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Low-Carb Snacks

GU Energy Gel
by Julie A. McFadden
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The folks at GU Sports answer a few FAQs about energy gels, courtesy of Julie A. McFadden.

What is an Energy Gel: Energy gels are carbohydrate gels that provide energy for exercise and promote recovery.

What Energy Gel Aren't: Most energy gels have no fat, fiber or protein, so they can digest quickly and burn cleanly.

How Energy Gels Work: The carbohydrate is absorbed into the blood to supply your body with calories and nutrients to fuel exercise activity.

Why Energy Gels Work: Julie McFadden says, "Optimum performance requires the maintenance of blood glucose, as well as muscle and liver glycogen. Energy gel taken before, during, and after exercise maintains energy levels and promotes recovery. GU energy gel works because each of the natural ingredients was specifically selected to optimize performance."

Why use gels instead of a bar? Julie McFadden says, "Bars contain fat, fiber, and protein that slow absorption. Bars also need lots of water to assist in chewing and digestion. GU is absorbed through he small intestine into the blood stream within minutes."

Will energy gels give me a sugar rush? Julie McFadden says, "No. GU is made with maltodextrin, a long-chain of glucose molecules linked together. The complex carbohydrate burns slowly to provide a sustained release of energy."

Why is there caffeine in some energy gels? GU manufacturers say that caffeine encourages fat burning as an additional source of energy.

GU Energy Gel: The Basics
Julie McFadden says, "GU was developed by Dr. William Vaughan of Sports Street Marketing in 1989. GU provides energy from 20 grams of complex carbohydrates and has branched-chain amino acids and antioxidants to promote recovery. GU is often compared to the consistency of syrup or pudding. Optimum performance requires the maintenance of blood glucose, as well as muscle and liver glycogen. GU taken before, during and after exercise maintains energy levels and promotes recovery."

Julie A. McFadden, JAM Media
Next page > Top Picks for Energy Gels

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