Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Own Personal Gel Test

A few weeks ago, I was finding that I was running out of energy during my longer training runs, and so, I began lurking around some on line running forums, and found people discussing these high carb energy gels.  So, one Saturday my daughter and I stopped by our local Sports Chalet to pick some up.  We found a little free standing display with so many different brands, that frankly I was a bit overwhelmed.  So, I decided that I would limit myself to a couple of brands that I had heard of: GU and Powerbar.  Also, fearing that I could just end up barfing them up half way through my run, I decided that I would just get two different flavors from each brand.

In the end I got GU Vanilla Bean and Jet Blackberry, and the Powerbar Vanilla and Banana Strawberry.  I had my daughter pick the Powerbar flavors, and she had picked up a Banana Strawberry that had the Caffeine boost in it… more on that later.

In terms of texture, I found the GU a bit more agreeable.  It tends to have a more pudding like consistency while the Powerbar gel was more liquidy. (Is that even a word?)  I can see that the Powerbar gel would probably go down easier on the run, but I just didn’t like the texture.

The vanilla flavors in both gels were my favorite.  The Banana Strawberry had a strong aftertaste that I was able to wash out with a few swigs of water but the Jet Blackberry was just… gross, and it didn’t wash out until I brushed my teeth.

The Caffeine boost in the Powerbar was… too much.  I’m not sensitive to caffeine in any way, I mean; I can drink a Coke before bed time and still sleep like a baby.  But when I sucked down the Powerbar with Caffeine, I did my run and afterword was still jittery for about another hour afterword, and not in a good way.

As far as performance, they both worked well.  The training runs I used them on were good and I had the energy required to complete them.  And most importantly, I didn’t barf up either one of them.  Score that a win.

1 comment:

Redhead Running said...

It all boils down to personal preference and tolerance on those things; so it's great you can stomach both! I personally can't do the GU, it's so thick to me and I have a hard time washing it down. I do the Powerbar Gel's, the liquid-ness of them makes it so much easier for me to get down both on the run and just in general. Also, in case you're ever in a bind, plain ol' packets of honey will do the trick. I have been known to stop at Mc D's to snag a honey packet on the run...

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