As it is for most runners, my relationship with energy gels is complicated. They aren’t the most palatable of foods but their convenience and power-per-packaging can’t be beat for long runs and workouts. When I first started running long distance, I used GU Just Plain because I was afraid of all of the other flavors. Over time, I branched out (is that the right word) to Vanilla. I had rough runs with Strawberry Banana and Orange and vowed to avoid the fruit flavors for life. More recently, I’ve been a Mocha Clif Shot kind of girl but when I was visiting my local Fleet Feet recently, spotted a bright green packet behind the counter that promised Salted Watermelon GU. I spent much of my childhood with the nickname of Watermelon so I have a special kinship with the fruit and am a sucker for all things watermelon flavored. I recently tried Salted Caramel and although I liked it, I wasn’t sold enough to replace the Mocha Clif Shot. Now, however, the Salted Watermelon has taken center stage and will be my gel of choice for Albany and Vegas this fall.
I did two test runs with the Salted Watermelon and was delighted on both. The flavor is subtle (it smells stronger than it tastes) and the hint of salt is actually refreshing in the middle of a run. One of my long runs was a 98% humidity day along the ocean and even warm, the Salted Watermelon was delicious. One of my complaints about GU flavors (and all energy gel flavors) in the past is that there is just too much flavor and it sits in your mouth for miles after the gel. Perhaps GU has improved across the board, but I am happy to report than I was neither tasting nor burping watermelon 30 minutes later.
As I was ordering my supply for the marathon today, I noticed another new flavor: Root Beer. Added 8 of those to my cart for future testing!
What flavors do you love? What flavors will you never ever try again? Favorite energy gel company?