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Gu Energy Gels & Gu2o Sports Drink

gu_lemon_single.jpgIf any of you have read my racing reports from this summer, you will know that I often include a few notes on nutrition and may have noticed that I have been experimenting with Gu Energy Gels and Sports Drink. I was looking for a change this year from my usual Gatorade and PowerGels, and after receiving a free box of GU gels from the spring product lottery, I decided I would go with Gu all the way this year!

I chose to try a container of “Mango-Tango” Gu2o sports drink to comliment my box of “Just Plain” Gu Energy gels. So far, I have experienced nothing but success in using both products! In previous years I have often experienced abdominal cramping or “sloshy” stomach during competition, affecting my ability to perform to potential. This year I have yet to experience either problem in any of the 12 running/multisport races I have competed in this year!

Some of the main things I have noticed in switching to these products:

gu2o_single.gif1. Superior Taste: Initially, I was a little wary of the “Just Plain” GU Energy Gel flavour…..lets face it, it doesn’t sound super appetizing, does it? After my first taste, I was a convert. I don’t know exactly how to describe the flavour or lack thereof, but I can say it is not too sweet or strong…it has a pleasant, subtle taste that slides down easily during intense exercise. I had an identical experience with the Gu2o. Being used to the strong, tangy flavour of Gatorade powder, I was immediately won over by the very subtle, slightly fruity taste of my “Mango-Tango” Sports Drink. With Gatorade the taste would often linger in my mouth or throat and would come back to haunt me later in an event; with Gu2o I have not noticed any aftertaste at all, and have had no problems with an upset stomach later on in an event.

2. Texture: This applies more to the Energy Gels than the Sports Drink, but I have noticed a huge difference in comparing the GU Energy Gel to my old PowerGels. To me it seems that the PowerGels have a much thicker and gooey consistency…often making them more difficult to swallow and empty from the mouth. The GU Energy Gels, by contrast, slide easily out of their packaging, into my mouth, and down my throat without the need of fluid to help wash it down.

3. Packaging: As I mentioned above, the GU Energy Gels slide easily out of their packaging. The packaging is also very easy to open mid-race. I consistently use my teeth to rip open the package at the top and have always been successful on the first try.

4. Performance: If my racing success this season is any indication, I would say the GU products do indeed function to help you “feel and perform your best” by providing enhanced & sustained energy as well as aid in post-exercise recovery as the company claims they do. So far this year I have had absolutely no cramping or energy issues in any of my competitions, not always the case in previous years.

coupon_buynow_team.jpgWhile all GU products come with complete instructions on how to use the products for optimal performance and exercise, I have had success this year in my multisport events by starting to use GU Energy Gels once on the bike portion and continuing to take a gel once every 30-45mins while on the bike. During this time I will also consume 1-2 waterbottles containing Gu2o depending on the length of the race. (see my race reports for my “Notes on Nutrition” for more details) So far this seems to have given me the sustained and optimal amount of energy needed to rip off a speedy closing run in a multisport event. And I think we’d all admit, there is nothing quite like the feeling of finishing an event or workout with a strong, powerful kick!

For more information on these great GU products and more visit their website at:

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One comment

  • Dear Melissa,
    I really appreciate your honesty in reviewing the GU Energy Gel and the GU20. There are just a few points which I’m a little unclear about and want to straighten-out before I embark on my own ‘GU experience’.
    Firstly, this lingering taste you describe: is it the type of lingering that occurs when you brush your teeth with a minty fresh toothpaste and don’t rinse your mouth so the extra sweet breath lasts a little longer? If so, I’d have to go with the PowerGels. But if it’s more like the lengthy lingering of a post-race fart, I’ll give the GU a GO.
    Secondly, as for texture, at what time of the day (i.e. temperature) did you test? For a comprehensive product review I find that aspect particularly important, especially for elite nutrition like the GU Gels. I understand many so-called ‘athletes’ train in the early mornings or evenings to escape the heat of the day, in which case you’d want less viscous gels. But in my mind, ‘real athletes’ train with the sun on their backs to really make it hurt. If you ask me, if the body isn’t completely drained by the end of a workout, it can’t be called a workout. I guess I’m just worried it’ll end up on my chin.
    Thirdly, (more on the method not the product); do you believe it is really hygienic to use your mouth/teeth on the exterior of the packaging? I’m always leary about taking feeds from those water stations because you never know where the hands that hold your cup have been. And that probably goes with the outside packaging of these gels. Do you have a particular method of sterilization for your gels? I just don’t want this experience to end up as a bad case of syphilis.
    Anyways, after reading your fourth point, if it works for you it must work for me. I used to think Orange Gatorade is the BEST, and so are Asics shoes!! But if you’re switching over to GU, I’ll take the plunge with you.
    This is getting long, but I’d LOVE to meet you sometime. I hear you’re coming to Ottawa for the Canadian in September… I’ll be in the one-piece skin-coloured “suit”.. watch for me!!

    – Your biggest fan
    p.s. Did you follow the instructions on the package or do you have a special ‘Melissa-Mix’? (Can I have the recipe?)

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