I recently had the opportunity to review some different GU Energy Gels. Peanut Butter is their newest flavor, along with the seasonal Peppermint-Stick and the Roctane Gel Tropical Nectars. This review will cover the first two, with a follow up on the Tropical Nectars.
Product Information from the GU Website: (click on either picture for full nutritional information label)
Both GU Energy Gel and our new Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel pack 100 calories into every
packet. 100 calories is an ideal serving size to suck down 15 minutes before training or racing in order to top off your electrolyte and glucose stores, followed by one every 30-45 minutes along the way, washed down with a few sips of fluid.
For optimum results, always drink at least 24-30 ounces of fluid per hour during training and racing. Exact GU intake depends on the intensity of your pursuit and your body weight and fitness level. The fitter you are and the more efficient your metabolism, the more GU you can eat each hour, up to approximately 340 calories every 60 minutes.
So it’s 20 degrees outside today and I thought, I’ll be wimpy and head downstairs for a workout on the indoor rowing machine. Instead of a ride outside I’ll try to get under 2:00 pace for an hour or so. I began thinking of some type of energy to take quickly during the row and it just so happens that the new flavors of Gu arrived the day before. I’m stoked, perfect timing. Gu sent three new flavors, Peanut Butter, Peppermint stick and of course a Island Nectars to remind us here in Maine of the three summer months we have.
I down a Peanut Butter GU a few minutes before the ride. I take in some water and think ‘hey, that is not bad’. Close to the flavor, a bit less viscosity and a bit sweeter than peanut butter but not bad, actually tasty. I read some reports about it tasting a bit closer to peanut brittle. Perhaps, but close enough that I found myself wanting to lick the flavor from the roof of my mouth. Time to row.
About 45 minutes in, while watching some old tapes of the Tour de France, I had another one. As the directions say, make sure you drink some water with it. This non-caffeinated high carb peanut butter GU was great. I like it. I’m from a family that always has a couple of jars of PB around, it was pretty good.
I have never found GU to upset my stomach or create any digestive problems. And yes it does exactly as it’s advertised – it gives you about 100 calories of quick energy in a high carb gel with some minerals. Enough to get you thru a tough workout. I finished the 21k row in about 83 minutes. Not bad for a 50 year old. I did not bonk and was looking for the jelly when I went back upstairs.
On a side note, I went out for a ride a few days later with both the peppermint stick and peanut butter flavors. With the cold temperatures, the peanut butter GU had the consistency of real peanut butter but was much harder to get out of the package, but tasty nonetheless. You really need to use your teeth to pull the Gu out in cold temperatures.
If you close your eyes and someone puts the peppermint stick Gu in your mouth, you might think they melted a candy cane. Full of flavor this non caffeinated GU also is a great alternative flavor for those looking to expand their palettes from some the standard flavors. Both are great flavors and close enough to the real thing that in the middle of a tough workout you will be thinking you were eating the real thing.
Next up, the island nectars caffeinated GU. I’ll wait for the next 20 degree day.