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.