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Energy Gels: Helping You Last a Little Longer

Filed Under: Sports Nutrition at 10:09 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
GU LogoIf you exercise regularly and particularly if you are a long-distance athlete, you understand the importance of water consumption. Becoming dehydrated will end your workout immediately and potentially make you seriously ill. But, water isn’t the only substance you need when exercising. To maintain endurance and stay active and alert, you need energy, in the form of carbohydrates. You can get this in any number of ways, such as sports drinks or power bars. However, those both have their inconveniences, so you might want to consider, instead, energy gels.

Energy gels are exactly what they sound like: a gelatinous mixture of complex and simple carbohydrates, designed to keep you going during your workout. They pack more punch per ounce than a sports drink and are considerably less bulky than the beverage bottles. They are also more easily absorbed than solid foods, giving them a one up on bars. GU Energy Gels, specifically, are made with maltodexrin, the complex carbohydrate most adept at delivering energy to your working muscles. So, the next time you have a marathon to run, a race to bike or a workout to endure, don’t forget your energy gel. It, with water, will provide you with the physical and mental alertness you need. But which taste best?

To give you a little guidance, I’ve tasted four GU Energy Gels. Here are the results:

Espresso Love – In general, I’m not a coffee fan. I find most coffee-flavored substances too strong, bitter and, basically, coffee-flavored. This gel, however, is none of those. It has a sweetened taste that reminds you more of sugar than of coffee, thoroughly enjoyable.

• Banana Blitz – A squeeze of Banana Blitz provides you with a shot of real, banana taste. You don’t get that tacky, candy flavor many banana products have. Instead, it’s like having the actual fruit without the chew.

Orange Burst – Think doctor’s office lollipops. Of the four, this is the least favorite. If you really enjoyed that post-pediatric appointment candy, then by all means, go for it.

Tri-Berry – It’s very berry and very much like diet-raspberry iced tea. The initial taste is a little off-putting, but it becomes more appealing with each squeeze.

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