Gu Energy Roctane Energy Drink Mix: Quick Review

Gu Energy Roctane Energy Drink Mix: Quick Review – by Guitar Ted

The world of nutrition for cycling can be a bewildering forest of options, claims, and user experiences. I have to admit to having been bamboozled by all the information flying around. So when Gu Energy asked me to try a new flavor of their Roctane energy drink mix, I did so based upon my past experiences with Gu Energy products. Roctane being one of them, actually. So, a disclaimer up front: Gu Energy products seem to work well for me. They have a high reputation for success, and are a well established player in the energy nutrition field.

View of Gu Energy Roctane Strawberry Hibiscus flavored drink mix packages and a water bottle.
Gu Energy Roctane Strawberry Hibiscus Energy Drink Mix is Gluten free and Vegan

So, yes, I have a slight bias for this company’s products, and now you know that. It also should be stated that not everyone will get along with, like, or think of Gu Energy in a positive light. But for those of you looking for alternatives, or are just curious about Gu Energy Roctane Energy Drink Mix, read on. I hope to impart some good information and user experiences with this post that might help you.

What It Is: Roctane Energy Drink Mix has been around for a while now. It isn’t anything really new. However; Gu Energy kept getting requests for a Roctane without caffeine. Normally Roctane contains that stimulant. So, Gu Energy decided to acknowledge those requests from athletes and at the same time, introduce a new flavor, Strawberry Hibiscus. Gu Energy sent out a few packets for resupply while riding and a large tub to mix bottles at home. With that I decided to check out what Gu Energy has to say about Roctane, a bit of which I copied and pasted here for your convenience:

Detail shot of Roctane Strawberry Hibiscus flavored energy drink mix
Guitar Ted liked how the Roctane mixed in water.

When you’re pushing yourself on the trail or road, you need an easy way to get both the hydration and energy you need to avoid bonking, stay energized, and keep competing. ROCTANE Energy Drink Mix is a carbohydrate intensive energy drink to help push the limits during ultra-distance and intense efforts. It contains the critical carbs and electrolyte replenishment that endurance athletes need to compete at high levels.

It is a light tasting, easy-to-mix formula for fueling serious efforts. Each 250-calorie serving contains:

  • Carbohydrates (maltodextrin and fructose) that use non-competing pathways which can help maximize absorption, increase carbohydrate utilization, and diminish stomach distress, so you get energy that kicks in quickly and stays with you
  • Sodium, the primary electrolyte lost in sweat that aids in hydration by maintaining fluid balance
  • Branched-chain amino acids (L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine) which may reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage while jump-starting recovery
  • Taurine can help maintain heart contractility and improve cardiac output during long exercise sessions
  • Beta-alanine can help promote formation of the intramuscular buffer carnosine, which can help delay the onset of fatigue during high-intensity efforts.

Okay, so with a bit of that detail out of the way, a reminder that this particular flavor of Roctane does not have caffeine. The Strawberry Hibiscus flavor does all the other things Roctane does though, and it is recommended for rides of a couple of hours or more. With that in mind, I planned several two to four hour rides to test this drink mix with. Following are my impressions of how it performed for me. Remember: Your personal results may vary, but this should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from Roctane Energy Drink Mix.

Ride Impressions: First of all, mixing the recommended two scoops of powder into a small water bottle is easy to get done. I have tried other drink mixes that don’t dissolve into water well and are a disappointment when you get clumps of powder that do not mix up well. So, one good point straight away then. Of course, there is the flavor, Strawberry Hibiscus. I think it is a nice, not very obtrusive flavor, but enough to get your attention. On the bike the Roctane went down well. I never felt like it tasted weird or that I had a turn against it mid-ride. You know, sometimes something sounds good, but then you suddenly don’t like the taste? I never got really tired of the Strawberry Hibiscus in that way.

As far as keeping me hydrated and energized? I think this stuff earned its keep. I tried to ride on less to to start out with, in terms of any food ahead of a ride, to kind of allow my body to rely on the Roctane. That seemed to work well for me. The flavor seemed to leave me somewhat thirsty, if that makes sense, so I was ready to drink more at any time. In fact, I think that this flavor somehow encouraged me to consistently drink over the course of a ride. Consequently I never really got that draggy feeling, and I have to say that, even without caffeine, I was alert and never felt too fatigued. Energy seemed to be consistent every ride that I used this on, and my experience was similar over several rides over a month and a half of using this drink mix in varied weather conditions.

Gu Energy Rocatane Strawberry Hibiscus energy drink mix label

This effect upon my performance also never seemed unnatural to me. I think that is important to note here. I never felt anything other than ‘me’ while using Roctane, and I think that speaks highly of how this formula integrates with an athlete’s body and performance. I also noted that I was much better hydrated while using Roctane. Judging from my increased urges for ‘nature breaks’, at any rate. So, that was seen as a positive in my view as well.

At The Finish: Roctane Energy Drink Mix, in the caffeine free Strawberry Hibiscus flavor, is something I found to be a very good addition to my nutrition for riding longer distances. All alone or in conjunction with other foods, I found Roctane to be always very palatable and it did not ‘turn my gut’ like some other drink mixes have done. I found Roctane to be a good source for hydration and energy, and that I did not miss the caffeine part at all, since I never felt drowsy or mentally dull at any time during my use of this product.

But again- I may have had a very different experience than some others. That said, I feel Gu Energy has a very worthwhile energy drink mix here in the Strawberry Hibiscus flavor of Roctane. I’d recommend checking it out to see if it might work for you as well. Oh, and by the way, it cleans up out of your bottles really well. Just thought I should mention that before closing out here, because I hate it when something nasty starts growing in my favorite water bottles! Roctane- Check it out. I think it works well and it may help you get those big miles in this Summer and for the future.

For more information on Strawberry Hibiscus Roctane energy Drink Mix see Gu Energy’s webpage for the product here.

Note: Gu Energy sent out the Strawberry Hibiscus flavor of their Roctane Energy Drink mix in packets and a jar to Riding Gravel at no charge for test and review. We were not paid, nor brin=bed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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