The brand name is GU, but the product is an "energy gel." Regardless of semantics, the end result is a sweet, flavorful boost in energy that can be quickly delivered to an athlete under duress. The characteristics of the packaging and gel combine to facilitate the smooth delivery of the product. An odd product to begin with, it's not without some quirks. The surprisingly high amount of gel in one packet and the intense aftertaste are notable ones. Despite its quirks, GU Caramel Macchiato seems to fit its intended function very well, providing a boost of energy to athletes in need.
I wasn't sure what to expect from the first energy gel that I've had. I found the gel to be viscous and a similar texture to household products that are also gels. Fortunately it mostly avoided gooey qualities that would be strange and less desirable. The flavor is intense, both in sweetness and aftertaste. It tastes like a dessert, which is fair, as caramel macchiatos may as well be the dessert of coffee. The coffee flavor is accurate, especially in the initial seconds of consumption. The aftertaste is strongly sweet, but not particularly enjoyable. I'd recommend a swig of water afterwards to clear out the aftertaste. It's a moderately tasty gel, provided the aftertaste doesn't linger.
This isn't your typical energy source. Function takes precedence over form for the packaging of this gel targeted towards long distance runners. The packet is compact, with a top that tears easily for efficient consumption on the go. The energy gel is then squeezed out into the runner's mouth in a manner vaguely reminiscent of a Go-Gurt. It seems like a superior method for runners to avoid mess and deliver nutrients quickly. In my experience, it may be difficult to get every last drop of gel out of the packet. I suspect that in the middle of a run, this may be trivial for the sake of speed, but notable nonetheless. The packet aesthetics match the flavor, with shades of brown and caramel dominating the packet.
GU Caramel Macchiato has 40mg of caffeine, slightly less than half of a typical cup of coffee. It contains relatively high levels of carbohydrates and sodium to help athletes replenish energy and nutrients lost during exercise. It also contains BCAAs, which have already become a large part of the marketing plan for many performance-focused energy drinks
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