I know this guy who works at a bike shop and every once in awhile a rep comes in with free goodies. Sometimes it’s cycling socks, or t-shirts or stickers. And sometimes, if I’m lucky, I am on the receiving end of these goodies. This happened just a few weeks ago when the bike guy brought over a gigantic bag full energy snacks and sample packs. OH MY SNACKS! It was like Christmas. Bike Store Guy, you certainly know how to please this runner!
There was a strange assortment of acai-berry GU chomps and a few dozen GU packets. The GU immediately caught my attention. Those packs aren’t cheap, you know and there was enough to fuel me for months of long training runs. I had hit the quick carb jackpot! There were two flavors. Mint Chocolate and a new flavor called Jet Blackberry. I was quick to note that Jet Blackberry had 2x the caffeine. I’m already a fan of Espresso GU that also has 2x the caffeine. I thought this could potentially be the beginning of a wonderful GU relationship. I couldn’t wait to take Jet Blackberry out for a run.
Impressions: I’m suspicious of a products who use unnatural modifiers in the title. Jet Blackberry sounds like a kid’s yogurt flavor. What is Jet blackberry? What is Jet supposed to taste like? I took my first hit of Jet Blackberry GU about an hour into a 3-hour trail run. First, it didn’t taste like blackberry, but neither could I say what it did taste like. Maybe it tasted like blackberry in the same way that banana Runts taste like actual bananas. Maybe I was asking for too much true blackberry taste from this little foil package. Not-blackberry taste aside, there was a plasticky chemical essence too that stayed with me longer I sucked down the packet’s contents. Now maybe all GU flavors have this and I’m just being picky?
Conclusions: Espresso Love still owns the podium as my #1 favorite energy gel. I also think that Jet Blackberry was the wrong name. It should have been something like “Vaguely Fruit Flavored GU” But I’m guessing that wouldn’t have fit on the package.