What we think
GU Energy Gels have been a staple of fueling for endurance sports for the past 20 years.
Why do we love them?
Created for daily training and competition, GU Energy Gel provides energy-dense calories in a portable packet to help sustain energy demands of any duration or activity. They were one of the first to offer the gel as a staple fuel option for training and racing. Also, GU energy gels come in one of the widest variety of unique flavors out there.
What's in them?
The 100-calorie packet contains carbohydrates (maltodextrin and fructose) that use non-competing pathways to help maximize carbohydrate absorption while diminishing stomach distress. They all come in at 100cals, around 22g of carbohydrates, and around 60mg of sodium.
Sodium, the primary electrolyte lost in sweat, aids in hydration by maintaining water balance and optimizing nutrient delivery. The branched-chain amino acids (leucine, valine, isoleucine) may reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage. It is important to remember to always drink water when taking these gels, since water is used in the digestion process. Some flavors of these gels also contain caffeine to increase mental focus and decrease fatigue.
What're my options?
You’re sure to find one you like. Some of the Gu flavors have more caffeine than others: Caramel Macchiato, Espresso Love, and Jet Blackberry all have 40mg caffeine, while all other flavors marked with caffeine have 20mg.
Strawberry Banana, Birthday Cake, Campfire S’mores and Lemon Sublime are the only flavors without any caffeine.
The Feed’s Fave: Vanilla Bean
How to use it:
Take one gel with 8 oz. of water 30-60 minutes before a training session or competition. Take one additional gel every hour of exercise, especially for training or competition lasting longer than 2 hours. As mentioned above, be sure to drink water with the gel to optimize its fuel delivery and prevent dehydration. Try these out in training first to see how your body responds to them before using them in competition.