Capsule Review: GU Salted Caramel Energy Gel

Posted: 21/10/2013 in Event, Food, Laughingly Called Training, Running
Tags: , , , , ,

I think I’ve tried Gu* gels before – certainly the shape of the pack is familiar. I remember them as being unbelievably thick and very difficult for me to swallow or digest. Clearly, this is not the ringing endorsement that might be hoped for. For preference, I use High 5 gels, as they’re as thin as I can find, sit comfortably in my stomach and seem to do the trick.


In my quest for gels at the weekend, I picked up a pile of my usual High 5’s, was ready to head off to the counter (which would bring it’s own bit of fun if you’ve read the post below) when I noticed a GU Salted Caramel gel. With a picture of a yeti on it. On which basis I bought one, I mean, it’s got a picture of a yeti on it, that alone makes it worth a go, and I’m not totally averse to caramel, apparently.


Today was my last longer run before the ultra, turned out to be around 12 miles, when I’d head out for about 6. Still, it gave me ample time to have a go with the Gu as it were. So, about eight miles in, about to head off up a hill, a little knackered and I thought “it’s now or never”** and tore the packet open. A gentle squeeze and what looked like actual caramel started to ooze out. Hmm, looks like the consistency is the same, but for some reason that makes perfect sense when it’s caramel flavour, as that’s like food, rather than like a drink, you see? It was rather nice, sweet, caramelly goodness. If Augustus Gloop had been looking on, he would have wept in envy, I swear.

I finished it off, feeling like I’d just ram-raided a sweet-shop, and kicked back into running at my go-to ultra-shuffle pace. Hmm, no ill effects, that’s pretty good. A couple of miles further and still no bother – this might be a winner. I even felt mildly energetic, though whether this was from the gel itself of the indulgent taste is up for discussion.

In short, I would recommend these to anyone who like caramel and is prepared to slow down to ingest their gels – I couldn’t have coped with it at a run, I think I would have smothered myself in gel. I might pick up a couple more to stick in my drop bags for the ultra – can’t hurt to add caramel to the tank, eh?

* Not clear on whether it’s ‘Gu’ or ‘GU’, so I’ve used both indiscriminately in order to cover all the bases.

**I could have done it another time, say five minutes later, tomorrow or in 2016, but a bit of drama never goes amiss.

  1. Jay says:

    Sold! I would buy a bucket of poop-coated broken glass if it had a picture of a yeti on it.

    I’ve tried Gu gels a few times, mainly because I think the name is cute (I think the official term for me in marketing jargon would be “a level 9 soft touch”). Have to agree with you on the gloopy texture though. Almost have to chew.

    Speaking if which, have you ever tried Clif shot bloks as an alternative to gels? They’re pretty good.

    • Quite like Shot Bloks, but always assume someone will tell me off mid-run for eating sweets before lunch…

      Can’t get away with the orange ones, but the red ones are yum.

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