It’s been a little more than a year since we published our first comparison of energy gels. For the past two weeks, we’ve been testing GU Roctane, advertised as an ultra performance energy gel. Roctane is based on GU’s regular energy gel, but includes additional ingredients designed to provide increased nutrition for endurance events.
GU Roctane Logic:
Roctane has additional ingredients designed to help you perform at your peak for longer than standard energy gel. According to GU, Roctane contains ten times the histidine of standard gel. Histidine helps neutralize acid buildup in your muscles after extended exertion. Roctane also includes an increased amount of BCAAs, branched chain amino acids. These amino acids provide muscle fuel and also help prevent your body from breaking down muscle tissue for fuel, a common occurrence during long race. Then GU throws in more sodium and potassium to guard against electrolyte loss. Bottom line, according to GU, Roctane provides more essential nutrients and compounds to help you through hours long events. If you’re just looking for a basic gel, Roctane isn’t be best option since you don’t need the additional ingredients.
GU Roctane Ingredients and Nutrition:
Like most other energy gels, GU Roctane is mostly maltodextrin and filtered water. To this, GU adds the Roctane amino acid blend. Each serving of GU Roctane has 100 calories and 25g of carbohydrates. You’ll find 125mg of sodium and 55mg of potassium. Each serving has 50% of your DV of Vitamin E and 35mg of caffine, in addition to 1220mg of the Roctane amino acid blend.
GU Roctane Final Thoughts:
One of the first things we noticed while using Roctane was the taste. The additional ingredients are noticeable, mostly as a more complex flavor than most gels. The Cherry Lime flavor had a slightly chemical aftertaste, but we didn’t notice this with the Blueberry Pomegranate.
We only tested Roctane on our longer runs of more than 9 miles. The Roctane went down easily and didn’t cause any stomach problems. Our nutrition plans for long runs involve taking one gel every 45 minutes and supplementing gels with solid nutrition at the 3 hour marks. None of our runs went to 3 hours, so we depended exclusively on the Roctane gels.
Roctane provided enough nutrition and electrolytes during our runs and we only carried water with our gels. We didn’t notice a significant difference in muscle acid buildup while using Roctane. As with other products, that performance might require extended use, as your body must produce proteins to help neutralize the acids. Roctane did prevent muscle cannibalization during our longer runs. Roctane also worked as well as any other gel we’ve tested at keeping our energy levels up and staving off hunger at the end of our run.
At the end of the day, GU Roctane performed at least as well as any gel we’ve tested. We believe, though we haven’t tested it long enough, that it’s possible that the muscle acid neutralization could happen after continued use, but we can’t confirm this from our tests. The additional electrolytes and amino acids help keep you system balanced during long periods of exertion, while the caffeine helps sharpen your mind, especially at then of a long day.
As with all other energy gels, we highly recommend picking up a handful of gels to try yourself and see what works best for your body. Our experience can be much better or worse than yours. Of course, don’t make any nutrition changes before a big race or workout, nothing good can come from changing anything at the last minute. If you’re looking for a energy gel to support your endurance running, GU Roctane is dependable gel with a great nutrition profile and some extras you won’t find in other products.