Flavor Science – that’s our term for how we approach creating flavors in our products. Flavor preferences in humans are the result of multiple sensory inputs including smell, taste, temperature, texture, and appearance. Taste preferences in athletes can change based on how long you’ve been exercising and what the body needs. We’re always crafting delicious flavors made up of sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitter taste qualities. That’s why we have 30 flavors between our Original and ROCTANE Energy Gels.
EXPLORE 26 YEARS OF FLAVORS
Dr. Bill Vaughan is tweaking and perfecting the original energy gel
Happy (literal) birthday to GU!
This flavor is an absolute staple in the GU family. In 2005, Vanilla Bean was the best-selling product across all products sold in REI stores! We\u2019ve heard people like it for its sophisticated simplicity.
Made with real unsweetened Belgian chocolate, it\u2019s no wonder this flavor remains a fan favorite 26 years later. Outrageous, yet still classic and delicious.
Originally called \u201cOrange Burst\u201d, this flavor was the first fruit-flavored Energy Gel in the GU family. While we ditched the \u201cburst\u201d in the name (now called Mandarin Orange), it\u2019s still guaranteed to give you a burst on the trail!
Totally naked was too suggestive and just plain was too\u2026plain. Who would have thought the Energy Gel with the least flavor would have the most controversy?<\/p>\n<p>We're keeping it tasteful now and calling this flavor Tastefully Nude.
GU's first World Champion at Ride & Tie in Idaho
The first “new flavor” in the GU family. A trifecta of delicious berries. It’s perfect for triathlons because… well, the name! It’s also guaranteed to help you try harder. Have you given it a try yet? (Okay… we’ll stop now…)
Laura Vaughan wins Hardrock using a prototype formula – which evolved to become ROCTANE
GU sponsors its first-ever marathon: the Big Sur International Marathon
We have a lot to say about this discontinued flavor, but we wanted to let one of our customers say a few words. “Banana Blitz. Born just before the turn of the new millennium. The longest lasting flavor in the GUraveyard. Yet still, its life was too short. Some say its flavor was too banana-y. I say, "Nay! There is no such thing as too much ba-nay-nay!" This GUlicious creation was sent to the graveyard far too soon. Should it be resurrected? Yes. But should it really be resurrected? Also, yes. It's bananas that it was sent to the graveyard in the first place.”
GU sponsors the inaugural Rock n' Roll marathon
Ann Trason wins her 11th Western States using GU
GU2O is created for electrolytes
Coffee in an Energy Gel with double the caffeine. We sometimes have a hard time expressing how much we love this flavor. A bold move with hints of tasty and bitter. What’s not to love?
Your favorite fruit smoothie – in an Energy Gel. Consistent, tasty, and not too sweet, Strawberry Banana is a cure-all against flavor fatigue.
“Seriously…this is by far the most underrated flavor in our lineup. If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out.” – Anonymous GU employee
“I had a million dollars but I, I spent it all… on Lemon Sublime.”
With boosted levels of amino acids and electrolytes, ROCTANE is created
Yes, it tastes like a creamsicle. Yes, it’ll still taste like a creamsicle three hours into an ultra. This was one of our original ROCTANE Energy Gel flavors back in 2009, and it’s still going strong 10-years later! (Must be the extra amino acids.)
The start of a new era. With more sodium and triple the amino acids, our line of Roctane Energy Gels was created for athletes who want to get serious.
Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae used this flavor to power herself through three IRONMAN World Championships! If it’s good enough for Rinny, it’s good enough for us.
GU launches CHOMPS – now known as Energy Chews
The first holiday-themed flavor, Vanilla Gingerbread’s life in our lineup was short lived. Those lucky enough to enjoy this flavor remember it fondly. They also claimed it helped them run, run, run as fast as they could… and that no one could catch them… like the Gingerbread Man… but this is unverified.
Created for the 2010 IRONMAN World Championships, this flavor must have missed the flight back to Hawaii because nobody has seen it since!
Despite being a beloved ice cream flavor, our Mint Chocolate Energy Gel has had a rocky road. It debuted in 2010, was discontinued in 2012, and resurrected to quell demands by passionate fans in 2016. Don’t worry… it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Double the caffeine gives double the reason to add ‘jet’ to the name! Did you know that caffeine can actually help reduce your perceived effort during a race?
Our second ever holiday-edition flavor, peppermint stick featured a snowman on the package. Once the snowman melted, we were forced to discontinue the flavor.
It’s a 7-Eleven slurpee in an Energy Gel form…does that make it more convenient than a convenience store?
Hey GU fans… it’s the GU marketing intern here… my boss left his computer open, so I’m editing this entry to petition to bring this flavor back from the dead. Who’s with me? WHO’S WITH ME! (Sign your name here.) Okay… hope I don’t get fired! Bye.
Strawberry Kiwi is a delicious flavor for any product, especially Energy Gels! Sometimes you just need to spread some tropical vibes!
A specialty mid-winter flavor turned best-selling gel, Salted Caramel was part of a trio of holiday flavors that all had mascots. The snowman from Peppermint Stick and the gingerbread man from Vanilla Gingerbread are no longer around...
