GU Energy Labs, the pioneer and-leading brand of energy gels today, announced a revamp of its brand to reflect its mission of assisting, educating and inspiring people to reach their highest athletic potential through an integrated nutrition system of Hydration, Energy and Recovery.
Encouraging all endurance athletes to challenge themselves, the GUFORIT campaign has launched online, in print and digital media and event activations through major partnerships and significant grassroots events.
GU was created in 1993 to address the specific demands of endurance athletes and has grown to be the market leader in a full line of performance-tested nutrition products designed to maximize every athlete’s enjoyment and performance. GU combines science-based, athlete-tested nutrition with passion for the culture of endurance sports and nutrition planning expertise. Today’s changes, which were nearly a year in the making, start with a reformulation of GU Energy Gel and touch nearly every aspect of the brand.
Led by Magdalena Boulet, GU’s Vice President of Research, Development and Innovation and 2008 Olympic marathoner, the product team at GU has reformulated specific products in response to compelling evolving scientific evidence. All GU Energy Gels are now formulated without the anti-oxidants, vitamin C & E. Exhaustive exercise results in an increase in oxidative stress due to the accumulation of free radicals, which can be damaging to our cells. Recent research, however, has shown our bodies naturally create a defense mechanism to the accumulation of free radicals, which in turn improves adaptation to training. Consuming vitamin C & E during exercise has been shown to block this adaptation.
The Roctane line of ultra-endurance Energy Gels has been reformulated as well, replacing the amino acid histidine with beta-alanine to increase production of carnosine, a muscle buffer that helps to maintain normal acidity within muscle.
Fatigue during exhaustive exercise may result from acid build-up in the muscle and blood. Increasing carnosine levels may help to delay fatigue and improve performance. Beta-alanine is the rate-limiting amino acid in the formation of carnosine.
GU Energy Gels are now made without herbs, chamomile and ginger, because the large amounts required to be efficacious would negatively impact the flavor profile of our gels. All GU Energy Gels are made with vegan ingredients to fuel vegan athletes.
GU’s product line has also been re-branded to make it clearer to athletes the purpose and scope of the nutrition line: Chomps will now be known as GU Energy Chews; Electrolyte Brew will be branded as GU Hydration Drink Mix; GU Brew Tablets will be tagged as GU Hydration Drink Tabs and Recovery Brew will be named GU Recovery Drink Mix.
“Changing the product names does two things,” noted Adam Chamberlain, GU’s Vice President of Marketing “It makes it easier for athletes to understand the entirety of our line and how it fulfills their complete nutrition plan, and it diminishes any confusion about how individual products fit into our line.
“We’re also putting the most critical nutritional information right on the front of each individual product, so our athletes can see exactly how many calories of energy they’re getting, as well as other important data on caffeine, sodium levels and amino acids.”
GU has also entered into an ambitious recycling program with Terracycle™, making every single serve packet of gel, drink mix and chews recyclable. “As manufacturers of performance nutrition, there is nothing more deflating than seeing spent gel packets on the road or trail during a run or ride,” said Chamberlain. “While we still need to encourage athletes to stash their trash, we are excited and proud to offer our community a way to recycle our packaging and reduce our and their impacts on the beautiful places we play.”
“Our purpose is to assist, educate and inspire people to reach their highest athletic potential. All of the changes for 2015 support our passionate devotion to providing athletes with the most effective Hydration, Energy and Recovery system available today,” said Brian Vaughan, GU Chief Endurance Officer. “We’ve updated our products in recognition of advances in scientific understanding. We also have a responsibility to make nutrition planning as straightforward as possible. All of our products, packaging, and communications are now aligned in helping athletes reach their goals, whatever they may be.”