Just like everything else, GU Energy Gel was created out of necessity by Dr. Bill Vaughn to help his daughter’s performance when she ran ultra-marathons. And since then this energy gel has taken the world by storm because how good it is. In fact, some of the top athletes in the world have used this energy gel to sustain their athletic performance for longer periods of time.
But, the question is, will the GU Energy Gel work for you?
That is what we are going to talk about in this review. We will also go over everything you need to know about this gel before you spend any money buying it. This will help you make an educated decision on whether you should buy this energy gel or go with some other brand like Spring Energy Gel.
We will go over in detail about how GU energy gel works, and whether or not you should use it depending on what athletic activity you plan to use it for.
How Does GU Energy Gel Work?
The GU Gel comes in a packet form that is high compact so you can keep it anywhere on you. This packet is dense in calories and contains a dual source of carbohydrates – fructose and maltodextrin. Both of them are known for being quickly absorbed by our body with minimal stomach distress.
That’s the main thing we are looking for because if you are running or cycling, you do not want to feel bloated or feel like your stomach is heavy after consuming one of these energy gels.
The GU Energy Gels also contain branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) that helps reduce the muscle fiber damage and also reduces your mental fatigue that builds up over time. The longer your athletic activity lasts for, the higher your mental fatigue will be. So to avoid feeling too fatigued and sustain your athletic performance for a longer duration, this combination of quickly absorbing carbs and BCAA that helps reduce muscle fiber damage and mental fatigue is a life safer for a lot of endurance athletes around the world.
Another thing that we should not forget is hydration. If you get dehydrated in the middle of a long distance run, you will start feeling cramps or even collapse out of exhaustion in some extreme cases. We want to avoid that.
This gel contains extra sodium to combat dehydration.
It is the main electrolyte that you lose when you sweat a lot. So you want to make sure that you are re-upping on your sodium when you run long distances to avoid getting dehydrated.
How Should You Use the GU Energy Gel?
Now that you know how this energy gel works, lets talk about HOW you should use it. Because you want to make sure that you are using it in proper quantities. Not to much and not too little. But you also want to make sure that you are using it during the right kind of activities or else you would just end up consuming more carbohydrates and not get any athletic benefit from it.
Let’s go over the packaging of GU Energy Gel and then we will talk about the other stuff.
Each packet you see is a single-serve packet. So once you open it, you have to consume the whole thing to get the required energy boost. If you are going on a long distance run, you should consume one GU energy gel about 15-30 minutes before starting your run.
And if you are going to be running for more than an hour, then you should consume another GU energy gel every 30-45 minutes until you finish your activity or competition. The reason for that is you want to maintain your energy throughout the run and not just in the beginning of the run.
One thing you should remember to never do, is save half for later. In order to get the full benefits of this energy gel, you HAVE to consume the whole packet in one go. So once you rip open the top of the packet, consume the whole packet.
Each GU energy gel contains 100 calories, 21g of total carbs, and 450mg of amino acids.
The good thing about this gel is that it comes in multiple flavors like Lemon Sublime, Chai Latte, Chocolate Outrage, etc. so you can choose your most favorite one and run with it (pun intended 😊).
Note For People Using This In Colder Climates Or Freezing This Gel
If you live in a colder climate where things get frozen, or if you plan on buying the GU Energy Gels in bulk and then freezing it, you should know that once you freeze it will thicken a bit. So make sure you keep it close to your body to keep it warm so it is thin and ready for consumption.
What Activities Can You Use the GU Gel For?
Any athletic activity that you are going to be doing for a long time, this gel is good for it.
Activities like long distance running, marathons, ultra marathons, cycling, etc. You can consume this energy gel and get a quick boost of energy in the middle of your activity so you can keep going for a longer duration.
The good thing about this gel is that you do not need to be an elite athlete to use this gel. It works for people with all athletic levels. So if you are someone who wants to improve themselves and reach that next level, or maybe you are competing at a local level, the GU Energy Gel will help you a lot when it comes to sustaining your peak energy levels.
Difference Between Caffeinated GU Gel Flavors and Others
Some GU Energy Gel flavors are not different. Here’s the benefit of going for the caffeinated flavors over others:
- Allows your body to produce more power by contracting your muscles more forcefully
- Caffeine is known for reducing the pain of hard effort when doing a hard workout
- Caffeine helps sharpen your mental focus. This is one of the reasons why most people like to drink coffee before going to work each day
- It is also known for allowing your body to tap into your fat reserves quicker during an exercise
So if you are someone who is trying to lose fat, or just want to have more focus during your training activity or workouts, or during your competition, then going for a caffeinated flavor makes all the sense. And add the instant energy boost on top of that and you’ve got the perfect recipe to perform at your peak energy levels at any sport that you are involved in.
GU Energy Gel Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for this gel to work?
The GU Gel contains fructose and maltodextrin, both of them are known for converting into energy molecules very quickly. It just takes a couple minutes for your body to start using these molecules as energy sources. So I would say it takes around 5-10 minutes for the gel to kick in.
Quick note about maltodextrin – when you compare the absorption time of fructose and maltodextrin, maltodextrin takes a bit more time to get absorbed. And it could make up to around 70-80% of the carb mix depending on which flavor you chose.
The good thing about this delayed absorption is that it will sustain your energy levels for a longer duration rather than just giving you a quick energy boost like a massive sugar rush. Which, if you remember, also comes with a crash.
Should I use this gel for recovery?
If you just finished your training or competition, then chances are that you have used almost all of your energy. In that case, you should eat one packet of GU Energy Gel a couple minutes after you stop exercising.
And even if you ate an energy gel less than 30 minutes ago while you were exercising, you can still consume another packet. Think about your energy levels as reservoirs. Once you consume this energy gel, you are basically refilling those energy reservoirs in your body.
In technical terms, once you finish exercising, your body has used up a lot of muscle glycogen levels. And it will take a while for those levels to come back up. By consuming this energy gel, you are reducing that recovery time.
Are there any side effects to using GU Energy Gel?
As long as your body can easily digest and metabolize sugars, you shouldn’t have any issues consuming the GU gels. But there is a catch – you shouldn’t eat more than 4 gels in an hour. If you eat more than that then you risk experiencing side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, etc.
My recommendation is to only use 1 GU gel every 30-45 minutes and you should be good.
Is GU Energy Gel safe for kids?
Yes. Kids can also use GU Energy Gels if they play sports like swimming, football, etc. or even if they go hiking. These gels are just as effective for kids as they are for adults.
But one thing you should note when it comes to allowing kids to consume GU gels, is to not allow them to eat caffeinated flavors.
To Sum It Up
The GU energy gel is considered as one of the most advanced nutritional energy supplements on the market right now. And the fact that these gels are safe for kids, gluten-free, dairy-free and provide an incredible amount of energy boost and also helps in recovery for all types of athletes, makes it a no-brainer choice for most people who are into active sports.
The question is, whether you want to perform at your peak levels or not. If you are one of those people that wants to reach new limits in terms of physical fitness and in your sport, then you should definitely get some GU Energy gel packets for yourself and try them out.
I’m sure you won’t regret it.