When running long distance, it is extremely important to fuel the body so that it doesn’t run out of gas. Some runners opt for sports drinks, a banana, pretzels or even candy, others are fans of gels. And while there are a few popular gel makers on the market, GU Energy Gels are fan favorites.
Gels serve as a form of nutrition for athletes who are performing for extended periods of time. When running, the body uses glycogen (large chains of carbohydrates that is a form of energy). And while it can use fat sources, glycogen is its preferred fuel to burn. Gels are gooey substances that come in small packets that are easy to carry in a pocket or belt when running.
Gels include carbohydrates and amino acids that are needed for energy so that the body doesn’t essentially shut down. It’s almost liquid form allows the carbs to be quickly absorbed. It is first absorbed as glucose, or sugar, in the bloodstream until the energy source is delivered to the muscles. It’s recommended to ingest a gel every 45-60 minutes of running.
GU has been making energy gels for over 20 years. This means it is a brand runners can trust because of its high-quality product.
What sets these gels apart from its competition is that fact that it serves as a dual trounce of energy since it contains maltodextrin and fructose that absorption efficiently in the body and provide lasting energy, as well as amino acids that decrease muscle damage.
Some options include caffeine for that extra energy boost and an increase of focus.
GU gels are generally 100 calories with about 21 g of carbs and 340mg of amino acids.
GU is known for its delicious tasting gels. The company makes so many different flavors of gels so that there is a go-to option for every palate. In fact, many find a few favorites.
With so many different flavors available, it can be hard to narrow down buying options. Keep in mind that gels don’t agree with every runner’s stomach, so make sure to try it first before race day.
Whether you are new to the world of running nutrition or are in need of a new flavor worthy buying, the following list makes navigating through the options easier.
Here are the 5 Best GU gels for running.
What it tastes like: Chocolate Outrage is outrageously delicious. As a runner who typically goes for the sweet berry tasting gels, this option is a game changer. Who knew chocolate could taste so good? It isn’t overly sweet the way Tri-Berry can be, so it’s easier to get done. Plus, it like eating a chocolate bar so it tricks the mind to think it is being rewarded during the run. And who doesn’t love chocolate? Even though I am no a die-hard chocolate lover, this gel as almost converted me into one. I actually crave it during my long runs. You won’t regret buying this one.
What it tastes like: What it tastes like: This flavor quickly became my go-to when looking for a gel that’s sweet. It isn’t overpowering when it comes to its flavor, yet is bold and tasty. I find it to be much better tasting than the Tri-Berry, while still having that berry like taste.
What it tastes like: This option reminds me of a Strawberry Banana smoothie, and I’m not mad at it. This is a great option for those new to the GU game since its sweet, yet has a more neutral flavor. Not everyone is a chocolate fan or likes blackberries, so it a solid choice for those who have never tried a gel before. Those who have might find it lacks a bit in the flavor department when there are other options like French Toast and Salted Carmel (which is not worth even trying—and this coming from a caramel lover). However, sometimes we need a safe choice and not something crazy. It still is delicious in its own right.
What it tastes like: This option is part of the company’s Roctane line that is made for ultra-endurance athletes. These gels have more sodium for enhanced hydration and more amino acids. And the Vanilla Orange flavor is a stand out because of how scrumptious it is. Think of this has having a creamsicle. It has just the right touch of vanilla to mix in with its citrus orange explosion of flavor. It isn’t too harsh flavor-wise, yet still sweet. This flavor just makes me think of running on a hot summer day.
What it tastes like: Even though Strawberry Kiwi isn’t bad either, the last spot has to go to Blueberry Pomegranate. This flavor is just so darn good. It is sweet and feels summery. It is easy to get down and is a must-try for those looking to venture out in the flavor department for loyal GU customers.
Keep in mind that all flavors are based on preference. GU seems variety packs with assorted flavors so that first-timers can try a few. The only problem is some unwanted flavors might go to waste. The consistency of these gels aren’t too thick, but make sure to always consume with water. And make sure to find what works best for your running needs.