Energy Gel Performance
1) Gu quotes studies showing that using multiple types of sugar increases carbohydrate uptake since you’re not limiting yourself to one absorption path. Hence their use of maltodextrin and fructose to give you running energy.
2) Amino acids, vitamins, and minerals: while not as contentious as caffeine, there are different schools of thought on branch chain amino acids (BCAA) during exercise. Clif claims there’s little proven benefit. Gu claims there is, as does Hammer, who then backs it up with some science. Personally, from the research I’ve done, there seems to be a small performance benefit during extended endurance (2+ hours) events. Of course, you can get BCAA’s from any complete protein source, so they’re easy enough to come by.
As for vitamins and minerals, they’re great for recovery and general health, but at best unnecessary for performance.
3) Electrolytes. Gu has a decent balance of sodium/potassium. They don’t make any outrageous claims on this one.
Energy Gel Experience
- Taste: chocolate-esque, i.e. tastes like it is a gel that has been flavored. It’s not bad…for an energy gel.
- Consistency: thin-ish and fairly runny.
- Sweetness: Mild-to-medium.
- Texture: smooth.
- Aftertaste: standard.
- Ease of use (package): Easy. Top does not tear off as easily as others, but it won’t distract you during the race. It has a wide mouth for getting a lot of gel out quickly.
Energy Gel Health
- Quality of Ingredients/ Artificial ingredients: plenty of stuff with scientific names you can’t pronounce. Does use sea salt, filtered water, and GU Herbal Blend [Chamomile, Cola Nut (has Caffeine), Ginger].
- Flavorings: unsweetened dark chocolate.
- Preservatives: Contains Preservatives (Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate)
- Allergens: the website does not explicitly state that this product is dairy-free (whereas it does on other flavors), therefore I would assume there is probably dairy in the chocolate (because I don’t see it listed elsewhere).
Energy Gel Value
$1.31. This is the price listed on the Gu website and is a standard price for energy gels, but you can definitely find these cheaper elsewhere (like Amazon), especially since the ingredients aren’t very costly in the first place.
Energy Gel Bottom Line
A solid overall energy gel with a taste that compares well to most products on the market. Check out Amazon for more Gu – Chocolate Outrage energy gel reviews and prices.