This year, I’ve been adding some excitement into my marathon training by trying energy gels other than Accel brand. Last year, Mike, Matt and I all took Accel gels during our training runs because that was the gel handed out during the Richmond Marathon. We wanted to get used to the flavor and consistency and grew to actually like the vanilla and chocolate flavors.
But I needed a break from Accel and have enjoyed experimenting with other brands and flavors. I’ve posted reviews of Powergel Strawberry Banana and GU Salted Caramel previously. I usually only use the gels on runs longer than 8-10 miles, so typically just on the weekend run. This past weekend run at 18.5 miles required 2 gels. For my first gel, I tried the new GU Caramel Macchiato flavor. The weather couldn’t have been more ideal for a Caramel Macchiato flavored GU; it was cold, damp and rainy and I really would have loved to have a hot caramel macchiato to drink.
The Caramel Macchiato flavor came out last month as a GU seasonal flavor, having placed second, behind Salted Watermelon in the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon series vote last spring. I loved this GU flavor and plan to stock up before it’s out of season. It was rich, bold, not overly sweet and very satisfying. The consistency seemed a little less thick than the Salted Caramel (another favorite flavor of mine), which I preferred. I also appreciated the extra caffeine (40 mg, about twice that in other GU gels) in this flavor and noticed a significant boost in energy. I felt like I had had a delicious caramel-y espresso shot.
I’m not sure I’d choose this flavor in the middle of the summer in 85 degree weather, but for colder weather long runs, I’m planning to always have this flavor of GU with me.