10 Best GU Energy Gels Reviewed

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Some GU Energy Gel packets come with caffeine and some do not, so depending on your preference you can choose the one that’s right for you. GU gels work great by helping to increase your endurance during a workout or run.

They are packed with nutrients, amino acids, and carbohydrates that assist in reducing fatigue and muscle damage while increasing your endurance. When your in competition with others you need that edge and you can be certain they are thinking the same way.

So your running at competitive level and relying on your own endurance while others are getting that little extra punch, Energy Gels are a way of life for endurance runners and they are packed with the right “legal” ingredients to help maintain energy as naturally as possible. The Gels offer additional benefits, look through our reviewed line of gels and decide which will be fine for you.

Last Updated: October 21, 2017
By Brian Price:

This guide has some update to the flavors, as well as some more information that you will find below our list. Hopefully some of the additional info will help out a little, with regards to whether GU gels are right for you.

Tastefully Nude
  • Tastefully Nude
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Branched-Chain Amino Acids
  • Price: See Here
Vanilla Bean
  • Vanilla Bean
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Branched-Chain Amino Acids
  • Price: See Here
Big Apple
  • Big Apple
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great Tasting Flavor
  • Price: See Here

10 Best GU Energy Gels

 

1. Tastefully Nude

1. Tastefully Nude
GU Tastefully Nude Energy Gel, the gel that keeps you going while you train or race.
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Energy
This GU Tastefully Nude energy gel is best used when taken 5 minutes before your run, and every 45 minutes during it. It is typically used for longer runs.

Nutrition:
It has 20mg of caffeine. Each packet contains 450mg of Amino acids, 100 calories, and at least 21g total carbs. Tastefully Nude is filled with carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly. It also contains amino acids that help limit muscle fiber damage, increase your speed of recovery, and it has electrolytes that help maintain your water balance.

Taste
Most reviewers liked the taste of the Tastefully Nude GU energy gel flavor, which a very small amount of users claiming it to be chalky. Although, this does seem to be the flavor that most users enjoy.

Cost
The price per 24 pack is much more cost efficient and will be of great value.
Pros
  • Portable packets
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • Reduces mental fatigue
  • Decreases chances of  muscle damage.
Cons
  • Taste will vary by user
  • Contains Caffeine

2. Vanilla Bean

2. Vanilla Bean
Gu Vanilla Bean energy gel allows for a steady amount of energy instead of a huge sugar rush followed by a crash.
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Energy
This GU Vanilla Bean energy gel is best used when taken 5 minutes before your run, and every 45 minutes during it. It is typically used for longer runs.

Nutrition:
It has 20mg of caffeine. Each packet contains 450mg of Amino acids, 100 calories, and at least 21g total carbs. Vanilla Bean is filled with carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly. It also contains amino acids that help limit muscle fiber damage, increase your speed of recovery, and it has electrolytes that help maintain your water balance.

Taste
Most reviewers liked the taste of the Vanilla Bean GU energy gel flavor, which a very small amount of users claiming it to be chalky.

Cost
The price per 24 pack is much more cost efficient and will be of great value.
Pros
  • Portable packets
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • Reduces mental fatigue
  • Decreases chances of  muscle damage.
Cons
  • Taste will vary by user
  • Contains Caffeine

3. Big Apple

3. Big Apple
GU Big Apple flavored energy gel help you build endurance while running and/or training.
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Energy
This GU Vanilla Bean energy gel is best used when taken 5 minutes before your run, and every 45 minutes during it. It is typically used for longer runs.

Nutrition:
It does not have caffeine. Each packet contains 450mg of Amino acids, 100 calories, and at least 21g total carbs. Big Apple is filled with carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly. It also contains amino acids that help limit muscle fiber damage, increase your speed of recovery, and it has electrolytes that help maintain your water balance.

Taste
Most reviewers liked the taste of the Big Apple GU energy gel flavor, which a very small amount of users claiming it to be chalky.

Cost
The price per 24 pack is much more cost efficient and will be of great value.
Pros
  • Portable packets
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • Reduces mental fatigue
  • Caffeine Free
Cons
  • Taste will vary by user

4. Maple Bacon

4. Maple Bacon
GU maple bacon energy gel will help increase your endurance during training or running events.
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Energy
This GU Maple Bacon energy gel is best used when taken 5 minutes before your run, and every 45 minutes during it. It is typically used for longer runs.

Nutrition:
It has 20mg of caffeine. Each packet contains 450mg of Amino acids, 100 calories, and at least 21g total carbs. Maple Bacon is filled with carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly. It also contains amino acids that help limit muscle fiber damage, increase your speed of recovery, and it has electrolytes that help maintain your water balance.

