Taste, consistency, performance tests, and everything else you need to know to see if Gu – Strawberry Banana from Gu Labs is the best energy gel for you. Everything is ranked according to my evaluation criteria.
(NOTE: performance between regular Gu Labs flavors does not change)
1) The key pieces of research behind Gu are the studies demonstrating that you can increase your carbohydrate intake by utilizing different absorption pathways. The way to use these different pathways is to ingest different types of sugar at the same time, which is why Gu uses fructose and maltodextrin.
2) Vitamins, Amino Acids, and minerals. There are two camps when it comes to using branch chain amino acids (BCAA) during exercise. On one hand, Gu and Hammer claim that it helps to prevent muscle cannablization during extended endurance exercise, ie two hours plus. However, Clif takes the opposite approach and says that added minerals/BCAA’s/vitamins are great for general health, but not very useful as performance boosters. From my standpoint, I see Hammer and Gu as the more logical explanation. That being said, BCAA’s can be found in any complete protein, so it’s not hard to supplement your energy gels if you feel so inclined.
- Taste: leans towards the banana of the “strawberry banana” flavor. Not a terrible flavor. Not too sweet, i.e. probably wouldn’t cut it as a kid’s candy in the US.
- Consistency (see video): slightly thicker than the chocolate flavor. Decent overall.
- Sweetness: Low.
- Texture: Smooth.
- Aftertaste: Standard.
- Ease of use (see video): Easy. Tears from both sides with very little force. No brainpower required. Mouth-of-package to consistency rating is good.
- Quality of Ingredients/ Artificial ingredients: several unpronounceable scientific names. However, they throw you a bone by using filtered water, sea salt, and something called GU Herbal Blend (chamomile, cola nut, ginger).
- Flavorings: “natural” banana and strawberry flavors.
- Preservatives: contains preservatives (sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate)
- Allergens: none.
$1.31. Since Gu is the standard, this is the standard value for running energy gels but you can definitely find these cheaper elsewhere.
Running Energy Gel Bottom Line
This gel sums up Gu in a nutshell: great performance, average at everything else, no major weakness. If you’re totally confused about running energy gels, then this is not a bad default option. Check out Amazon for more Gu – Strawberry Banana energy gel reviews and prices!