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Tested: GU Chomps

watermelon gu chomps

I love GU gel. It’s absolutely my #1 favorite gel. I’d say it’s the best formula and the best tasting. And it yields the best results.

Similarly, I’ve been loving all the energy chews I’ve tried (Powerbar gel blasts, Clif Shot bloks, even Honey Stinger chews.) Every one of them… except for the GU Chomps. They weren’t so great. The flavor was disappointing, and they were sticky, making it annoying to get them out of the package.

It started back in 2009 when I received a free sample at a Root 66 bike race (part of that GT Golden Bike series.) It was the orange flavor, which was a total disappointment, and the things stuck to my fingers, leaving a sticky mess.

I went right back to the Powerbar gel blasts which are not sticky. They’re really dry actually. Plus, they’re delicious!

I also added in the Clif Shot Bloks, which aren’t dry, but they aren’t sticky either. And with their tube-like packaging, they go straight into your mouth without touching your hands.

Fast forward to early 2014 when I started testing GU Roctane energy gel. I got another free sample of Chomps at the time, so I re-initiated my testing. Five years later, they are still sticky! They stick to the inside of the foil wrapper, then they get stickiness all over your fingers.

That was the last straw.

I told them, “GU, you either need to make these not so sticky, or you need to put them in packaging that makes it so you don’t have to touch them.”

What did they do? They sent me some fresh packs of new flavors to test out!

I had to give them another shot, because c’mon. If I had an athlete come up to me and say, “yeah those GU chomps just don’t work for me. I had a free sample pack at a race and a free sample pack stuffed in a box of stuff I ordered online five years ago, they were no good,” I would tell them to do a real test before drawing those conclusions!!

So I took my own advice and that’s why we’re here today!

We’ll start with the basics…

Health and Nutrition Info

Already knowing that they’re based on the GU formula that I’ve used successfully for many years, there’s not going to be much new stuff here.

Let’s review the ingredients:

Ingredients: Tapioca Syrup, Cane Sugar, Maltodextrin, Pectin, Citric Acid, GU Amino Blend (Isoleucine, Leucine, Valine, Histioine), GU Antioxidant Blend (Vitamin E (as dl-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)), Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, colors added (Black Carrot Juice Concentrate (color)), Natural Flavor, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Carnauba Wax.

The carbohydrate source is slightly different. They maintain the simple + complex carb combination, but use tapioca syrup and cane sugar instead of the pure fructose used in GU’s gels.

Tapioca syrup and cane sugar are both essentially sucrose (table sugar) so they break down into glucose and fructose. So you’re still getting the fructose, and the glucose isn’t exactly new, because maltodextrin would break down into glucose eventually. Point is, the names are different, but the sugar content isn’t all that different from usual.

There is also the addition of pectin, coconut oil, and carnauba wax, which are probably there to create the chewy, gummy shapes.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 4 pieces
Servings per container: 2

Calories 90
Fat 0g
Sodium 50mg
Potassium 40mg
Total Carb 23g
Sugars 11g
Protein 0g

Consuming the full pouch is going to fuel approximately one hour of exercise, so it’s the same as carrying two energy gels. The main difference is that it’s so easy to partition these one at a time.

Nutritionally, you’re getting the same breakdown of carbs, sugars, and electrolytes.

gu chomps

GU Chomps Taste Test

Here’s where things start to get a little different.

Orange

This is that first one I had many years ago. I remember that I didn’t like it. It wasn’t any better than an orange flavored gummy Vitamin C. Not terrible, but not something I’d like to have again. (I wouldn’t consider the Mandarin Orange gel one of my favorites, but even that was better.)

Lemon

N/A

Strawberry (w/ caffeine)

This one tastes pretty good, definitely providing some strawberry flavor. It’s better than I remember the orange being, but not as good as other brands’ strawberry flavors. There is also a bit of an ‘off’ taste, which I blame on the caffeine. For the most part, they seem to have masked the caffeine, but there’s still a hint of something I don’t like.

Raspberry

N/A

Black Cherry

Slightly better is this one, which tastes a lot like other black cherry flavors (namely, Clif Shot bloks.) It’s not my favorite flavor, but it was decent, verging on “pretty good.” It’s probably just as good as any other black cherry flavored gel-type product.

