In 1993, Dr. Bill Vaughan Formulated The first GU Energy Gel.

When he started out, he simply wanted to develop a more digestible fuel for his daughter, a top ultramarathoner. But what he did was create a breakthrough product that allowed athletes to effectively fuel on-the-go so they could reach their personal best. 

Innovation is what created GU Energy Labs 25 years ago. GU is still family owned and still in Berkeley, and today we offer the widest variety of the best tasting, most nutrient-rich hydration, energy, and recovery products on the market. We’ve been on a mission to optimize every aspect of diet and nutrition, which is our way of serving athletes everywhere. 

Watch: 25 Years of GU



Sports Nutrition
Through Time


The Banana

ONE OF THE WORLD’S OLDEST FRUITS, bananas are recorded in ancient Egyptian Heiroglyphs



The original portable carbohydrate IS THE GREATEST THING SINCE…


Water, reinvented

Doctors from the University of Florida football team invent the FIRST SPORTS DRINK TO HYDRATE THEIR PLAYERS.


Energy, packaged

POWERBAR becomes the first energy bar, inventing a new category of PORTABLE PACKAGED FOOD.




Laura struggles with her fueling during the 1989 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. Her father, Dr. Bill Vaughan, a biophysicist at UC Berkeley, realizes THE PROBLEM: “THE NEED FOR PORTABLE, EASILY DIGESTIBLE, AND NUTRIENT-RICH ENERGY FOR ENDURANCE ATHLETES.”




Through extensive research and field testing, Dr. Vaughan develops a new “Energy Gel” that is portable, easily digestible, and nutrient rich. LAURA VAUGHAN uses a prototype of this new gel for her fueling to win the WASATCH 100- MILE ENDURANCE RUN.




The solution

We invented an entirely new sports nutrition category. GU Energy Gels are sold in popular retail locations such as Alpenglow Sports in Lake Tahoe, beginning our commitment to specialty and locally owned retail stores.



our first “world Champ”

Two people, a horse, and one tough race. Our 1st “World Champ” is crowned at the Ride & Tie in Sun Valley, Idaho.



(AKA JOHN #1, #2, #3, #4)

Endurance sports athlete John Stamstad uses GU Energy Gel for the first solo finish of the 24 Hours of Canaan MTB ride. Single riders aren’t allowed, so John enters as a team by using four variations of his name.



Triathlon Champs

GU becomes the first energy sponsor of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.

LORI BOWDEN earns two 2nd Place finishes in consecutive years at IRONMAN 1997-98 and becomes a World Champion in IRONMAN 1999



The roots of Roctane

Fueled by a prototype formula known at time as “HARDROCK ENERGY GEL,” Laura bested a competitive field for the win in the Hardrock 100. This protype formula would eventually evolve into what is known today as “ROCTANE.”


GU sponsors the inaugural ROCK N’ ROLL MARATHON

The event of the popular race series featured performances of Pat Benatar and Huey Lewis & the News. 



Western Time

ANN TRASON wins her 11th Western States 100-Mile Run using GU Energy Gel


GU2O Launches

GU goes beyond the gel and creates a PORTABLE HYDRATION SOLUTION that delivers electrolytes and a light boost of energy.



Top Sellers

VANILLA BEAN becomes top-selling product at REI


“gu to a higher power”

With boosted levels of amino acids and electrolytes, GU ROCTANE ULTRA-ENDURANCE Energy Gels are created to provide nutritional support for high-intensity, long-lasting endurance




Responding to new athlete demands, GU launches CHOMPS. Today they’re known simply as the “GU you chew” or ENERGY CHEWS



1609 4th street

GU Energy Labs moves all manufacturing operations into our current 1609 4TH STREET location in Berkeley, expanding our production capacity by 50 percent. 


The Queen of Pain

GU Energy fuels ultra-endurance mountain biker REBECCA RUSCH, aka “THE QUEEN OF PAIN,” to her 4th win at the leadville 100-Mile MTB race. 


Meet “Salty the Yeti”

GU unveils a new mascot along with SALTED CARAMEL seasonal flavor, which goes on to become our #1 bestseller. SALTY THE YETI becomes a popular new fixture at trade shows and races.  



Another World CHampion

MIRANDA CARFRAE uses GU Energy to win the IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, her third title.



A Photo Finish

YURI HAUSWALD fuels with a prototype of our new BCAA Capsules to win the grueling DIRT KANZA 200-MILE gravel race in a sprint finish.



Solid Performance without the solids

MAGDALENA BOULET, VP of Research & Development at GU, uses only liquid fuel to win the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run racing exclusively with GU Roctane Energy Drink Mix.




GU unveils a new logo, highlighting that our nutrition system rests at the intersection of hydration, energy, and recovery.



Two thin syrup-filled wafers packed with all of the nutrients that make GU products great. 



Names GU Energy Gel as one of the most innovative nutrition products created for runners.


Powered by the sun

GU installs solar panels at their HQ in Berkeley. All Energy Gels are now produced by the POWER OF THE SUN.


GU Celebrates 25th Birthday

We remain family owned in Berkeley, CA, and our mission is clear: to optimize every aspect of diet and nutrition for athletes everywhere.