For the past few months I have been adjusting things in my running routine to see what combination gives me the best results. Part of this experimentation has been how I fuel when running. I have been a pretty loyal Powerbar gel client, but had always been interested in how I reacted to the GU products. The good people at GU sent some samples for me to review and I have given them a real life testing during the past month of 20k training.
GU Chomps: I don’t know about you but I have become absolutely sick of gels. During my marathon training last year I almost puked every time I had to take one down- so I was excited to try these Chomps. They are a fantastic alternative to gels, but not a replacement in my opinion. One serving is four Chomps and you get the same benefits as sucking down a gel. I say alternative because I will likely not take them again during a race. For me, personally, it was difficult during a race to chew on these little guys while going through a running station trying to get some water. I was too worried about choking on them or getting them unstuck from my teeth. There are four flavors, my favorites being orange and blueberry pomegranate. They were almost candy-like and it was, as I said above, a great alternative to the gel. These little guys are loaded with vitamins C/E and also have the lowest sugar amounts of any competitors. I will absolutely use them again during training runs when I can stop, stretch and chew on these little pieces of energy.
GU Electrolyte Brew: I was very impressed with this powder. You simply add the packet to your water bottle, shake it up and you have a powerful friend. I used this when I was either working out in the gym or running on the treadmill. Last weekend during my 10 mile run I went with a fuel belt and topped off with this brew. The combination of sodium, potassium and carbohydrates is the hallmark of this drink. What I like the most about this was that you didn’t have a sugar rush, with only 13 grams you don’t feel like you are drinking liquid candy. My favorite flavors were the blueberry pomegranate and lemon lime. I will continue to use this brew as a replacement to pre-made sports drinks. I will also use it as part of my hangover remedy.
GU Energy Gel: Well, I have to say that these gels really surprised me. My least favorite thing about Powerbar is that they are heavy and bulky especially when trying to run with a bunch of them. With that being said, easily my favorite thing about the GU gels were that they are lighter and smaller, allowing me to run more comfortably with a few of them in my shorts. These weighed in at 32 grams as opposed to 41 grams from my Powerbar gels. This is one little thing that is enough to convert me. Again the GU product had lower sugars, half than what I get with Powerbar, which I think is a huge advantage. The addition of vitamin C/E and amino acids puts the GU way ahead of the others out there. As for my puking problem, I noticed that since I had rotated Chomps into my work out it made taking the gels much easier and tolerable. The flavors were good, I usually stick with the fruity flavors rather than the chocolate, mint and espresso.
So, there you have it. GU is making quality products with multiple flavors so you don’t get sick of them. They also have products that contain less sugar and combines antioxidants to its recipe, both of which are important to me. Adding all three or one of these quality products to your workout will help fuel you through your most rigorous workouts.