Taste
Most reviewers liked the taste of the Maple Bacon GU energy gel flavor, which a very small amount of users claiming to not like the flavor.

Cost
The price per 24 pack is much more cost efficient and will be of great value.
Pros
  • Portable packets
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • Reduces mental fatigue
Cons
  • Taste will vary by user

5. GU Energy Gel Chocolate Outrage

5. GU Energy Gel Chocolate Outrage
Runners are looking for a supplement which allows them to meet the energy demands created by challenging runs which are often over a long time period.

This Chocolate Orange Gel serves for reducing psychological fatigue resulting from challenging activity, greatly decreases the potential for muscle damage and enables an athlete to give maximum performance.
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Energy
The packet gives calories at 100%, dense fructose and maltodex (carbohydrates) which results in energy.

A sound hydration is balanced through the inclusion of a primary electrolyte in the form of sodium, decreased potential for muscle damage through amino acids such as valine, leucine and isoleucine.

Nutrition
Caffeine although a stimulant can also be regarded as a conceptual nutrient when it is combined with nutrients which serve to maintain high levels of glucose while fighting the effects of free radicals through the addition of camomile (anti-oxidants) which can reduce the potential of inflammation.

Taste
This combination of energy giving ingredients are topped of with tasty orange flavor.

Cost
The cost is standard among energy gels, affordable.
Pros

Anti-oxidents
Ginger to relax the stomach
Dense fructose
Helps reduce inflammation
Boosts energy when needed

Cons

Ok for those who prefer caffeine

6. Strawberry Kiwi

6. Strawberry Kiwi
Looking for a GU energy gel that will boost your endurance without all the caffeine, you might want to give the Strawberry Kiwi flavor a try.
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Energy
This GU Strawberry Kiwi energy gel is best used when taken 5 minutes before your run, and every 45 minutes during it. It is typically used for longer runs.

Nutrition:
It has zero grams of caffeine. Each packet contains 1425 mg of Amino acids, 100 calories, and at least 21g total carbs. Strawberry Kiwi is filled with carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly. It also contains amino acids that help limit muscle fiber damage, increase your speed of recovery, and it has electrolytes that help maintain your water balance.

Taste
Although taste is a preference, most reviewers liked the taste of the Most reviewers liked the taste of the Strawberry Kiwi GU energy gel flavor, with a very small amount of users claiming to not like the flavor.

Cost
The price per 24 pack is much more cost efficient and will be of great value.
Pros
  • Portable packets
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • Reduces mental fatigue
  • Caffeine Free
Cons
  • Taste varies by user

7. Vanilla Spice

7. Vanilla Spice
GU Vanilla Spice energy gel will help increase your endurance during training or running events.
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Energy
This GU Maple Bacon energy gel is best used when taken 5 minutes before your run, and every 45 minutes during it. It is typically used for longer runs.

Nutrition
It has 35 grams of caffeine. Each packet contains 1425 mg of Amino acids, 100 calories, and at least 21g total carbs. Vanilla Spice is filled with carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly. It also contains amino acids that help limit muscle fiber damage, increase your speed of recovery, and it has electrolytes that help maintain your water balance.

Taste
Although taste is a preference, most reviewers liked the taste of the Most reviewers liked the taste of the Vanilla Spice GU energy gel flavor, with a very small amount of users claiming to not like the flavor.

Cost
The price per 24 pack is much more cost efficient and will be of great value.
Pros
  • Portable packets
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • Reduces mental fatigue
Cons
  • Taste varies by user
  • Contains caffeine

8. GU Energy Gel Mandarin Orange

8. GU Energy Gel Mandarin Orange
Delicious tangy mandarin taste.

A good performance gel (energy food) to keep you going through training or long challenging runs, don’t drop your pace and you can eat this while still on the move.

Packed with nutritious fuel and round off with ginger which will gently sooth your stomach, check out this good and proven gel with it’s specialized formula for carbohydrates. Works nicely with recovery time products for runners.
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Energy
This gel contains a combination of high level nutrients in doses which work together to maintain the bodies glucose level so that performance energy remains constant and fatigue is kept at bay.

Caffeine a known stimulant will give that needed boost as and when needed.

This gel is produced as gluten free.

Nutrient
For a good combination of nutrients you get calcium, vitamin E, Vitamin C, Potassium, sodium, citric acid, sea salt, chamomile to sooth the stomach, cola nut, paprika, ginger, GU anti-oxident blend, filtered water just to mention the basics.

When ingesting this gel it can be followed up with a drink of water, the sachets can be taken just before a long run and during a long run to maintain a balanced energetic performance and contributes towards a nice recovery time.

Taste
Great taste with fruity Mandarin Orange.

Cost.
Nice on the running budget and you get energy in return
Pros

Great taste with fruity Mandarin Orange.

