The Saturday Review: A GU Review | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


**UPDATED! WINNER of the GU giveaway is: LadyG8r!!  Congrats!! Please send me your snail mail address at [email protected]!**

I love GU. Pronounced “goo.”

GU is an energy gel. What is this energy gel I speak of? And who should be eating these? And why? Do we really need these in our lives?

Yes. But not all the time. And it depends on what you’re doing. There are times to use them and times when you should not use them. They are about 100 calories, so you really want to use them sparingly for that reason. You don’t want to exercise out your calories just to put them back in with a gel. However, they can be really valuable when you’re exercising for a long time and losing a lot of nutrients.

I first read about “energy gels” online. But I thought they were for “athletes” and had no clue how to use them. I knew I had a long run coming up, so I bought one to try. SOLD! It helped me restore my bounce and it gave me a little pep, too.

First, my favorite things about them and how to use them:

-I use them when I am going to run or bike for a really, really long time, like an hour and a half or more. I have used them on my half-marathon training runs, 7 miles or more. I have used them during triathlons and long rides. They have become a staple in my house for those reasons, but I do use them sparingly. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve popped one before a 5k before and it gave me a little zing.

-Energy gels help replenish the electrolytes and important minerals that you use during long periods of exercise. Some of the GU’s ingredients include complex carbohydrates, caffeine, fructose, herbal supplements (like chamomile which has anti-inflammatory properties), potassium and and sodium citrate (which you need to replenish during long periods of exercise). Also, they are fat-free.

-Energy gels are kind of a paste consistency. You squeeze the gel out of the packet and into your mouth and they are like energy goo. You can keep them in your SPI Belt, pocket, water belt(like a Fuel Belt), in a pocket on your bike or in your bike jersey. They give me a nice little pep when I need it and if I am really depleted of energy before I exercise, I’ll take it about 10-15 minutes before.

-Happily, they also give you a little burst of energy. I use my gels about 30-45 minutes into my exercise and then about 25 minutes before I know it’s going to end. Depending on how I feel. Listen to your body! Everyone is different!

-You need a little water to wash it down, so make sure you take it when you’re passing a water station or have a water bottle handy.

-Make sure you don’t use them for the first time during a race. If you think you might need to use a gel during a race, use it during your training to see what it does for you. You may love it or you may hate it, but during a race is never the place to find out!

As much as I love them, there are a few annoying things about them as I have discovered. 

-They’re a little sticky. If you get them on your hands while you eat them, you’re kind of stuck without a place to wash your hands. I have had to finish an entire run with stickyfingers.

-They can be oddly filling, to the point that you may feel a little sick to your stomach if you have too many. I had planned to use two during my triathlon over the summer. I used one after the swim (before the bike) and had another after the bike (40 minutes later — and before the 5k run). *GAG* It was too much. I was running on a sick stomach for the first mile and regretting that last gel. Sometimes too much of a good thing ain’t good no more.

-Some flavors are really really really yummy. Like the Chocolate Outrage pictured above. YUM! But some are really really gaggy (to me).  Again, make sure you figure this out during training, not during a race.

Now for the great part! If you want some GU for YOU (I like the rhyming) GU sent me a big ol’ basket of gels, chewy energy bites and drink powder to give YOU!

So, if you want to try these out because you are working out like a fiend now that you’re a sister, just leave a comment below and one random commenter shall receive.

  • Tell us if you have tried energy gels or drinks before and what’s your fave.
  • Follow the Sisterhood on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway for an extra entry! Leave a comment letting us know you tweeted.
  • Join the ‘hood, or if you’re already a member, friend someone new! Leave an additional comment for an extra entry.

Giveaway ends on Thursday, February 11th at midnight PST.

The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans received samples of GU Energy Gels for review purposes only.  The Sisterhood was not paid for this review, and our opinions are our own.

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