Spoiler alert – in my opinion the 32GI Sports Chews are slightly better than GU Energy Chews because:
- They are a little easier to chew – softer texture.
- The packaging is easier to work with while running.
They tie with regards to nutrition profile, flavor selection, and effectiveness.
Having tested around 20 energy gels in the last few months both of these products were a welcome change. If you’re getting sick of gels during your runs they are both worthy of a try.
Read on for the full comparison.
Comparing GU Energy Chews vs 32GI Sports Chews nutrition profile and ingredients
GU Energy ChewNutrition Profile
- Calories = 90
- Sodium = 40 mg
- Carbohydrates = 22 g
- Weight/Serving = 30 g
- Calories / Gram = 3.0
32GI Sports ChewNutrition Profile
- Calories = 132
- Sodium = 131 mg
- Carbohydrates = 33 g
- Weight/Serving = 50 g
- Calories / Gram = 2.64
One key difference is in the sodium content, where 32GI Sports Chews offer more. If you’re a heavy sweater, then this may be a better option for you. Otherwise GU energy offers slightly more calories per gram of chew.
When it comes to ingredients, the sugar profile strategy is also different. While both products have glucose and sucrose, the third ingredient is the key difference:
- GU Energy Chews have maltodextrin – a high GI product.
- 32GI Sports Chews have isomaltulouse which is a low GI carbohydrate.
I have to say that I didn’t perceive a significant difference in my energy levels after consumption. Both did the job well.
Finally, the GU Energy Chews contain BCAAs which are meant to help you stay mentally alert and kick off the recovery process.
Flavor comparison of 32GI Sports Chews and GU Energy Chews
For our complete review of GU Energy Chews we tried the orange flavor. I found it pretty good, a little tangy and orange gummy candy like.
With regards to flavor options, GU has the following choices available: Blueberry Pomegranate, Strawberry (w Caffeine), Watermelon, Salted Lime, and Lemonade. So you have plenty of options.
For our full review of 32GI Sports Chews we tried the Raspberry, and Lime Flavored chews. The flavors for these chews were a little more delicate than the GU options. I enjoyed them a bit more.
32GI also offers the following additional flavors for their chews: orange, and peach.
Packaging of 32GI Sports Chews vs GU Energy Chews
We will give the top grade to 32GI with regards to packaging. It’s nothing fancy but it was easy to open and consume during the run. I could even eat half and still keep the remaining for later without too much worry about it spilling out.
The GU energy chews packaging is getting a few negative comments on their website review page. Many athletes are calling for a return of their old style packaging for the chews – which are more tubular. The current design is a little hard to manage. When you open it per instructions the hole is too small to get the little chews out. This is a bit frustrating during long runs.
Both of these products get the job done. They are good at providing you with energy for long runs or races in a compact package.
Based on our experience and the flavors tried so far we give a slight edge to 32GI Sports Chews.
Runivore Will’s Take:
Sorry Runivore Tom, I disagree with your verdict.
Per pack, 32GI Sports Chews provide more calories and carbohydrates than GU Energy Chews. The 32GI option also incorporated unique product design concepts, such as using Isomaltulose, which is composed of both glucose and fructose but only half as sweet.
With a different enzymatic structure, metabolization in the small intestine and absorption into the bloodstream is slowed, meaning Isomaltulose should trigger a lesser insulin response compared with other forms of sugar. Insulin suppresses fat oxidation, so in theory, consuming isomaltulose shouldn’t affect your body’s mechanisms that convert fat into fuel.
All that sound magnificent on paper. In reality, I found 32GI Chews too sweet. I was expecting a gummy treat along the line of gummy bears or cola bottles. That wasn’t the case. And the fact that the chews require chewing means that they have to stay on top of my taste buds for longer only exacerbated the experience.
All the advanced sports nutrition tech means nothing if I can’t stand the taste. Regarding performance or benefits from slower-releasing carbohydrates, there wasn’t a noticeable difference from conventional gels and chews I’ve had before.
GU Energy Chews, on the other hand, deliver a superior flavor. There are about eight small pieces in a packet. If you have a more sensitive stomach, this fuel format is excellent for controlling your carbohydrate intake compared to possibly overwhelming your digestive system by gulping down a full gel or eating a big piece of gel block.
The packaging issue can be easily resolved if you repack the chews into a zip lock bag. Same great taste, much easier access.
GU, the OG of the sports nutrition industry, wins it!