Pros

Gluten Free

Use before and during a race to maintain energy level

Caffeine for added energy boost

Easy to carry

Cons

Not for runners if they prefer caffeine free gels.

9. Blueberry Pomegranate

9. Blueberry Pomegranate
Looking for a GU energy gel that will boost your endurance, you might want to give the Blueberry Pomegranate flavor a try.
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Energy
It has 35 grams of caffeine. Each packet contains 1425 mg of Amino acids, 100 calories, and at least 21g total carbs. Blueberry Pomegranate is filled with carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly. It also contains amino acids that help limit muscle fiber damage, increase your speed of recovery, and it has electrolytes that help maintain your water balance.

Taste
Although taste is a preference, most reviewers liked the taste of the Blueberry Pomegranate GU energy gel flavor, with a very small amount of users claiming to not like the flavor.

Cost
The price per 24 pack is much more cost efficient and will be of great value.
Pros
  • Portable packets
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • Reduces mental fatigue
Cons
  • Taste varies by user

10. Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel Assorted Flavors

10. Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel Assorted Flavors
It might be a good idea to try an assorted flavor pack so that you can find out which flavors you like best.
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Energy
This GU Tastefully Nude energy gel is best used when taken 5 minutes before your run, and every 45 minutes during it. It is typically used for longer runs.

Nutrition:
Caffeine varies by flavor. Each packet contains 450mg of Amino acids, 100 calories, and at least 21g total carbs. Tastefully Nude is filled with carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly. It also contains amino acids that help limit muscle fiber damage, increase your speed of recovery, and it has electrolytes that help maintain your water balance.

Taste
Taste will vary by user. Assorted flavors is a great way to figure out which flavors you will like best. Flavors include: Vanilla Orange, Cherry Lime, Lemonade and 6 packets each of Blueberry/Pomegranate, and Strawberry Kiwi.

Cost
The price per 24 pack is much more cost efficient and will be of great value, plus you get to try lots of flavors.
Pros
  • Portable packets
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • Reduces mental fatigue
  • Caffeine & Non-Caffeine flavors
Cons
  • Taste will vary by user

Taste is a personal preference, but with all these options for GU you’re sure to find one that satisfies your taste buds. It’s important to note that there were not reports of the product not working, therefore it seems like a wise investment to enhance your workout or races.

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The Criteria Used For Selecting The Best GU Energy Gels

 

What Is It, And What Does It Do

A biophysicist from Berkley started GU Energy Gels after a successful formula was developed for his daughter, which, ran ultra marathons and needed additional energy. It’s pronounced “goo” because of its gooey consistency that helps the digestive system process the nutrients faster and more effectively. GU was the first energy gel on the market and other companies have been trying to catch up ever since. If you have any experience in high endurance or marathon racing, you’ve most likely heard of “carb loading” or a similar technique of eating pasta or other carb heavy foods before the race to have additional energy for the longer distance. The problem with this method is that it can be unhealthy and ineffective as the body can only hold a limited amount of reserves. GU addresses this by providing only the critical carbohydrates for energy and essential amino acids for muscle support in a gooey gel that’s convenient for the runner. Let’s take a look at some of the qualities we looked for, so that you can determine which gel is best for you. We know that our readers are always looking for that additional edge that can make the last mile a walk in the park.

Real World Reviews And Feedback

We went through a metric ton of user feedback and recommendations when searching for the best energy gels, and we determined that the original innovator, GU, has the best chance of working for you. Time and time again, we found that the company’s proprietary formula seems to have the right mixture to delivery energy effectively to marathon runners and endurance athletes. It’s important to note what type of activities the testers reported during their use to determine the best match for what is expected from the product.

Taste

Quite simply, no one wants bad tasting nutritional supplement. Our buying guide features the best flavors that the company has to offer according to testers that have tried a variety of flavors. The good news is that overall; gel is a lot better and more convenient than a thick shake or a grainy, gritty bar. Additionally it won’t make you bloated either, which is great. Great tasting flavors make sure that runners aren’t left with a bad taste in their mouth.

Use For Competitive Activity

We made sure to listen to the feedback that came from marathon runners, long distance cyclists, and high endurance athletes to make sure the effectiveness of the supplement can do the same for your activities. Make no mistake, these energy gels are meant for the high performing and demanding athlete. You may not notice a different during a light gym workout because that’s not what they are designed for, they are meant to give you a boost when you feel like you have depleted your energy.

A Good Fit With A Runner’s Lifestyle

Runners spoke, and we listened. They don’t want to mix powders, measure fluids, or ingest pounds of spaghetti for the energy they need to go the distance. However, we wanted to make sure that there wasn’t a sacrifice on performance to gain convenience. Testers were more than pleased with the positive gains they achieved with GU Energy Gels, and they were happy they give the supplement a serious consideration.

