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ewww, GU

minn2010-05-01 05:41:02 +0000 #1
I've tried to use GU during my long run, but I absolutely cannot stomach the gel. It's mostly the sticky, thick texture that gets to me. From talking with other runners, I've heard that GU is the best tasting energy gel. How do you all feel? Anyone else who's found something better?

I'm running my first half marathon on Nov. 7 and only have one more long run to try something out. On a side note- do you all find that it's imperative to use some sort of nutrition during a run that's lasting more than 60 min?

Please let me know what works for you and what might be worth one more shot!

(If there is already a thread on this that I missed, let me know!)
Syndirelah2010-05-01 05:43:52 +0000 #2
Hi Minn!

I used to HATE GU/gels.... really, I was with you... they made me sick. But now I use them almost all the time for long runs. What flavor did you try?

There are other brands out there-- some are different textures and flavors that you might like better. For me, it just took a little getting used to... and I definitely suggest trying different brands. Im pretty attached to the Espresso Love flavor of Gu.

Alternatives are shot blocks (which I hate) But also jolly ranchers work (for me) and this other kind of hard candy that i like.

Ill usually take some form of nutrition for 8+ miles. Bonking sucks, for one, but also, I want to continue to train my stomach to take in water and calories so it isnt such a shock come the realllly long 18-20 milers. So you might not *need* it for the medium distance runs, but in my experience, its better to take in some form of nutrition.

Hope youve had fun training for your half!! Thats so exciting!
divingbiker2010-05-01 06:03:14 +0000 #3
Sport beans are good, like jelly beans, and can be eaten a bit at a time instead of all in a slug like a gu.
OakLeaf2010-05-01 06:24:07 +0000 #4
On a training run I can go close to 90 minutes without nutrition without a noticeable decline in energy - but it takes me a LOT longer than that to run a 1/2. On longer training runs, I'll take in 100-150 calories every 40-45 minutes. Don't forget that at race pace you'll be burning calories a lot quicker than you do during training. On my first 1/2 last weekend, I didn't increase my intake, but I DEFINITELY noticed a boost from the gels. That is, my energy WAS declining, but so incrementally I hadn't noticed it until it came back.

I wouldn't be able to chew anything like Shot Blox or Sport Beans at race pace. It's hard enough to breathe just taking in a gel.

If you want to taste something worse than GU, try plain rice syrup and a pinch of salt in a gel flask. Yuk. But as a general rule I can't stand the wastefulness of single-serving gels.

If you have a beverage mix you like on the bike, maybe try mixing it very strong in a gel flask. Hammer Nutrition suggests doing that with Perpetuem, so I don't know why you couldn't do it with other products as well.
ny biker2010-05-01 05:59:07 +0000 #5
Gu works for me. I don't like really sweet things when I'm exercising so I stick with vanilla or orange which are not very sweet. I like the Gu Roctane too, which has limited flavors and I stick with orange-vanilla with that.

I used to buy Power Gels but that is much thicker than Gu, too thick for me.

Many years ago I tried Clif shots. They were too sweet for me, although I'm sure many people prefer them for that reason.
indigoiis2010-05-01 06:48:59 +0000 #6
I did not eat anything on my half marathon, and I was fine. I ate a good carb heavy meal late the night before, got up at 4:40 and had my usual breakfast, and ran at eight. I had no issues with bonking or low energy. I ate immediately afterwards.
katluvr2010-05-01 07:04:38 +0000 #7
Anyone that state "I hate gu/gels" I have to chime in.

I was not fond of them...texture, sweet, icky. Then I discovered Chocolate Gu (Gu brand). When cool it is like fudge or icing that you squeeze in your mouth--YUM! And when worm..melted chocolate! I also often just do 1/2 a pack at a time. So you don't get sugar overload. (just carefully fold packet over and store--or hang on to for the next couple miles). My old running coach taught me 1/2 a packet trick...like eating one shot block.

Other option is cute up a energy bar (like cliff) to bite size and try that.

But do try Chocolate Gu...if you like chocolate that is.

K
Eden2010-05-01 08:16:10 +0000 #8
GU (or any gels) definitely take some getting used to, but then again eating anything while on the go takes some practice. I personally prefer GU brand and I like to squeeze them into a flask. I tend to only use gels for very long races (cycling that is, not much of a runner here...) where I'll need/want more than one anyway though. I also like that you can get unflavored GU. I've mixed my own with plain + soda flavorings (I've used cola and gingerale).

I've also found that I really like Powerbar's "Gel Blasts". They are like a shot block with a bit of gel in the center - but they are a bit more firm than most blocks. For me this is a plus as I've found stickier blocks to be hard to eat.

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