As my racing season comes to a close for the year it is time to exchange gels and bars for Christmas sweets and turkey dinners. I was lucky enough to win some products from Gu at the team meeting and asked to write a review on them.
At first I thought easy enough, but in reality how much can you say about a gooey gel substance you choke back at kilometer 20 while exhausted and sweaty? All joking aside, I will preface this review by saying that while I have used Gu products in the past I have been pretty loyal to another brand.
I used my Gu credit on gels, Chomps and Brew. I will start with the Brew.
I found the large tub to be the most economical but I still prefer the individual packets as the convenience is great and I like to keep a few in my gear bag in case I forget to make some on race morning. The packets guarantee that the mix is always just right and you can go with whatever flavour you are feeling at that given time. If you are one who likes a stronger or weaker mix then the large tub is the way to go. I found the Brew to work well with me and did not upset my stomach during training or races. I loved the blueberry/pomegranate flavour and was not so keen on the lemon/lime.
The Chomps turned out to be a bit of a surprise. I had only used this type of product once before in a half marathon and found it hard to eat/chew while running. I had always looked at this type of product as a silly expensive snack. I now have a new love for this product. During one of my long runs on a hot summer day I took some as I was not in the mood for a gel and it was a nice change. It was like having some candy when I really could use it! While chewing and running/breathing hard takes some practice I did not choke to death. Where I really like the Chomps is as a light snack on race morning or before a late afternoon run. I found they were perfect for eating when I got to a race site and knew my breakfast was probably enough and if I ate anything too big I would risk cramping up but still wanted something sweet to help wake me up and energize me. I loved the orange and strawberry flavour.
As for the gels, I am one of those people that actually like gels. The consistency and taste does not bother me. I have tried most brands and had my favourites. The Gu gels are now my favourites as they have a great consistency, not too thick and not too runny, and the large array of flavours is awesome. I find them easy to swallow and they sit fine in my stomach during the run. While most companies offer a chocolate and vanilla it is nice to mix it up with some fruity flavours (mandarin orange or tri berry) or something way different like peanut butter or chocolate mint. After a long season and many gels I loved trying the new flavours. You also have your choice of caffeinated or non-caffeinated flavours. There is also the Roctane line for ultra-endurance.
I would recommend the Gu line to anyone. Thank you Gu for supporting Team Running Free! For more info check out www.guenergy.com.