In March 2019, Salted Caramel topped the Flavor Madness bracket becoming the first flavor to win this tournament.
Salty the Yeti is born…somehow as a fully-grown adult
Came in hot... and went down in a blaze of fire. RIP.
This Roctane flavor marked the introduction of our GU Gives series. All profits went to the Challenged Athletes Foundation to buy prosthetics for young athletes in need, helping kids get back in the game.
“I’ve just always loved root beer. I guess I’m just a big kid at heart, because root beer is just where it’s at. Real beer is too bitter and maybe a little too complex for my maturity level.” – Max King, world champion trail runner
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER
Yes, this flavor did taste like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. A note from the GUraveyard: “Please resurrect this flavor. Everyone’s favorite combination shouldn’t be killed off like half the Marvel Universe.” We’ll consider it…
It’s late August and you’re 12 miles into your long run. The trail offers no shade, your shirt is soaked through with salt lines, and you’re down to your last few sips of lukewarm water. This is the flavor you’ll need.
Two good things don’t always go together. But they DEFINITELY go together in this case. Coffee + Caramel = A truly immaculate flavor.
Nothing is better than lemonade on a hot day. NOTHING. This flavor has the most sodium of all our Energy Gels, making it ideal for times when you need electrolytes and refreshment on a scorching hot summer day. We’re all for supporting the neighborhood lemonade stand, but let’s be honest… we’d rather pay $2.50 for a Lemonade ROCTANE Gel than a tiny little dixie cup with watered down lemonade.
New Branding, new products, Yuri & Magda crushed it
“This one smells and tastes a lot like… an apple! Really. Not like a fake sour apple flavor, nor like apple sauce. It’s just like a real apple.” – coachlevi.com
Introduced at the peak of the national bacon craze, Maple Bacon tasted exactly like maple bacon…whether that’s a good thing or not is a totally different story.
SEA SALT CHOCOLATE
We were on to something when we put salt in our watermelon flavor, but this one just takes it to a whole ‘nother level. The salt crystals perfectly cut through the rich, savory chocolate. (Don’t blame us if you find yourself reaching for one of these for dessert.)
This was one of the first new flavors after our cool, new, sleek rebrand. Unfortunately, this flavor wasn’t a huge hit… but at least our cool, new, sleek rebrand has been well-received!
There are two types of people in the world… people the LOVED Cucumber Mint and people that hated it. Turns out that among the people that eat GU Energy Gels, there were more of the second type than the first…
GU Energy Labs launches the Energy Stroopwafel
The only problem with this flavor is that we didn’t think of it 20 years ago. This flavor has the best balance of flavors since peanut butter and jelly.
Winner of our “Choose Your GU” campaign, Cola-Me-Happy beat out Piña GU-Lada, Strawberry Basil Lemonade, Carrot Cake, and Campfire S’mores. The custom packaging was designed by local artist and trail runner Maggie Tides with six unique versions.
If you’re 70 miles into Western States and your body is rejecting everything, try this flavor. The real ginger used in this flavor helps soothe your stomach and your taste buds.
What’s better than eating marshmallows as a nine-year-old? Eating them as an Energy Gel when you’re a forty-something-year-old.
Introduced in 2017, Campfire S’mores Energy Gel takes you back to a simpler time when your biggest concern was not overcooking your ’mallow. Because we believe in the protection of our public lands for future generations, we’re donating 10% of Campfire S’mores sales to The Conservation Alliance’s Public Lands Defense Fund. Learn more here: https://guenergy.com/smores/.
“I don’t know what fruit flavors are in this. Nor will I try to figure this out. All I know is whatever they are mixes into something beautiful. Sweet, tangy, glorious. I also like the additional caffeine in this Roctane flavor because I am wired right now.”—Drew Dawson, Editorial Assistant, Bicycling”
Your mom is in the kitchen baking a funfetti cake for your 10th birthday party (or in our case, 25th). Before she puts the mixing bowl into the sink, you sneak in and swoop your finger in the batter that the spatula left behind. That is what this flavor tastes like.
We invited local NICA student-athletes to our kitchen to whip up our newest batch of Energy Gels. The result? A breakfast favorite…predominantly maple-y with hints of cinnamon and a light, buttery finish. (We’re just glad they didn’t pick Ham & Cheese or Hot Dog!) We’re donating 10% of French Toast sales back to NICA to help get #MoreKidsOnBikes. Learn more here: https://guenergy.com/more-kids-on-bikes/.
In 2018, our friends at Sports Illustrated came by to learn about flavor science. We traveled all over the area sipping different Chai Lattes to find our favorite combination. Then we turned it into a delicious (and spicy) Energy Gel!
Scott Fauble places 7th at the Boston Marathon using Summit Tea Roctane Energy Drink Mix and Espresso Love Energy Gels
Our latest and greatest Energy Gel flavor, Hoppy Trails balances flavorful hops with milder citrus notes. Bitter is better, cheers!
Along with tasting great, this flavor also supports the GU Gives program through our Hoppy Trails Grant Program, which funds small trail projects across the country.