How to make your own GU

The idea started with Phil Fortier's experimentation after Liberty Ridge to make his own cheap and inexpensive GU. After being sold on the virtues of GU, we were all looking for an alternative to the $16 a pound, and litter generating GU packets. Here is Phil's inital page on how to make your own GU. What follows is my adendum to his inital foray into bootleg GU.

You need to get the following ingridients:

Brew Store

Grocery Store (QFC)

To package the GU efficiently, buy Coghlen's tubes from REI ($2 for a two pack). This product would probably work as well. These seem to be the best way to carry GU into the mountains. The following proportions will make one Coghlen's tube perfectly:

Carefully measure out the above ingredients, and mix them togeather lightly. Bring the water to steaming hot and slowly wisk in the maltodextrin/fructose mix. Once this is done, mix in a "pinch" of Citric acid, calcium carbonate, sea salt, and pectin. Wisk on med heat until all the lumps are gone. Now you are ready to add your flavor of choice. Almond extract is a staple flavor, but one can get more creative! Make sure that you add some gin if you are not using an alcohol based extract less your GU have a nasty after taste!

The proportions I have found to work have been producing "stable" liquidy GU. Even slight variations in the ratio of maltodextrin to water cause major differences in the consistency of the GU. A little too much water and your have a clear sugary liquid, not enough and you'll have GU-chew! Below I have grabbed the ingredients list for authentic GU off thier website. I have chosen to leave out some of the harder to find ingredients that they use like amino acids, who knows wether they make a difference. Read the marketing and come to your own conclusion!

Let me know of your GU making adventures, especially concerning good flavor combinations! Arm-chair GU ideas abound with flavors of Bailey's Irish cream GU, and Grand Marnier GU. Let me know what you make!

GU Ingredients from the GUSPORTS.COM website

Maltodextrin: a complex carbohydrate which is easily absorbed from the gut and provides glucose polymers for sustained energy.

Fructose: the principal sugar in fruit. This sugar works in conjunction with maltodextrin to provide energy. Fructose is absorbed rapidly, but utilized more slowly than glucose.

GU Herbal Blend: a unique blend of performance-enhancing herbs; cola nut (caffeine), chamomile, and ginseng. Caffeine aids in the metabolism of fats for longer-lasting energy. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties. Ginseng, Siberian and Korean, has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to enhance energy production.

Leucin and Valine: branched-chain amino acids, which provide up to 5% of the calories burned during exercise. Endurance activities can lead to deficiencies in blood leucine, which the body tries to restore by degrading muscle. These amino acids also play an important role in maintaining focus and concentration.

GU Antioxidant Blend: a blend of Vitamin C and Vitamin E that is designed to protect tissues by neutralizing free radicals which are produced by the muscle's use of oxygen during exercise.

Histidine: an essential amino acid that acts as a buffer to slow the build up of lactic acid.

Potassium and Sodium Citrate: essential minerals that must be replaced during exercise to maximize performance through the optimal absorption of liquids.

Pectin: a natural fiber without bulk that controls the absorption of ingredients from the gut, helping to minimize the stomach distress many people experience with sports bars, drinks, and other gels.

Sea Salt: a natural source of sodium which includes essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc.

Calcium Carbonate: an easily absorbed form of calcium which plays a large role in muscle contractions.

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