However, the smell is amazing! It must remind me of some candy, because as soon as my nose gets near the bag, I get excited!

Blueberry Pomegranate

This is a really, really good flavor! It tastes like fruit juice (perhaps you’ve had the V8 Splash by the same name.) It’s pretty darn sweet, and it’s thick, too, like grape juice. It’s not my #1 favorite, but I give GU major props because they are strong and flavorful!

I love this flavor when it comes to juice, but it’s just not my ideal energy gel flavor. They are best suited for winter sports like xc skiing, and I probably wouldn’t use them in the summer – I need something lighter and crisper (like the watermelon.)

Blueberry pomegranate would be excellent as a recovery drink though! (Hint hint, Recovery Brew flavor development team!)

Watermelon

Oh my goodness! One taste and I knew – these are my favorite! And they’re not just good for being GU chomps, they’re good overall. One of my top flavors anywhere! These are “just right.”

It’s a crisp, refreshing flavor. Strong enough to be good, not so strong as to be overpowering.

To top if off, the pouch is green like a watermelon shell and the chomps are pink like the juicy inside of a watermelon.

There’s nothing I know of to compare them to in regards to sports drinks, but they’re fairly similar to a watermelon Jolly Rancher.

How about the texture?

Chomps still aren’t my favorite, but the texture is pretty darn good. The old sample packs I had must have been out in the hot sun too long or something. The texture was off, and they were too slimy.

I don’t know if this 2015 batch is a new formula, but whatever it is, it’s good! They’re fun to chew, but even better to let melt in your mouth. (Perhaps a cross between the Clif Shot Bloks and Honey Stinger chews.)

Especially when you have the crisp flavor like watermelon for example, it makes the texture seem better, too.

holding gu chomps

Boosting My Energy with GU Chomps

Remember how I said the formula was about the same as a GU gel? Well, the results were about the same, too. (In a word, excellent.)

But first, I have to get them into my mouth…

The site says, “GU Chomps have a convenient tear strip at the top that allows you to squeeze out one Chomp at a time.”

In years past, I would have said something like:

Hahaha! Yeah right. The things are so sticky, you have to rip open the package and peel each one away from the foil. It takes extra effort and your hands get sticky, so you end up with more anger than energy.

But in 2015, that tear strip works perfectly! I still prefer the long tube-like shape of Clif Shot Bloks packaging, but the tear tab on these packages is great!

On my first try, the package opened neatly in the corner so that I could slide one Chomp out at a time. These ones were ever so slightly sticky to the touch, but definitely not stuck together in a ball to the point you couldn’t slide one out. (I didn’t have to touch them. I just did out of curiosity.)

gu chomps packet

So they come out of the package easily and go down the hatch just as easily. Whether I was on a tough bike ride or just sitting still, I had no trouble eating them! When I was able to exercise some self-restraint, it was nice to let them dissolve in my mouth slowly.

Yeah, they give me energy!

Was there really any doubt about this part?

I used them as fuel for some trail runs and xc skiing sessions, and before yoga class for a quick pick-me-up. Even sitting at my desk and writing articles, I could feel the energy boost then, too. Seriously!

I’m not sure if it’s the same as the GU gel energy boost, but if not, it’s very close.

And it’s certainly a better source of sustained energy than something like candy corn (which I occasionally do use to fuel fun/random off-season workouts.)

Are they affordable?

At $2.20 per packet, it’s about the same as buying two energy gels. A box of 16 packets retails for $31.75. But they can be found cheaper on Amazon.com (about $27).

My final verdict is…

Though the Chomps are still not my #1 favorite in terms of texture or packaging, GU always makes my favorite formulas when it comes to providing energy. And the watermelon flavor is simply incredible. Chomps didn’t let me down this time!

Give these a shot, even if you were disappointed with the taste in the past.

Official website: www.GuEnergy.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com | www.LuckyVitamin.com

Product Review Details
Company: GU Energy Labs
Product: GU Chomps
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-04-11
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. You mentioned that GU gels use fructose as their CHO source, is that true? I thought they were maltodextrin.

  2. @Ben

    Yes and yes. GU gels contain both maltodextrin and fructose as their CHO sources, with maltodextrin being the first ingredient.

    GU gels and chomps both contain maltodextrin. It’s the other CHO sources that differ slightly.

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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