Published on June 3, 2016
GU Energy Chews
GU Energy Chews are fundamentally the semi-solid chewable equivalent of GU’s well-recognised Energy Gels. Each sachet contains 30g of chews serving up a total of 90kcal with 23g of carbs (11g of which are sugars) – how well do they stack up on the run and how do they compare to their liquid counterpart?
First up your ‘fuel’ is coming courtesy of a combination of tapioca syrup, cane sugar and maltodextrin – the latter is probably the most controversial; whilst it’s a common enough ingredient in a huge range of gels and other sports energy products, it’s certainly not the ‘cleanest’ of carb sources and one that many find they (quite literally) can’t stomach. Personal preference? RunningMonkey stays largely clear of maltodextrin – but if you don’t have any great aversion then GU Energy Chews are likely to work well enough for you.
The combined carb source provides a fairly flat delivery of energy without any noticeable crash, with the advice, during sustained exercise, being to consume a 30g sachet (4 chews) every 45minutes. As with any energy product mixing things up between flavours – there are six in the GU Energy Chew range – and eating a range of different products will keep things more interesting for the palate (and stomach.)
You’ll find 50mg of sodium per 30g of chews and 40mg potassium across the GU Energy Chew options; these additions are designed to help balance body salts lost through sweat. Ideally of course you might look to replace a wider spectrum of lost salts, but as sodium and potassium are the primary losses these are a solid place to start.
Strawberry, Orange, Blueberry & Pomegranate, Watermelon, Raspberry and the somewhat unusual (but actually very tasty) Salted Caramel Apple options are available. An extra caffeine kick can be found with the Strawberry or Salted Caramel Apple containing 20mg caffeine and double that with the Raspberry flavour. By way of rough comparison the latter delivers about half the caffeine of 250ml can of Red Bull or standard espresso shot. Find out more about caffeine and running in our feature here.
Gel or chew?
There’s actually little difference between GU Energy Chews and GU Energy Gels – the former, as noted, delivers 90kcal / 23g of carbs for 30g serving, whilst the gel option gives up 100kcal with around the same carb value. However whilst the Chew option delivers around half of the carbs via sugar(s) the levels are lower with the gels – typically just 6-7g.
Beyond that it’s really down to personal preference – again this can come down to ‘mixing things up on the run’; a gel or two, a sachet of chews, slice of pizza? There is something to be said for the drip-feeding approach to nutrition so splitting the carbs up into four bite-sized chews may be better for some than the all-in hit of a gel.
GU Energy Chews are available online from, amongst other places, ultramarathonrunningstore.com – retailing at £1.75 for 30g sachets.