Over the past year or so as I have increased my running distance, nutrition and electrolyte replacement has become more important. The products that I have used the most are from GU Energy – in particular their gels, electrolyte brew and electrolyte tablets.
GU Energy Gels
GU offers both their normal gels (with and without caffeine) as well as the Roctane line which is designed for longer duration endurance sports. Basically it is a different formulation with a higher level of amino acids, electrolytes and caffeine. The idea with gels is to provide energy in the form of carbs in an easy to carry and durable format.
I normally stick to the regular GU Gel and really like it for a number of reasons. First, my digestive system is happy with this stuff. This is most important because if your body isn’t processing it, it’s not doing any good. I really like the consistency of these gels. They are thick enough that they aren’t messy but it is still easy to swallow them. The flavours aren’t overly strong. I like being able to taste gels, but I don’t like them to be too sweet (which some definitely are.) I find the GU gels to hit that balance quite well. Finally they are available in a lot of flavours. This is nice because everyone’s tastes are different – I prefer mint chocolate, chocolate, vanilla, and the occasional peanut butter! There is even an unflavoured plain version which is a good alternative. This variety has become even more important for my long runs when I depend on gels for the majority of my calories. Even my favourite flavours can lose their appeal after 4-5 in a row. It’s nice to carry a variety and mix it up.
GU Brew Electrolyte Mix
Another GU Energy product I really liked last year was the Brew mix. I definitely prefer the powder mix over pre-made electrolyte drinks. I typically like a bit of weaker mix to avoid the strong, sweet taste of many drinks. The nice part about GU Brew is that it doesn’t have an overwhelming taste even at the recommended water/powder mix. I have used the lemon-lime and the orange and like them both. The other thing I have done with the GU Brew powder was to mix heavy concentrate mixes that I would carry in small flasks. This allowed me to get the same carbs and electrolytes but carry a smaller, and lighter flask. Even at a super concentrated level I found the Brew to be easily drinkable, but obviously with a stronger taste.
GU Brew Tablets
The tablets are similar to the GU Brew mix but without the carbs (only 10 cals per tab). The tablets are a super convenient disc that you drop into a water bottle when you need to replace electrolytes. The tablests quickly dissolve and give a nice, light flavour and a bit of fizziness along with necessary sodium. I was a bit worried about the fizz upsetting my stomach but once the bottle is mixed, it is very subtle and I found it made the drink more enjoyable to drink. I like the fizz! Again, this product is available in a bunch of great flavours. I really like the strawberry lemonade and orange.
Of course, everyone’s tastes are different and nutrition is something that is very specific to the individual. I suggest trying lots of different options, but for me the GU Energy line has worked very well. Thanks for reading!
Finally got to read the article today Kent. Got it off Facebook. Interesting article, will watch for product in Sports stores here and try on my hikes.