GU Review and Giveaway!

When I first began running, fueling was the last thing on my mind. My biggest concern was running my 3 or 4 miles, sometimes 6 and that was that. I honestly had no clue what was involved when I decided to train for a half marathon! 

The wonderful folks at GU sent me a sampler pack that blew my mind! I had no clue they had so many products! It took me awhile to work my way through the inventory but thanks to half marathon and now full marathon training, it’s safe to say I’ve had a good sampling of everything.

Original GU Gels:

These take a little getting used to and you may have to try a few to find out what taste works for you. The one that tasted the best to me was the Chocolate Outrage. I actually thought that would be the one that I wouldn’t like but one afternoon when I was out on a long run with my husband, he opened it, took a taste (loved it) and insisted I try.  I couldn’t believe how good it tasted!

Here’s what GU says about their Original gels:

A shot of fast-acting natural fructose (fruit sugar) goes straight to work building your energy levels back up while the maltodextrin is quickly absorbed and sent to your muscles. Vital electrolytes keep your blood chemistry in line and hydration levels stable. Calcium keeps your muscles humming and caffeine adds an extra kick to your power.

Complex carbs in the form of maltodextrin (70-80% of the complex/simple carbohydrates blend) help you maintain glucose levels over time. Citrates (potassium citrate, sodium citrate and citric acid) help speed the conversion of these carbs into energy molecules and mitigate performance-sapping acid build-up in muscles. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, valine and isoleucine, serve as another fuel source, aid in recovery and can improve mental performance and reduce fatigue by limiting the central nervous system’s production of serotonin. Histidine, an essential amino acid, acts alongside the citrates as a buffer that helps neutralize lactic acid build-up in muscles.

Antioxidant vitamins C & E defend muscles from assault by free radicals. Chamomile works as an anti-inflammatory during and after exercise. Ginger soothes the stomach. Sea salt supplies a host of minerals.

The world’s first energy gel is still the most efficient source of premium fuel available to athletes today. The original idea behind GU was to find the quickest way to deliver an appropriate amount of calories to an athlete during competition without upsetting his or her stomach. Since then, the formula has been tweaked and upgraded to take advantage of feedback from GU’s elite athletes and the latest scientific discoveries. In addition to supplying the body with high-quality calories and electrolytes to keep it going, GU mitigates the energy-sapping effects of lactic-acid build-up, optimizes energy production, aids recovery by replenishing muscle glycogen stores and allows for greater mental focus through delayed onset of fatigue signals from the central nervous system. Yep, that’s all in one packet of GU.

Roctane Ultra Endurance Gels:

These gels have the same texture as the original gels but contains scientifically advanced ingredients for better performance. Which basically means – they are supercharged!

Here’s what GU says about Roctane Gels:

We added more of everything that makes GU Energy Gel the category leader and added a few more things for ultra distance and high intensity efforts resulting in the most efficient, high performance gel you can use in training and racing.

What’s in it?

Each packet (serving) contains 100 calories of easy to digest simple and complex carbohydrates, electrolytes, amino acids and caffeine to fuel extreme endeavors:

  • Ideal carbohydrate ratio – Unique ratio of complex and simple carbohydrates are podium-proven to better maintain glucose levels than simple or complex carbs alone
  • More key electrolytes – Sodium and potassium properly maintain hydration
  • More Branch Chain Amino Acids (Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine) – Shown to serve as a fuel source (when taken with carbohydrates), reduce muscle damage, enhance recovery and delay fatigue – all critical during intense or long efforts
  • More Histidine (an Essential Amino Acid) – Acts as a buffer to prevent accumulation of lactic acid in muscles during exercise
  • More Caffeine – Proven to stimulate the central nervous system and reduce pain perception leading to prolonged exercise and delayed fatigue
  • Ornithine Alpha-Ketaglutarate (OKG) –  formulated to support recovery by helping block the catabolic effects of various hormones that cause muscle trauma

How is it different from GU Energy Gel?

Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel contains more of the ingredients that matter during long or intense activity while still being based on the proven ratio of simple and complex carbohydrates found in GU Energy Gel.

  • 3 times more Branched Chain Amino Acids
  • 10 times more Histidine
  • 1-2 times more caffeine
  • 2-3 times more electrolytes
  • Ornithine Alpha-Ketaglutarate (OKG)

How do I use it?

Roctane Ultra Endurance Gel can be used alone or in conjunction with other GU Energy and Roctane products.


I love the Chomps! They are like gummies with an attitude! I usually eat more of these than anything else. “Eat” is the keyword here because sometimes I really want to chew on something instead of drink it. They can be a little bit sticky but it doesn’t really bother me. I really like the orange and the watermelon flavors.

