Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Guest Post: GU Roctane Product Review

Back a month (or two) ago, I won Kovas' Most Valuable Reader contest, with a grand prize of a canister of GU's new Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink AND a GU sample pack. I was thrilled, both to be recognized for the fantastic blog reader that I am and because, being terminally short of funds I'm hesitant to try new things and risk wasting money on something I don't like. The one catch to my winnings was that I also had to review the drink, but since I clearly love sharing my opinions about everything that was no problem.

According to the GU Energy Labs website, Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy drink includes the following key performance ingredients:
  • 240 calories of complex and simple carbs that is optimized for rapid absorption and energy accessibility and key electrolytes such as sodium and potassium so you can get your calories and hydration all in one drink.
  • Ideal carbohydrate ratio - Unique ratio of complex and simple carbohydrates are podium-proven to better maintain glucose levels than simple or complex carbs alone
  • Key electrolytes - Sodium and potassium properly maintain hydration
  • Taurine - Can help maintain heart & muscle performance during prolonged exercise which would otherwise lead to fatigue and decreased performance
  • Caffeine (except grape flavor) - Stimulates the central nervous system and reduces pain perception leading to prolonged exercise, delayed fatigue and increased performance
  • Beta-Alanine - Supplements dietary beta-alanine to improve muscle buffering capacity and performance during intense efforts
  • Branch Chain Amino Acids (Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine) – Shown to serve as an additional fuel source (when taken with carbohydrates), reduce muscle damage, enhance recovery and delay fatigue – all critical during intense or long efforts
  • Histidine Amino Acid – helps to buffer Ph during exercise
I took my reviewing responsibilities seriously, using the Roctane energy drink in a variety of settings, including a couple of short runs, mountain bike rides ranging from 1-4 hours, and 6-10 mile trail runs. I was given the tropical fruit flavor to review, and I liked its taste. The powder mixed in well with the water and had a nice, light flavor. I tend to get cramps in cooler weather because it's harder to keep on top of hydration when I'm not as thirsty, but the Roctane kept me drinking more regularly. It also didn't aggravate my frequently cranky stomach, which was a huge plus.

Of course, it's difficult to directly compare the effects of one drink over another since you can't exactly replicate the circumstances surrounding a run or ride, but the only really terrible run I've had lately was also the only run I've done without the Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink. There were other factors at play besides my drink choice, but it makes me wonder if it would have been better with Roctane instead of plain water. Overall, it seemed very effective. My energy level stayed up throughout the runs and rides, my stomach behaved itself, and my legs stayed cramp free. In fact, the only bad thing is that, now that my mileage is ramping up in my 50k training plan, I'm out of Roctane!

The GU sample pack was a great bonus, too. I've discovered a love for GU Chomps, and now that I've used my favorite flavors of the energy gels, I'm being forced to branch out and have already found out that I like some of the other flavors as well. Thanks to Outside PR, GU Energy Labs, and Midwest Multisport Life for the opportunity to sample all these great products!

About the Author: SuperKate:
  • Secret Identity: Completely average first grade teacher, loving wife, and mother of three.  Loves to read, write, and drink margaritas.  Wishes her super power was to drop dress sizes in single bounds.
  • Special powers: Able to leap in over my head at a single bound, donut eating, sarcasm
  • Sidekick: Taking applications
  • Weaknesses: Chocolate, naps

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  1. Great review Kate!

    I'm always up for chocolate and naps also:)

  2. You had me at "Branch Chain Amino Acids". No idea what they are but it sounds cool.

    I'd like to apply for the Sidekick position, I'll send my CV under separate cover.

  3. Ignore Patrick's CV, my resume for sidekick is on the way. :) Great review. I am also perpetually worried about how much I spend on this sport and worry about hating something. This is the 2nd review praising the drink. Both from people I respect. Looks like they have a winner. Is it widely available yet?

  4. well I think this description is wrong...completly average???

    nothing average about super Kate.

    sadly GU hates me so I got nothing for that part...

    sidekick should be Canadian I think
    sorry Patrick

  5. Great review Kate! I love GU Chomps too. They are like eating Dots candy but better for you and don't stick to your teeth so badly.

  6. Dude...taking apps for sidekick? what am i? chopped liver? I think you should add Bay to Breakers to your race schedule and come out here for the weekend of May 20th...and I'll show you how sidekicking is DONE.

  7. You guys made my day with your comments! :) Maybe I need to come up with a good sidekick competition/giveaway.


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