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Gu vs. Powerbar gels

While I’ve been only running seriously for a year and a half, I quickly learned of the importance of nutrition and ensure it’s something I monitor on any run longer than 50 minutes. While I started by using Powerbar Gels on these runs, I switched to GU products after about 6 months and have yet to look back. In comparing the two gels in simple, non-scientific terms, the Powerbar Gels are more liquid-based and easier to swallow. What I typically do is consume a small portion of a gel every 10 minutes of a run (after 50 minutes) and wash it down with some Gatorade. The remaining portion of the gel I place back into my fuel belt after folding down the top slightly. While the Powerade Gels are easier to swallow than the GU products (which are thicker and ‘chunkier’), with the way I consume them, the Powerade ones leak all over my fuel belt, making me and my belt exceptionally sticky. I changed to GU gels after realizing this and have found that while they are harder to swallow with my Gatorade, the lack of ‘leaking’ outweighs the chunkiness. I have tried virtually all of the GU flavours, but have landed on Vanilla Bean as my personal favourite. Now, I likely consume a lot more gels than the average person during a marathon (about 7), I typically eat non-caffinated ones until the 30K mark, then opt for the Roctane version for the added boost of caffeine near the end of a race. In that case, my personal pick is the Vanilla Orange. Notice my tendency towards Vanilla?! Many of my friends have talked about gut-rot or other digestive issues in consuming this may gels over the course of one race, however, I find if I don’t eat I ‘bonk’ that much sooner. I’m a big fan of the GU gels and certainly recommend them to anyone out there training or racing for extended periods of time. Just make sure to wash them down with some kind of liquid, or you’ll be doing some kind of ackward chewing as you run!

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