Here’s GU’s description of Chomps:

GU Chomps deliver the premium ingredients and performance benefits you’ve come to expect from
GU Energy products:
• Amino acids for added focus, rippin’ energy and speedy recovery.
• Vitamin C + E, those mighty antioxidants that combat tissue breakdown.
• Sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance.
• Exclusive blend of complex and simple carbohydrates.

Brew Electrolyte Tablets:

These tablets are easy to use and you can bring them along with you. They have a light flavor, that I liked but if you aren’t used to these type of tablets, you might have to give them a few tries to let your taste adjust. You can use them before, during or after your run.

Here’s GU’s description of their Brew Tablets:

PROPER HYDRATION includes supplementing water with electrolytes DURING activity, but it is not limited ONLY to periods of actual training and racing.

OPTIMAL HYDRATION takes place in the days and weeks before an event or after a hard workout. Use GU Brew Electrolyte Tablets whenever, wherever, and you’ll see a boost in preparation, sustenance, as well as recovery.

SIMPLY, electrolytes improve the efficacy of the hydration process. They are invariably better than water alone and bring your system into balance more quickly by helping you retain more of the liquid you ingest. GU BREW ELECTROLYTE TABLETS are simple, light tasting and natural. Compare to the alternatives.

GU Electrolyte Brew:

This is basically the powdered version of the tablets and it works great too. Just mix it into your half-full water bottle, shake it up, top it off with more water and you’re ready to go!  I really liked the Lemon Lime Flavor.

Here’s what GU says about their GU Brew:

Advanced Hydration
GU Electrolyte Brew is water’s new best friend. The fact is, when you work out you sweat more than just water. So when you drink you gotta have a special Brew with the right amounts of sodium, potassium and carbohydrates to bring your system back into balance. Used consistently, GU Brew will help you perform better and go longer.

Simpler is Better
No gimmicky additives here. GU Brew is as simple as they come – with just a handful of key ingredients. Complex and simple carbs in optimal balance, vital electrolytes at the proper levels for intense exercise, and all-natural flavors. Simple. This means the product is easy on your stomach and will keep you focused on reaching your goals in training and racing.

Great Flavors / Not Too Sweet
If you are looking for a sugar bomb, look elsewhere. Loyal GU athletes rave about the lightly sweet taste of our Electrolyte Brew.

My husband also wrote a short review about his experiences with GU Gels and Chomps:

“I’m currently training for my first full marathon, so finding something quick and easy to consume on the run was a necessity. When Gina got a sampler pack from the GU company, she was gracious enough to share with me so I could give my opinion on the product. Well…my first sampling was Lemon Sublime on a long, tiring run when I was desperately in need of a pick me up; but, what I got was a shock to my system. I really struggled with the consistency and taste.Struggling to shake the feeling that I was eating some horrible toothpaste, I tried to finish it, but was unable to. Luckily, Gina also got some samples of GU Chomps. Now this was a different experience all together. The taste was great(watermelon and peach tea) and it was a little reward that I would give myself as the miles rolled by. I did wish that they were a little less sticky sometimes, when I was trying to fish them out of the packet; however, this was worth the effort when I finally popped them in my mouth!

Not quite ready to write off the GU gels altogether, I finally got up the nerve to try another one day. After hearing from some fellow runners at a 5K that the Chocolate Outrage GU gels were good, I decided to give it a try. Preparing myself for the worst, I ripped the pack open and tried a little…then a little more…and then a lot more! It was like this gel was made by Betty Crocker! I had found MY gel! Since this time, I have also tried the Vanilla Bean and Espresso Love flavors and found them to be great as well. I recently used a couple of packs of GU gels during a half-marathon, and plan on stocking up before I tackle my first full in March.”

Ok, now that you’ve read about all of these great products, how would you like to win a Performance Energy Sampler from GU?

Click here!

As required by the FTC: I received a product sample in order to write my review.  I received no monetary compensation.  All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.


Filed under Giveaways, Reviews

5 responses to “GU Review and Giveaway!

  1. Alice G

    I have not used GU before, really haven’t ran long enough, but my training for my first half this year is ramping up and I am debating/wanting to try something to help me sustain energy. Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Betty

    I have not used GU either, ran my first half last year training for my next now. Would love to try it but honestly a little afraid of adverse effects in the stomach.

    • Betty, I would try a little bit of the gel on a long run (but not too long) and see how your tummy likes it. I can tell you that I ate way too much during a race recently and got sick. It was completely my fault though. Apparently, I forgot my rules of training and tried something new during a race – something I never do. When I eat the amount I’m accustomed to, I don’t have a hard time with it at all.

  3. AnnaMarie

    I haven’t used Gu before either but am over halfway through the training program for a 10K and have *just* committed to running my first half in October :), so am thinking more about fueling options as I increase distance. Thanks for the chance! 🙂

  4. Erin

    Would love to win the sampler!!

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