The GU Taste Test – Part 1


Keeping properly fueled is important, especially when you’re working out for extended periods of time (more than 45 minutes straight). Deny your body fuel and it will deny you the performance you are demanding of it. Simple as that. So what does someone do when they need extended endurance while working out? I chose GU. GU is essentially a little packet of gel loaded with the goodies your muscles want and need to keep cranking! Now I could get into the science behind all of this, but that stuff kind of gives me a headache and this post is about what the different flavors of GU taste like not exactly what is happening. I assure you a simple Google search will point you to countless articles about why your muscles need to be continually fed over long work outs.

Enough of that, lets get to the real point of this post. If you, like myself, decide to choose GU as your energy source you will soon realize there are a whole bunch of flavors to choose from. Surely some have to be better than others? Right? But who wants to try them all to find out? I shall step forward and try as many flavors as I can during my workouts so you can make the most educated GU purchase without fear or buying something that tastes like liquid death! So lets begin. The format is simple, I’ll post the flavor and if it make my taste buds leap for joy or atrophy!

Behold the first three flavors in my adventure with energy gels!

Vanilla Bean – Ah Vanilla Bean, a simple flavor to start things off. Tried this one in the middle of my Saturday half marathon run. What a way to start things off let me tell ya! Vanilla Bean GU tastes just like vanilla frosting! It’s got that sweet rich vanilla taste, which was a welcome flavor in my mouth, considering before that it was just the occasional bug or sweat serving as my sustenance yummy! Vanilla Bean GU gets my stamp of approval! Maybe I should make a stamp of approval? We’ll work on that. Anyways! Fear not in purchasing the flavor IF you were the kid that ate spoonfuls of frosting from the jar.

Espresso Love – There is no denying I am an avid coffee drinker, I may even borderline an addict to the stuff. So I was pretty excited to try this one out. The prospect of having the equivalent of a cup of coffee in the middle of my run had me gleefully running to the halfway point of my workout to give this one a shot. In the end I’ve got to say I was a little disappointed. Sure it tasted like coffee, but we’re talking instant coffee, not some delicious organic pour over from distant lands. It wasn’t bad by any means, it just wasn’t amazing either. It was certainly less sweet than the vanilla bean flavor, so if you are looking for a more subtle flavor this one may be for you.

Jet Blackberry – To wrap up the first batch of flavors I tried Jet Blackberry. I like blackberries, and I like jets, this one already had a chance before I even tasted it! Same routine as before, ran for a while then cracked it open and tried it out. This one almost had a molassesy berry kind of flavor, not bad but kind of surprising when I was expecting tart and refreshing. Once I knew what I was getting myself into the rest of the pack went down fine and I actually kind of liked it. Rich and fruity, woke my mouth up and gave me the energy to finish my run with confidence and none of my muscles exploded or fell off!

There you have it, the first three flavors in my journey across the GU product line. The winner from this round would no doubt be Vanilla Bean, I liked it so much that I went out and bought another pack of it to use on a workout even though I have a heap of other flavors to try! Time to try some more of these, I think we’ll go with strawberry banana next….

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  • @Aaronthestrong

    Genius series! I would love to see more of these kinds of "taste test" posts with other tasty (or not so tasty) energy snacks. I won a bunch of GU for doing #30daysofbiking and some of them were just downright awful. Looking forward to more!

    • Mike

      I'm just about ready to post round two of my taste tests, one or two more runs so I can try "plain" and "orange" then I'll get it up on the site. So far vanilla wins for the most accurate flavor representation.