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  • Aug
  • 10
  • 2016

Quick Meals on the Gu: The Taste Test

Quick Meals on the Gu:  The Taste Test

A blog post written by…

Alex Roth “The GUru”-Pacers Princeton

Designed for athletes since 1993, Gu energy gels remain at the forefront of the running nutritional market.  While scientific testing has proved their effectiveness, many people complain about the consumption experience.   Some dislike the icing-like texture; others just hate the taste.  I have even heard people say that they won’t eat some of them because of the clear color.


As a high school runner, I have not had much experience in eating Gu specifically for running, so in these past few months I joined running enthusiasts in being opinionated about Gu.

The first Gu I ever tried was the Maple Bacon flavor.  At first, I was a little underwhelmed, as I usually am when I have something that is pretending to be bacon.  However, the maple syrup flavor with a bacon-like savory kick was shockingly tasty.  Despite having an odd texture, it did not take long for me to get used to it.  It was kind of like eating space food, and if NASA is in charge of your nutrition, it must be efficient.  Who am I to complain about progress?

The journey continued as I proceeded to try Chocolate, Vanilla, Root Beer, Salted Watermelon, and Cucumber Mint.  Chocolate and Vanilla were both exactly as I expected.  I then began to go out on a limb a little bit and try Root Beer, the flavor “inspired by Max”, as found on the bottom of many of the Root Beer gel packages.  I was astounded, and it still stands as my favorite Gu flavor.


Feeling a boost of confidence from the Root Beer experience, it was time to make a jump into uncharted territory: Cucumber Mint.  After really liking Lime-Cucumber Gatorade, I figured it could not be that bad, but as I squeezed the contents of the plastic onto my tongue, I was stricken with regret.  Mint in the form of a gel was one of the stranger experiences of my lifetime, and the cucumber did not mix as well as I thought it would.

After I had enough water to cleanse my palette of the odd combo, I moved onto the Salted Watermelon Gu.  Many people have ridiculed this flavor for months, yet I kept seeing them fly off the shelves.  My jurisdiction on it is that it tastes like liquid watermelon candy.  As a big fan of watermelon candy, I thought it was delicious.

13509087_589753421193323_869433828960700368_nThis odyssey of experiencing Gu was definitely a worthwhile experience.  In addition to tasting all of these flavors, I learned a few things about the gels as well.  Firstly, on the bottom of all the packages are little snippets of motivation Gu seems to want kept secret.  Some examples are “#guforit”, ”Do something epic today”, “Contents: one BQ”, and “Setting PRs since 1993”.  Well played Gu promotional staff.  My final tip for consuming Gu is to always drink some water afterwards.  The main ingredient in Gu is maltodextrin, and while it provides long term energy unlike simple sugars, it sticks to the roof of the mouth.


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