 

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Other Important Things to Think About

The above factors are important to consider to find the best energy gel for you. We know that you are eager to try it out for yourself and get that second wind of energy for your next marathon, but here are some additional points that will help you while shopping for an energy gel.  Keep reading to learn about some factors to consider before choosing which GU Energy Gel is right for you.

Manage Your Expectations

Like any nutritional supplement or athletic additive, these energy gels will not turn you into a superhuman that will fly through finish lines and cartwheel past competitors. Most of the negative feedback we encountered regarding this product was from users that had unrealistic expectations about what this supplement can do for them. Remember that nothing will replace training and hard work, and there is no supplement that will instantly transform you into a gold medal winning Olympic athlete.

A Selection For Your Activity Level

Be sure to make a selection based on the activity that you need it for. This will ensure that you take full advantage of the subtle differences in formulas of the energy gel. For weight training and gym workouts, make a choice with higher amounts of amino acids for quicker recovery times and less muscle fatigue. If you’re planning on running a marathon, reach for a gel with higher carbohydrates for that long-term energy that can help you during the last mile. We made sure to list the selections with different amounts of nutrition makeup to take the guesswork out of your selection.

Choose Between Caffeine Or No Caffeine

This is mostly a personal preference, however it should not be overlooked. Some testers enjoy the additional jolt of energy that is provided from the inclusion of caffeine in their supplements, while others simply do not. While there are claims that caffeine aids in mental sharpness, there are also reports of a “crash” once it wears off. This means that making that selection should be based on your personal feelings and what you’re looking for. The good news is that they come in both varieties to give everyone a choice.

Try A Variety

Based on the differences in user reviews when it comes to taste and flavor, we would recommend trying a variety of flavors in order to choose your favorite. In addition, so that you don’t get bored with your supplement, it’s always a good idea to have different flavors. Users typically stay with one favorite taste and have additional options to switch up their routine.

Make The Gel Part Of Your Regimen

These energy gels are in no way meant to replace a meal or hydration from water. Instead they are meant to be part of a healthy nutritional lifestyle that can serve you better when you need energy from carbs and muscle strength form amino acids. Much like all nutritional supplements, we recommend that you establish a well-rounded diet and engage in a healthy lifestyle to achieve the maximum benefits of you workout plan.

Try Them Out And Take Stock Of Their Effect Time

Since things like supplements and other nutritional energy sources may take different times for different people to take effect, it’s a good idea to try them out during your next standard run and see how long it takes for you. This way when you really need them during your next marathon, you can make sure that you have the timing that works for you.

Keep Them Handy At All Times

Even if you plan on using only one of them during your next outing, runners reported having a better time when they brought two along for the ride. According to feedback, it also makes sense to have one of these post marathon to help combat any fatigue that may set in afterwards.

 

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FAQ

Finding the right fuel can be tricky, but we know that by considering the factors presented in this guide will help you make a better choice when choosing the right energy gel.  We know you still might have questions, so we have put together the most frequently asked questions that runners have when choosing a fuel that works  for them.

 

Q: Can I just eat some almonds, apples, or a bunch of pasta for my next marathon?

A: Not if you need high quality carbohydrates that will work most effectively for your long term running. Here’s the main point: empty calories are you enemy, and not are not a healthy way to prepare for a marathon. These energy gels have about 100 calories and give you the carbs you need without anything that you don’t need.

Q: Sodium isn’t great when eating, why is it great for a marathon?

A: Sodium is the primary electrolyte lost in sweat. Additionally it aids in hydration by maintaining proper water balance. This is such a crucial part of any type of endurance training that it should be a top priority when selecting a nutritional supplement.

Q: How much do I eat at one time?

A: This is the easy part. Just rip open a packet and squeeze the whole thing in your mouth. That’s it, you’re done. Don’t save half for later, use a spoon, or add salt. There is simply no way to make this product any more convenient for the user.

Q: How often should I eat GU Energy during a marathon?

A: According to user feedback and testers, for a marathon you want to eat a packet every thirty to forty-five minutes. The human body can digest about 350 calories an hour, so figure that two single serving one hundred calorie packs will be exactly what you need. They will start to work immediately so make sure that you keep an eye on your time.

 

cycling

Thanks for reading this guide! We hope the information we provided has answered all your questions and will help you choose the best GU Energy Gel for you!  Before you head to the store, make sure to take into account all the above factors.  We know it will help you find the best fuel for your runs!


The Following Are Sources We Used While Conducting Our Research

Sources

  1. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,
  2. Runner’s World, Runner’s World, Running Website,
  3. Competitor, Competitor, Running Website,
  4. Runners Connect, Runners Connect, Running Blog,
  5. Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Online Encyclopedia,
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