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GU vs. Gatorade vs. Powerade vs. Accelerade vs. ... (Read 8022 times)

    What is your experience using these products. I am only up to a 7 mile this last weekend so I haven't had much use for them as yet, but my wife bought me some GU for father's day. I have been buying a gatorade/powerade up to this point to drink after my run. I was looking at Accelerade at my running store recently and it is about $1 per serving it is about 2x the cost of gatorade from CostCo. Is it worth the additional cost? What are your experiences? What do you like or not like about these products? How have you used them?
    The steady plodding of the diligent leads surely to advantage(victory), But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.


    Burninated Peasant

      I just get whatever's cheapest - lately, that's powerade. Most of those drinks are basically just high fructose corn syrup anyway. I think there was a study out recently that showed chocolate milk was actually the most effective recovery drink, but I'm too lazy to go find a link to the results. Not that chocolate milk is terribly cheap these days either... For gels, I like the raspberry clif shots - I think the texture is best at faking me into thinking that I'm eating actual food. I'd prefer to eat actual food, but my stomach is too sensitive for that. When I don't have the clif shots on hand, I usually use the powerbar gels, whatever they're called.
        How have you used them?
        I've been using Gu Vanilla Bean on my runs of 10 miles or longer. I tend to take 1 Gu packet for every full 4 miles I run and I space them in such a way so I eat the last one 3 miles from the end of my run. E.g if I run 15 miles, I'll take 3 packets at miles 4, 8, and 12. I think everyone is different and I know a lot of people don't eat as much Gu as I take. So far, the only fluids I've been taking is water, but since the marathon I'm running in the fall will be serving Gatorade Endurance, I plan to get some and start using it in the next few weeks.
        Derek
          I've tried a few flavors of the GU and PowerBar gels and so far I've really liked the Vanilla flavored PowerBar brand. The Chocolate is tasty, but much to thick to digest into a long run. I also read in one my mags that you should down some liquid after ingesting a gel to help your body digest it. I've been a fan of the Gatorade powder mix in the Lemon-Lime flavor. I like the mix because regular Gatorade is way too strong for me, makes my tummy very unhappy. I suggest you just go through a few gels to find which ones your taste buds like.


          A Dance with Monkeys

            Of all the gels, I prefer GU brand. It is simplest and comes in small packets, good flavors and is easy on the stomach. For fluids, I drink whatever. If I have a race coming up and they offer a particular drink, I will drink that beforehand if I can. Not much difference physiologically among all the standard sports drinks (i.e., those that do not contain protein), so drink to taste and price.
              As far as gels go...they all work the same. They all work great. However, they don't all taste great. Just gotta experiment and see what you like the best. Fluid-wise, I avoid Gatorade & Powerade myself, as they are way too sugary. Upsets the belly. If you wanna use those, I'd dilute it about 50/50 with water to ease the stomach problems. Something like Powerbar Endurance drink, GU2O, etc. works really well. You have to be careful with Accelerade, because the protein can cause some stomach cramping as well. The stuides on that stuff is pretty inconclusive anyway. I've recently become a big fan of this new electrolyte drink mix called NUUN (pronounced "noon"). They are kind of like Alka-Seltzer tabs, but contain electrolytes. 1 tab dissolves into 16 oz of water in about 2 minutes. $6.50 gets your 12 tabs, so it's pretty cheap, actually. Anyway, it tastes pretty good, and is super easy. No need to do a ton of shaking to mix it or anything. Works great...I'd look into that too. http://www.nuun.com/ Good luck...

              Sack up and run.

                I've recently become a big fan of this new electrolyte drink mix called NUUN (pronounced "noon"). They are kind of like Alka-Seltzer tabs, but contain electrolytes. 1 tab dissolves into 16 oz of water in about 2 minutes. $6.50 gets your 12 tabs, so it's pretty cheap, actually. Anyway, it tastes pretty good, and is super easy. No need to do a ton of shaking to mix it or anything. Works great...I'd look into that too. http://www.nuun.com/ Good luck...
                I am a HUGE fan of this stuff. I live in Arizona, where currently it's 100 degrees at 9pm, and this stuff is a lifesaver. The best part about it is that there's no sugar in it, so you don't end up with a gross sticky mess during or after your run if you slosh your bottle around a little. I've also liked the Powerbar drink mix as far as more carby drinks go. Cytomax doesn't work for me very well at all, but my boyfriend swears by it. Everyone is different. For gels, I like GU okay, though I've been getting Clif Shot Energy Gels for $15 for a box of 24 (including postage!) from amazon. They seem to work just as well as the GU for me.
                  During a long run I like Jelly Belly sports beans. The lemon lime flavor is pretty good-not too sweet. The best part is that you can eat a few beans at a time which is much easier on your stomach than downing an entire gu during a run.
                  Scout7


                  CPT Curmudgeon

                    Of all the gels, I prefer GU brand. It is simplest and comes in small packets, good flavors and is easy on the stomach.
                    Good flavors and easy on the stomach for you. Personally, I think all the GU flavors taste God-awful, and inevitably make me gag. Carb-boom is, for me at least, easier to swallow. I try to stick with sports drink as much as possible.
                      I like GU (Triberry, Vanilla Bean, Espresso Love), but typically only on runs longer than 1-1.5 hours. I usually take them at 45 minute intervals on long runs. Wash them down with water. As for sports drinks, same thing. Water only under 1 hour, sometimes even up to 1.5 hours if it cooler. In the hot weather I opt for e.Load. Not sure how widely available it is in the US. Is it any better than Gatorade? I think so, but that's just likely my preference. Have used it for years. Never had a problem.
                        I have limited experience with either, since I'm a short distance runner still (Only up to about 6 miles), but on my weekend runs, I do carry a Gu with me, because I have issues with hypoglycemia. Haven't needed it in weeks because I've learned how to fuel to run, but they were nice to have along, as a "just in case." Super sweet, of course, but I didn't think the vanilla was terrible. Couldn't do the fruits though. Ick. As for gatorade, I buy the powder at the super market and make it about half strength for any runs over 45 minutes in the 85+ heat. I've found the powder is a great way to go for me - easy storage and you can make it to whatever strength you want.


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          For those who do not like sweet or sugary, you may also want to try Ultima.
                            Fluid-wise, I avoid Gatorade & Powerade myself, as they are way too sugary. Upsets the belly. If you wanna use those, I'd dilute it about 50/50 with water to ease the stomach problems.
                            The new issue of TrailRunner magazine had an article about diluting sports drinks this month. Basically it said that the carbs in the drink are absorbed better by your body at certain concentrations. Before your intestines can absorb the fluid, it has to pass through the stomach. At less than a 4-5% solution or at a more than 10% solution, it slows the time spent in the stomach, slowing the time that it takes for your intestines to absorb the water. They suggested carrying both water and sports drinks separately rather than diluting. Teresa


                            A Dance with Monkeys

                              The diluting thing is correct, however it is likely only a problem at high exertion. For most of us out on training runs and even for most of us at marathons, you should still be able to absorb a half-strength solution.


                              Go Pre!

                                Is it just me...or do you all agree...how hard it is to do a long run and go by a burger joint or cafe serving bacon and eggs! Damn that's the toughest part of any long run for me. It makes my gels and water taste like vomit.
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