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British Cycling and Healthspan Elite: how we created the best energy gels for cyclists

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How Healthspan Elite and British Cycling teamed up to make the best energy gels for cyclists, and the story of their partnership.

Nutrition and sport have long been interlinked, which is why sports nutrition company Healthspan Elite works with many top sports teams and associations across a variety of disciplines.

These partnerships help bring expert advice from both partners to a wide audience, as well as letting them combine their expertise to create the highest-quality products.

Read on to find out how Healthspan Elite and British Cycling worked together to create the best energy gels for cyclists.

The History of British Cycling and Healthspan Elite

Healthspan Elite has been supplementing the health and performance needs of the Great Britain Cycling Team since 2016, providing them with products such as caffeine gum, collagen and multivitamins: products formulated by experts using Healthspan's 25 years+ of nutrition experience, and batch-tested and Informed Sport-approved to be safe for competing athletes.

At the beginning of 2021 the partnership became official: Healthspan Elite was designated the Official Sports Nutrition Partner to British Cycling, meaning British Cycling's riders rely on Healthspan Elite for all their sports nutrition needs.

What does British Cycling's nutritionist Georgina Impson Davey think of Healthspan Elite's energy gels, and how can they help elite athletes?

Development of the Energy Gels range

Energy gels are a concentrated and convenient source of carbohydrate energy. They are particularly useful for cyclists to help them get over a hunger flat or 'bonk', where blood glucose levels drop too low for them to pedal effectively. An energy gel can be taken without water when riding, and provides a 25g hit of carbs in a 2:1 maltodextrose:fructose ratio. For more information, check out Former British Cycling Nutritionist Nigel Mitchell's deep dive into Energy Gels.

After announcing their partnership, Healthspan Elite began working with British Cycling to create a range of Energy Gels for the athletes to use in training and competition. The British Cycling team taste-tested the gels before launch, as making sure the gels tasted great was a priority for the partners.

Georgina Impson Davey, British Cycling Nutritionist, has this to say about the gels: "We were really pleased with the Healthspan Elite Energy Gels and happy to be a part of the development process. The mixed carbohydrate ratio that they include is great, because it allows for more absorption during longer rides and races. The taste and palatability of the gels has been exceptional, and we've had some really great rider feedback."

Milly Tanner, GB Track Cyclist, adds: "The energy gels I think really do give you that edge and allow you just to feel ready… in my position in the team sprint I need to be on my game, I need to be reactive, alert, ready to go."

The Great Britain Cycling Team talks to Healthspan Elite about how they use Elite Energy Gels during training and competition, if they like the taste and how the gels help their performance.

How do the gels differ from the competition?

Healthspan Elite uses natural pectin in the energy gels for easier digestion and a more fluid, light consistency, meaning you can easily consume the gels without water when in the saddle. They contain added electrolytes (sodium, potassium and calcium) to replace those lost during exercise.

With a focus on clean and natural energy, these gels use natural fruit flavours and have no unnecessary ingredients, no added sugar, and no artificial flavours and sweeteners.

Elite Energy Gel Mixed Pack

Elite Energy Gel - Mixed Pack

Carb and electrolyte boost developed with British Cycling

  • Delivers fast-acting energy
  • 25g fast-acting carbs and 3 electrolytes
  • Apple & Blackcurrant, Citrus Fruit, Espresso (with Caffeine) and Passion Fruit
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