Interesting results in my recent experimenting with new sports nutrition products
For last few years, I have been using GU Energy Gels, Clif Shot Bloks and Nuun on my bike rides and long runs. Recently I wanted to find something to replace the Clif Shot Bloks because I find them too large for my mouth. This could be because I am female and have a smaller mouth, but it also takes too much effort for me to chew or suck on them when I need to get the nutrition into my body quickly. I tested out some other items similar to Bloks to see if I could find something easier to chew while riding and running.
The first item I tried was Luna Moons. They have the exact same nutrition profile as Clif Shot Bloks except that it takes four of them to equal one serving, versus three Shot Bloks. The size of the Luna Moons was more manageable in my mouth. There are only three flavors of Luna Moons that I could find, and of those, I chose watermelon. The taste was ok, but not great.
I then tried strawberry flavored GU Chomps, which I liked better in terms of flavor, size, and texture. One packet of Chomps contains 2 servings, which will provide enough fuel for 1 ½ to 2 hours of activity (generally speaking). The drawback I found with carrying around a packet of Clif Shot Bloks or Chomps is that once you eat one serving, you have to maneuver the packaging quite a bit to eat the rest. For example, when riding I have to try to scoot out the other four Chomps or squeeze up the second half of the Clif Shot Bloks packaging with one hand, while steering my bike with the other. I think packaging one serving would be more manageable for riding. You can fit several, small, one serving packs into different pockets, versus having to fit a whole pouch into one pocket. If someone has a creative way of making this work easy, let us know!
Another difference between the Clif Shot Bloks and GU Chomps is that GU has 100% RDA of Vitamin C & E, 20mg more Potassium, 20mg less Sodium and 10 less calories (90calories per serving). GU Chomps also have 20mg of caffeine per four Chomps. Most of the ingredients in Clif products are Organic. Depending upon what you need (more sodium in humid weather, more calories, caffeine), both products can work.
I hadn’t been able to find a caffeine-free gel flavor I like until I came across the Mint Chocolate GU. Most other caffeine-free gels are fruit flavors (Lemon, banana, strawberry) which I personally do not like. For those people that do like caffeine, GU has a new flavor, ‘Jet Blackberry‘ which has double caffeine to offer an alternative to espresso.