Even though I'm very small potatoes in the blog world, and receive nothing in the form of endorsements or discounts from anyone for anything I write here, I still thought it might be helpful to occasionally post about things I like (usually related to training). I know when I started in triathlon, I had no idea what to eat, drink, wear, etc., and there were even fewer options then than there are now. I think I've ingested just about every type of bar, drink, and gel, and am now on my fifth type of bike helmet since 2004. Obviously, everyone is different, and what I think is great may not be so great for you, but I'd definitely recommend that you at least try some of the things that have worked for me - it might totally change your training and racing. Hopefully, for the better.
Today I'm plugging Gu energy gels. And I'm not talking Roctane, Gu's high end cousin, but rather the original Gu. Not the recovery tea, or the blocs, or whatever else they have out there, either. Just the plain ol' Gu energy gel that's been around since 1991 (look, I even did research for this post!). Not that the other stuff isn't good, but it's just not my focus today.
Gu, for me, is like the high school sweetheart you left behind when you went to college, and then later wish was still part of your life. I started with Gu when I started in triathlon, actually while I was still just doing running events, but I was tempted by all the new gel formulas that quickly entered the market, and left Gu behind. I dabbled with the Power Bar variety, the Cliff Shot, even the Accelerade, Carb Boom, and Hammer offerings. But I soon came back to Gu (unlike the high school sweetheart). They weren't the same.
I'm certainly not smart enough to know the science behind it, but Gu just seems to work for me. Much better than the other stuff on the market. I slug it down, and instantly feel energized. I actually look forward to the point during the run or ride when I can rip one open, because I know that it will make me feel better. And I like the little things - there's a million different flavors (or Plain, which is actually one of my favorites), and while it can be a little thick when it's cold out, warming it up makes it easy to take in on the bike or run. You can even mix it in a flask with water to make it extra-liquidy, which I did for IM Arizona a few years ago. In fact, that's about all I took in for that race, and felt fine the whole time. It's also easy on my stomach, which can be super sensitive on race days.
So, there you go. Like I said, the folks at Gu don't know me from Adam, and I'm not asking them for anything - this is just my little tip for you. Energy gels can be hugely effective for training and racing, so if you're not using them, you should give them a try. Sample a few different kinds, but make sure there a Gu Chocolate Outrage in the mix - it looks and tastes just like frosting, and what could be better than that?
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