I first tried Maurten Drink Mix 160 and 320 a year ago. While the drink mix worked for me, I don’t like carrying lots of bottles while I run. As a non-elite athlete, no one is putting bottles out on the course for me. I wrote Maurten off as a race day nutrition for my needs. Maurten must have realized that portability was an issue most runners would have with the product and developed the GEL 100 to address it. I had to try Maurten again. After all, the science behind the nutrition seems sound and Eliud Kipchoge trusts it to fuel his World Record Breaking Marathons.
What makes the Maurten GEL 100 different from the other nutrition gels? First, GEL 100 only has six ingredients with no added colorants, preservatives or flavors. 25g of carbohydrates per serving.
- Calcium Carbonate
- Gluconic acid
- Sodium Alginate
Compare that to the GU Tastefully Nude Gel with 16 ingredients:
- Potassium Citrate
- Sodium Citrate
- Citric Acid
- Calcium Carbonate
- Sea Salt
- Green Tea (Leaf) Extract (Contains Caffeine)
- Gellan Gum
- Sunflower Oil
- Sodium Benzoate (Preservative)
- Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
But why is less good? Simple, The GEL 100 has a biopolymer matrix, with a unique blend of fructose and glucose (ratio of 0.8:1) which enables uptakes of up to 100 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Wait, what? This means you can ingest more carbs during the run without GI issues. Why is that important? CARBS ARE YOUR ENERGY SOURCE DURING THE RUN. The more that you can get in your system and metabolize the better. Maurten recommends taking as many as four gels per hour. For my half marathon, I took one before the race and then an additional GEL 100 every 30 minutes. This is more than I would usually take during a half marathon. Typically, I would have one gel before a race than maybe one to two gels during the half. The fuel worked for me in the half, but honestly, I can run a half with no nutrition. Long runs are where the athlete needs fuel to run their best. I tried the fuel on a 22-mile training run by doing the following.
Waking up an hour and a half before the run, I mixed a Maurten 360 packet with 17 oz. of water and drank that with an English muffin and some coffee. I swallowed a salt tablet and Hammer Nutrition Anti-Fatigue pills. During the 22-mile run, I took a Gel 100 every 30-minutes. My pace was an “easy” pace (in high mileage is any pace effortless?), and the Gel 100 worked. I never felt depleted, there were no GI issues, and the gels were easy to get down on the run.
Maurten Gel 100 Taste and Texture
Don’t expect the Gel 100 to have the consistency of your typical syrupy gu. The Maurten Gel 100 is more like a soggy, gummy bear, thick jelly, or soft Jello. I got the gel down in two ways, chewing and holding it in my cheeks and l absorbing it as I ran.
The taste of it is just a sweetness similar to sugar water or simple syrup. The Gel 100 isn’t too sweet, maybe about the same level of sweetness as pure maple syrup, or less.
Marten Gel 100 Conclusion
Nutrition is hyper-personal, for me the Maurten Gell 100 works. It is convenient to carry and use during a run. I like the consistency better than GU or traditional gels and found them easy to ingest while running. Eliud Kipchoge uses Maurten; mentally this gives me a little extra confidence even if it is a placebo effect.
Training for Chicago has had its issues, I have done a couple of stupid things to sabotage my training. I am not sure how the marathon is going to go down. After the last training run, I was messing around and took a spill that has me unable to run for multiple days. The good news is we are less than two weeks out, so it is time to taper anyway. This is the second time in this training cycle that I have done something to derail my training and knock me out of running. However, If I am able to get to the start line, I will give the marathon everything I have and I will be fueling with Maurten.Shop Maurten Gel 100
Thomas is the founder of Big Run Media, Believe In The Run, and the Faster Bastards. His mission is to get everyone running. Life is better when you run and running is always better when you have the right gear.