I was fortunate enough to receive a multitude of GU products through the lottery. Seeing as I use a lot of electrolyte drinks and gels throughout the summer months it was a very useful product line to receive.
First up is the GU Hydration Drink Mix. I received a container of the Lemon Lime powder and the Orange powder. I used both regularly throughout the summer. The first thing I noticed about the drink mix is it is much less sweet than other brands I have tried. I checked out the label and I was right, you only take in about 70 calories per 600 ml which is almost half of what I am used to in other drinks. That being said I didn’t have a problem during any of my long rides or runs and I felt better about ingesting less sugar. I found the Lemon Lime flavour had a bit of a kick to it, it was almost sour. My husband really enjoyed the Lemon Lime. I think overall I preferred the Orange, very mild and didn’t make my mouth pucker so much. All in all I would purchase these again.
Secondly is the Gels. Not too much to say about the gels. Very smooth, not gritty. I received some with caffeine in them and was a little leary of trying them. I have not experimented with caffeine DURING exercise so have to honestly say I can’t comment on them. I usually only use gels during a race or a very long run or ride. I did use the gels during the K-Town triathlon and experienced no ill effects.
Now, the one thing I am a big fan of and convert to is the GU Chews. Again, they are full of electrolytes, amino acids and sodium so a nice alternative to gels. The Watermelon were my favourite and I will be purchasing these for sure over the spring and summer as I prepare for a 70.3. I loved how I could just pop one in my mouth while riding the bike and not have to worry about squishing the gel out and getting messy. I just threw a bunch in the back of my jersey and would pull out one every few minutes and just chew away. They are awesome and taste really good too. I highly recommend the Chews!
On a 90 K bike ride I was finally able to try out the Stroopwafels. I wasn’t really sure how to utilize these so thought a very casual 90 K ride was the perfect opportunity. They have all the qualities of a gel or sport drink but in the form of a biscuit or cookie. They are slightly crunchy on the outside with a bit of a creamy centre. I guess sports nutrition is trying to appeal to a variety of palates. I ate one about half way through my ride and quite enjoyed it. It was the Salty’s Caramel flavour. No caffeine. 150 Calories. So, it’s a great way to get in some much needed fuel in a bit of a different form. If you’re tired of gels, try a Stroopwafel. I would much rather eat a Stroopwafel on a long bike ride than try and get down a Clif bar. Now, I am not so sure I would eat one during a long run with all the jostling. I would stick with gels and fluids. But the Stroopwafel and Chews are great for long training rides. The Chews are something I for sure will be using in my racing kit next year as well.
I really enjoyed trying out the GU products I received. I feel fortunate to be able to receive great quality products and let people know what I think! Thanks Running Free and GU for the opportunity.