Electronic shifting. Carbon fiber. Strava. None of these will help you perform better if you bonk during a ride or run – you might as well be wearing a boat anchor around your neck. Fueling your body during an extended period of exertion is more important than whatever new whiz-bang gadget you just purchased. Just like gasoline and coolant to an automobile, if your body runs out of fuel or water, you are done.
GU Energy Labs of Berkeley, California knows sports nutrition all to well and has been involved in the industry since 1991. Their first product was a single serving gel that was fairly revolutionary at the time. While racing for mountain bike team in western Pennsylvania around that time, I remember receiving packets of GU gel to use since they were a team sponsor. The other choices at the time were chalky tasting energy bars and Fig Newtons. The GU gels were a welcome addition to the nutrition arsenal. These single-serving packets traveled well in a cycling jersey, even during events in the pouring rain. When needed, they were easy to open, consume and digest. They quickly provided the necessary fuel needed to be competitive, and as a bonus they actually tasted good.
Today, GU Energy Labs has dramatically expanded their product line to include Chomps Energy Chews (like gummy bears), Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel, GU Electrolyte Brew (a during activity drink), and GU Recovery Brew (for post-activity use); but the original Energy Gel product still remains as staple of their line. The formula of the GU Energy Gel has changed over the years and the number of flavors has increase, but the basic idea behind the product remains.
GU Energy Gel provides athletes with a dose of 100 calories to deliver high-quality, easily-digested and long-lasting energy for athletes in every sport and at all levels. Everything inside each packet of GU is engineered to do one simple thing: provide your body with the essential requirements it needs to keep going for miles and miles and hours and hours. It goes down easy, and it goes to work fast so you don’t have to slow down.
GU Energy Labs believes in tightly controlling the manufacturing of their products and closely monitors the production. The GU Energy Gels are made in America and manufactured in their own facility.
Our state-of-the-art production line and exacting quality control process are valuable assets, but what do they mean to you, the athlete? You can trust that the premium gel you rely on undergoes the most rigorous quality checks in the sports nutrition industry. We watch over every batch of gel we produce and maintain a production facility that is free from the risk of contamination by foreign substances. Most other gel manufacturers outsource production to third party contract manufacturers where who-knows-what was produced in the previous batch. This can be a serious concern in a supplement business that is lightly regulated and too often not completely above board.
Back in 1991 there were not many choices when it came to nutritional products that could easily be taken on a run or ride, but today the choices seem endless. Now there really isn’t an issue finding an ‘energy‘ product to keep you performing – just stroll down the nutrition aisle at your grocery store. The current concerns are if the product agrees with your body, does it work with your training program, what ingredients are inside the product, and where are those ingredients being sourced.
After flipping over a packet of energy chews from another manufacturer and seeing ‘Made in the Czech Republic’, I started to pay closer attention to where my food products are being made. There is certainly nothing wrong with purchasing a food product from another region, most have as equally as strict of regulations as the U.S. Unfortunately that is not the case with every country, and if an item does come out of another country, it is tough to know what you could ultimately be ingesting. With GU Energy Gels there is no need to worry, turn over the packet and you can see for yourself, “Made in the USA by: GU Energy Labs”.