Running with GU

GEAR Independent review by Nick Laurie⚙️


A big part of trail running and dabbling with ultra marathons requires coming to grips with the fueling required to keep you going. 

I did a little experiment to test my body’s requirements:

Runs up to one hour- nothing required.

1 to 1.5 -water

1.5 to 2 hours,  a gel at 1 hour, water every 30 mins

2-3 hours a gel every 45 mins, water every 20 mins.

3 hours plus gels and water, up to 3 hours and then some real food. Electrolytes become more important in these longer races.

The big thing with nutrition is that you need to experiment during training. Never try anything new on race day. It’s always tempting to try out the new gel that you picked up from a race expo and then find out at the business end of the race that it does not agree with you. There are a few things that can happen: it can upset your stomach, in my case if it contains too much sugar a reaction occurs where I crave more sugar and my joints ache, or in the case of caffeine it can bring on a high followed by a low.

So I received my experimental pack from the great team at GU. Here’s the stuff that I used.

GU energy gel 30ml- this is the traditional gel that people associate with GU. It’s a thick ish Gel that is slower to digest. I liked it for my shorter races.  I just needed to chase it down with plenty of water. I take one when coming up to a drinks station. Heaps of different flavors and there are ones with added caffeine if you can handle the boost.

Liquid energy 60ml- these are a bit bulkier than the smaller gel but are way more paltable and are easier to swallow. These are now my preferred Gel and I found the orange flavour the nicest. They also contain electrolytes  to help with cellular water balance and prevent cramping. They have carbs to provide energy and BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) to provide building blocks for muscle repair.

The hydration drink tabs enabled me to put one of these effervescent tablets (slightly fizzy) into one of my water bottles on my vest to keep up electrolytes when going long. I have water in one bottle and after an hour or so have a sip of electrolyte from the other bottle. Sort of a cocktail hour on the run!


Gu sent me some of their Stroopwafels which come in a few flavors. These are great for after a few hours when you are craving some real food. They must be digested when you heart rate is low so are ideal for an ultra-aid station. I also have a couple with banana and honey for pre-race breakfast.  

So here you go- this is based on my experiment with one participant so I urge you to grab these and try them out in training first. GU were the original pioneers in the gel scene and continue to innovate. I highly recommend their product.



Related Articles

Back to top button