly. KMC say this is down to the fact that peppermint is an aid to digestion, so maybe that warded off any gel bleurgh? The gel’s consistency is more liquid than many, which makes it very easy to swallow mid-ride.

Refillable soft gel flask

I used the Kendal NRG Gel in one of their re-useable soft flasks, which makes life so much easier. You order the gel in a large 700g pouch, which you pour into the soft flask. The 150ml flask will hold two servings of gel, so that’s 54g of carbohydrate. Using the flask is so much easier and cleaner than the usual sachets. No more, cursing as you try to rip a sachet open, only to have it spill its contents onto your face and hands. Alternatively, despite your best efforts, it refuses to open and you’re left with an un-openable sachet.

The soft flask is a much better way to carry and consume your Kendal NRG Gel
The soft flask is a much better way to carry and consume your Kendal NRG Gel

I also found that the soft-bite valve made it really easy to get all the gel out. This is helped by the fact that it has a runny consistency that flows easily. I did try a thicker gel, but had to water it down. Cleaning the flask is easy, I just rinsed the main body with warm water. Once that was clean, I put the top back on and flushed the valve with more water.

Bulk packs are the way to go, they're cheaper and reduce your waste
Bulk packs are the way to go, they’re cheaper and reduce your waste

The flask’s body is made from durable, abrasion resistant TPU with RF welded seams. It’s 100% BPA and PVC free, with a wide working temperature range; it can be frozen, with a max temp of 60° C.

Race testing!

To show how much cleaner the flask is, here’s what happened on the GFL. All through the race I used the soft flask, with no mess or fuss. On the last feed-zone however I was handed a sachet. Straight away I lost speed trying to open the sachet on the rutted path. Then when I finally managed to get it open some of the contents managed to find their way onto my hands; how? This left me with nasty, sticky gel residue which ended up on my bars, glasses and smeared down my shorts; 2-0 to the soft flask.

KMC also have a their own branded Squeeasy Dual-Fuel drinks bottle, which you can use. These bottles have a flask built into them, which you can switch between. I’ve used the bottle regularly and found it saved a bit of space in my pockets and was simple to use; shame I forgot it at the Gralloch!

The Kendal Squeeasy bottle is a handy way to carry your Kendal NRG Gel
The Kendal Squeeasy bottle is a handy way to carry your Kendal NRG Gel

So there you go, the Kendal NRG Gel, I recommend it. Obviously we all respond to taste and ingredients differently, but using a soft pouch and bulk-bags for your gels is just so much better. You save money, there’s less waste and packaging and you won’t drop any litter.

You may also like...