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gu stroopwafels

GU enters the hot stroopwafel market with the GU Energy Stroopwafel. Gu says this is “a Dutch-style syrup waffle that acts like an energy gel, but tastes like breakfast.”

As someone who has been using GU energy gels for nearly 20 years (because they work!), I’m very pleased.

That they were able to make some without gluten, makes it even better.

Nutrition Facts & Ingredients

Gu says their Stroopwafel is “the answer to what to eat in the morning before training.”

I disagree. I’m concerned it would be too much of a sugar rush for pre-workout use. Instead, I’d use it during training, similar to how I use gels. Adding these waffles into the mix is a way to get more variety.

Three things are promised:

  • Quality carbohydrates (immediate and long-lasting energy from complex and simple carbohydrates)
  • Essential amino acids (prevent mental fatigue and repair muscle damage during long-duration activities)
  • Electrolytes (replenish what’s lost when you sweat)

Wonderful! Let’s investigate further and make sure there are no surprises.

Ingredients

For the most part, these waffles are flour and sugar. They have a little sea salt and BCAAs thrown in to make them a performance food.

Here’s a specific example from the Salted Chocolate flavor:

Flour Blend (Organic Rice Flour, Organic Tapioca Flour, Organic Potato Starch), Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Eggs, Organic Cocoa, Organic Soy Flour, Sea Salt, Amino Blend (L-Leucine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine), Xanthan Gum, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Organic Rice Extract.

Note: The Wild Berries, Salted Chocolate, and Coconut flavors are GLUTEN FREE. The other flavors do contain gluten. The difference is the use of wheat flour instead of the gluten-free flour blend.

Nutrition Facts

Also for the Salted Chocolate flavor, the nutrition facts:

Total Fat 6 g
Sodium 150 mg
Total Carbs 21 g
Sugars 10 g
Protein 0 g

Other flavors are similar except most contain 75 mg sodium. Only the ‘salty’ named flavors contain 150 mg. (And coconut contains 150 mg sodium, for some reason.)

It’s high carb, low/no protein, and… hmmm… where did those six grams of fat come from?

Must be the palm oil. It’s not surprising, because this is essentially a baked good, and you need oil to hold ingredients together. But that wasn’t mentioned anywhere.

It no longer seems like a snack for races. Perhaps for long, moderately paced training rides where you want a balance of macronutrients. But ingesting fat during a race? No thanks. Especially if I was consuming more than one of these per hour.

I’m not looking to get ~ 30% of my calories from fat during a race.

Now, sure, people race and train on the keto diet. They even use “fat bombs” as their version of energy gel.

And I’ve had success with the Hammer Nutrition energy bars, which combine fat, protein, and carbs.

But adding fat into what is basically an energy gel… I’m not so sure about that.

The GU Stroopwafel is not the best pre-race fuel, either, but it’s better than something like Pop-Tarts, and tastes just as good. (I wouldn’t be shocked if the macros were the same between these two foods!)

Gu Stroopwafel Taste Test

My personal thoughts and opinion on each flavor.

Coconut

While I’m a fan of certain coconut products (the Oskri bar, for instance), I never expected to see a coconut waffle. And once I did, it sounded strange.

But the taste is so good!! Just like having a coconut macaroon. It’s smooth and creamy, like a coconut cream pie.

There’s a potent coconut flavor. It’s surprising how flavorful it is given that there’s barely any coconut syrup visible in there!

No chunks or strips of coconut. It’s just flavoring.

The waffle seems a tad crumbly – likely because it’s the gluten-free flour mix – but the taste is just as good as the others.

I like it a lot. It might be my go-to flavor.

Hot Chocolate (with a hint of cinnamon)

As someone who prefers their chocolate with either cinnamon or cayenne added, I was excited for this one.

This waffle was unique because the it’s not just the filling that is chocolate. The waffle itself is chocolate!

It’s a chocolate waffle with chocolate filling. I was worried it would be too much chocolate and too little cinnamon, but despite the abundance of chocolate, there’s quite a bit of cinnamon.

(More than a “hint” so if you don’t like cinnamon, be warned. I love cinnamon so I found it just right.)

Personally, I think the chocolate takes away from the waffle goodness. It’s not even like I’m experiencing a waffle. You lose the smooth, buttery flavor of the waffle. You might as well just eat chocolate.

I’d definitely take this flavor in an energy gel, but not here. Not that the taste is bad, it’s just not for me.

gu stroopwafel nutrition facts label

Gingerade

Isn’t gingerade a beverage? Don’t get me wrong – I love ginger – but it seems like gingersnap or gingerbread would be better names for this.

Anyway, this tastes like ginger. It’s like a waffle with real ginger in it. It’s similar to a gingersnap cookie. But for the most part, it tastes like authentic, real ginger.

It’s a very light version of ginger, though. It’s not super strong or spicy like if you ate a fresh piece of ginger root.

I like it. I think I will call it gingersnap from now on. And I’ll gladly buy a box of this flavor.

Wild Berries

N/A

Salted Chocolate

N/A

Salty’s Caramel

N/A

Caramel Coffee

N/A

What about the gluten-free waffles?

In my taste testing, I couldn’t easily notice any difference between the regular (wheat) and the gluten-free waffles.

The gluten-free waffles were slightly more dry and crumbly, but not by much. Pretty much every waffle will crumble around the edges.

Is it practical?

Yes, this is a practical snack for a wide range of adventures. For three main reasons:

  • It’s easy to eat.
  • It’s easy to carry.
  • It packs flat.

They’re flat enough that you could put a whole stack of them in a jersey pocket. (Be careful putting them in a backpack though, because they’ll start to crack and crumble.)

You can grab one and eat it one-handed.

You probably can’t warm it over a cup of coffee during a ride or race, but they’re still good just plain.

gu stroopwafel instructions on package

(It would be preferable during a coffee stop on a casual ride.)

GU Waffles vs Honey Stinger

We have to compare to the Honey Stinger waffle.

Honey Stinger is the name to beat when it comes to waffles. I like the Honey Stinger waffles a lot. And I think Honey Stinger does a better job on their gluten-free waffles.

But, I give GU props for expanding the flavor lineup.

My final verdict is…

These will never replace GU Energy Gels, but it’s nice to have another option for fueling my adventures.

If you like the idea of stroopwafels, I recommend you give these a shot. The retail price is $24 for a 16-count box of gluten-free flavors. Or, $1.50 each, the same price as their energy gels. There’s no reason not to try them.

Official website: www.GuEnergy.com

Product Review Details
Company: GU Energy Labs
Product: GU Energy Stroopwafel
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2019-04-13
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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