|Woolly Mammoth Insulated Bottle|
Over the last few months I've had an opportunity to try out a variety of GU Energy Labs products, as well as a really great hydration bottle from HydraPak.
Ok... first off, my impressions about the GU Energy Lab products that I tried. I sampled a variety of products that you can see in the first pic above. There was a variety of the standard GU Gels, as well as the Roctane variety. Additionally, I tried out some hydration drinks in the form of drink mixes, and dissolving tablets. Finally, there were a few energy Chomps as well.
I've been experimenting a bit with different ways to fuel my runs. Since most of my runs now fall under 3 hours, I generally don't have to carry a lot, but I'm looking to continue to extend distance/time. In May, I did a review of Nuun, as well as Clif Shot Bloks which you can read here.
As far as the gels go, I'm finding that you have to find the right flavors that work for you... if it's not a real favorite, it makes choking one down a few hours into a run kind of difficult. Regardless of the brand, I find that taking in a gel gets kind of old over time... and not really appealing. However, from a GU perspective, I really enjoyed the Peanut Butter gel, as well as the Roctane Cherry-Lime or Island Nectar.. those seemed to go down the easiest, but I would recommend trying different ones out. Compared to other gels I've tried, the GU gels can also be a little thick... especially when temps are low. Also, I find it difficult to fumble around with the gel packs while on the run. To that end, Hydrapak does make a gel flask, that allows you to combine multiple gels into one container and allows easier dispensing.
I have not tried this out yet, but since I have one here, I'm going to give it away, along with the selection of GU products pictured above. If you can't stand the excitement, you can jump down to the bottom of the post and enter now... just come back and finish reading? :-)
I think the gel flask would eliminate opening multiple packets and also allow you to dispense your gel spread out over time. The flask is small and flexible so would be easy to pack. I'm really hoping to get an opportunity to try out another Hydrapak product called the Gel-bot, which combines your hydration and gel dispenser into one unit.
But as usual, I am getting sidetracked. Let me finish up on the GU products. I found the GU Chomps to be a great way to fuel. In my prior review I covered the Clif Shot Bloks which are a similar products. The GU Chomps are similar, however I found them to be a little less sticky, and just a tad smaller so it was easier to consume on the fly... however I still recommend caution that if you are huffing and puffing like I do... slow down so you don't inhale one!
The only con I have to GU products is that I wish they would use more natural ingredients, like Clif does. Granted, I'm not a nutritional scientist, but for the most part, sugar based carbs are probably all the same. But, I'm still much more inclined (pun intended) to go with as much organic and natural based fuels as I can. For that reason I'm experimenting with my own food based energy sources as well. Regardless, as far as performance goes, the GU products provided me the necessary boost I need to keep plugging away, so no issues there.
Now, as far as the hydration tablets go, I really did like those. Compared to the Nuun tablets I've used, I noticed that the ingredients are basically the same, however GU seems to pack a little more sodium from a % stand point. My favorite combo? The strawberry-lemonade tablet dropped into a bottle that is half coconut water, half water.
Speaking of hydration, I have also been running with another Hydrapak product.. the Woolly Mammoth insulated bottle.
So what's cool about this bottle? It's a double walled, light-weight polyproplylene bottle that includes a layer of Primaloft insulation. What is Primaloft? It's that amazing, lightweight insulating material found in serious mountaineering jackets etc... And in the case of this bottle, works amazingly well. What I noticed right off when holding the bottle was how warm my hand got, and how quickly. I've not tried other insulated bottles, but apparently this outperforms all other insulated bottles on the market.
I generally run in the early mornings, so not as concerned about the temp of my drinks, but I did try it out on a few warm afternoons. The bottle did surprisingly well at keeping drinks cold, especially if you tossed some ice in to start. I also swapped it with the bottle in my Nathan handheld and I notice that I wasn't freezing my hand off like I've done before loading a cold bottle into the holder. I haven't tried this yet, but the Woolly Mammoth works equally well with hot/warm drinks in cold weather. Since we are rapidly heading that way in the Colorado mountains, I'll get an opportunity to try this when it gets nice and cold in the AM.
Ok... thanks for grinding through another verbose review. And as usual, if I missed anything or you have questions or feedback on your own experiences, let me know!
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for... giveaway time! I swear I love giving stuff away as much as I do winning stuff... well almost :-) Enter below to win the collection of GU products pictured at the top, as well as a Hydrapak SoftFlask gel dispenser.
Follow the instructions on each option below to earn entries. Contest will close on Saturday, September 15th, at 10PM MST. Winners will be selected at random from all entries using random.org. Contest limited to residents of the U.S. and Canada.
a Rafflecopter giveaway