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Tested: GU Electrolyte Brew

gu brew electrolyte and light carb drink

Despite GU gel being my absolute favorite for years, I was never drawn to the rest of the GU product line. Even when GU2O was available, I drank something else. But with the launch of the new formula and flavors for GU Electrolyte Brew, that could all change.

GU’s electrolyte hydration drink is about electrolytes first, then carbohydrates. This is a hydration drink offering just enough calories and carbs to provide some energy, but not so much that it’s going to interfere with a carefully calculated fueling strategy based on gels or foods.

It comes as a powder, available in single serving stick packets or a 24 serving canister. (It’s far cheaper to buy a canister!)

The GU Electrolyte Brew Light Carb Formula

The formula consists of simple and complex carbs, plus sodium and potassium. They use a 50:50 ratio of fructose and maltodextrin because carbs in this combination increase the amount of energy available to muscles.

The ingredients for the watermelon flavor are as follows:

INGREDIENTS: Maltodextrin, Fructose, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Fruit and Vegetable Jucie (As Color).

And that gives you:

Nutrition Facts

Calories 70
Sodium 250mg
Potassium 30mg
Carbs 18g
Sugar 9g

Since one serving is mixed with 21oz water, this won’t provide enough calories to fuel your long rides. It’s not a substitute for GU gel!

The powder gives you a few carbs and calories, plus electrolytes, over a long period of time. A GU gel provides carbs, electrolytes, and amino acids, in one shot.

Nor is this a potent electrolyte supplement. (GU’s electrolyte tablets give you more electrolytes.)

This is a hydration beverage so it provides some carbs and some electrolytes with the goal of keeping you hydrated. And in that sense, it’s a good formula!

GU Electrolyte Brew Taste Test

Even more important for a hydration drink is a good flavor that makes you want to drink. There are some interesting flavors here…

Lemon Lime

Always a safe choice, right? Not so fast. This one goes down real easy, but it’s not good at all. I guess it’s not necessarily bad, but I didn’t enjoy it. It’s very light, crisp, and the flavor is pretty good at first, but then it gets kind of bitter. And the aftertaste is also bitter and weird. Not recommended!

I’m really not sure what gives it the ‘off’ taste, but there must be an ingredient that ruins the aftertaste. Not to worry – the other flavors are better.

Lemon Tea

This one might sound odd, but I always did like the sun tea flavor in Powerbar’s drink line.

Unfortunately, this one doesn’t mix well in cold water. After shaking it up, it just looks like powdered tea sitting at the bottom of a bottle. Even after lots more shaking, it’s the same.

Tastes like watered down lemon tea (probably because that’s exactly what it is!) It’s alright. It’s the same quality of flavor as the lemon lime, but at least there’s no aftertaste.

I think it’s going to be pretty good if you get the full flavor. I let this one sit, and a couple hours later I finished the bottle. It was stronger, but still a very light flavor.

It’s a hassle. If you get this one, plan for extra time to get it all mixed up. Or mix it with hot water for winter workouts!

Orange

N/A

Blueberry Pomegranate

This starts with an amazing smell – you can actually smell the blueberry. The flavor is excellent. You can taste both the blueberry and the pomegranate. (Well, I’m not great at picking out pomegranate, but at least it doesn’t taste like grape juice or blue raspberry or something.) It’s a very light flavor, with just enough flavor and a little sweetness. No aftertaste.

It’s nothing like the Chomps of the same name! With the mild flavor and sweetness, and light texture, it’s the opposite of the blue Chomps.

This one is an incredible flavor that’s great to drink. I could drink this all day. Highly recommended.

*I never would have guessed it had 2x sodium (500mg per serving.)

Watermelon

What an interesting flavor we have here. It’s vastly different from the outstanding GU Chomps watermelon flavor. This drink literally tastes like watermelon juice. Like if you drained the liquid from a watermelon into a glass, it would be this flavor! I prefer the GU chomps style (more like a watermelon Jolly Rancher,) but this is a pretty good flavor. And it has a light sweetness that is excellent, with the ideal crisp and clean texture.

Which is best?

Blueberry Pomegranate was the clear #1 best flavor. However, watermelon is pretty good too, and it’s interesting enough that I’d recommend anyone who likes watermelon give it a shot.

gu brew mixing directions

Putting It To The Test In Real Life

I tested this drink during cross country skiing season.

Mixing

Well, aside from the lemon tea flavor, this stuff is incredibly easy to mix. Just shake it up in a water bottle and it gives you no trouble whatsoever. After a few shakes it will dissolve instantly, and there won’t be a trace of powder left in the bottle.

It’s possibly the fastest dissolving powder I’ve ever mixed!

Drinkability

It’s very light and crisp, so it goes down easy. For the taste testing I savored every sip, but in real world testing, I could chug an entire 20 oz bottle of this stuff.

It’s delicious during exercise and encourages you to drink more. This would come in very handy on days when I’m already dehydrated or days it’s so hot that I need to drink more than usual.

Energy levels

It’s a very refreshing drink, and it provides a little energy, too.

Most of the time, what I did was I would drink a bottle post-workout for recovery and rehydration. I’d feel better instantly!

For example, the first day I took it, I was worn out from an evening xc ski workout. So it was like 8:00 pm. 30 minutes later I’m like, “whoa, how’d I get all this energy?!”

It’s more of a feel good, uplifted type of energy, rather than a high-calorie filling up your gas tank sort of energy. It energized me to feel good for basic life functions. It did not energize me like “hey I feel ready to go ski another 2 hours tonight, why did I stop?!”

I had to be pretty worn down and low on energy though to get that feeling. If I was feeling normal, it didn’t give me extra energy on top of that.

And that’s fine. At 50-70 calories per hour, it won’t fuel your workouts anyway. But it will help you feel pretty good when you’re exerting yourself!

My final verdict is…

I highly recommend GU gel, and if you want something to pair it with other than plain water, this drink would be a good match. It tastes better than most other drinks, and it’s quicker to mix up than Hammer Heed.

I like Heed, but this new formula of GU Brew is probably my favorite hydration beverage out there. If plain water just isn’t your thing, and you want a drink with amazing flavor, try this one!

Official website: www.GuEnergy.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: GU Energy Labs
Product: GU Electrolyte Brew
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-04-25
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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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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