*While this is not a sponsored post, the awesome team at Maurten did provide me with some items to giveaway!! Details at the bottom*
I usually am pretty “crunchy” when it comes to my day to day food choices. I love to make things from scratch and use whole food ingredients. Even though I am always game for pizza, french fries and a good cookie I try to keep a good mixture.
When I started eyeing longer distances I tried few different fueling options. Everything from gels, packets, bites, with no luck. I went through many of the popular brands with all of them causing GI issues, nauseas and a huge crash—if I could even choke them down.
I ended up hitting gold with a suggestion from @the_running_dietitian and her go to guide for whole food options for fueling. I found that applesauce packets were easy for me to digest but the downside for me personally was the amount that I needed to get me through a full marathon would be too much for me to carry even with a mid course hand off.
So I was back to searching for something that would pack a punch and not upset my stomach.
After seeing @jamaldavis718 post about Maurten Gels and reading more about them I figured I should buck up and try them. I’ll be honest the biggest pause I had on trying them was the price tag. Their site has a nifty too to search if a store near you offers the products and single gels HERE. No local retailers carried single packets and I wasn’t keen on spending $43.20 on a box of 12 (not including tax) for something that I don’t even know if I would like. But as my training cycle approached and no other prospects in site I bit the bullet and took the gamble.
I liked that there didn’t seem to be any frills; no promise of flavors, the option for caffeine or no caffeine, and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Already key points that made my heart sing that these may actually not be terrible. They didn’t seem to over promote or sell themselves to be anything but a solid fuel option for athletes.
This review is solely on the non caffeinated gels since I exclusively use them. I get enough caffeine form my coffee and if I had any more into my diet I’m pretty sure I’ll never sleep again…..
Now for the brass tax of what they are:
Directly From Their Site:
"This is the GEL. It’s a bold statement. But nonetheless true. From a technical perspective, traditional gels are water and carbohydrates simply mixed into syrups, often containing added flavours and preservatives. The GEL 100 is completely different. It’s a biopolymer matrix, filled 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.
The GEL 100 is built by harnessing natural hydrogel technology and built with six natural ingredients. It doesn’t contain any colorants or preservatives and comes in 40g servings. Each serving contains 60% carbohydrates – a high weight to energy ratio."
The also link a helpful guide maurten.com/fuelguide that gives a general idea of how they recommend fueling, the mixes to use, etc. While no runners fueling is a one size fits all it can give a good base for those who are new to the fueling game. Bonus: it breaks it down by activity, length and much more!
When you first open them you thankfully aren’t hit with that overly powerful, sweet aroma like others gels. At first I honestly smelt absolutely nothing and was intrigued since still the thought of eating while running is not my jam. When I went to taste it I did have a hint of sweetness but it was super faint. If you are big into flavor then these probably won’t be something you are into but if you like just a hint of flavor then out this in the “win” column.
For a lot of people texture is a deal breaker. Especially when you are running anything too sticky or too goopy can make you sick to your stomach before you even get it into your mouth. The texture of the gels before they are heated up are on the firmer side (imagine a gummy bear that has been melted a bit). It doesn’t ooze out and create a huge mess and can be bitten off in small chunks as to not overwhelm you. Even after they’ve been heated by the sun/body heat they still retain their texture pretty well. They do get a bit softer but nothing compared to other popular gels. I could comfortable cruise as I ate it without worrying about half of it ending up on my singlet, hands, water bottle, etc.
My Go to Intake Strategy:
Since these are on the thicker side I found that eating it with some of my water allowed for a two-one punch. I hydrated and fueled at the same time while actually feel refreshed throughout. I bite off a chunk of the gel, take a sip of my Nuun water and swish it around a bit to break up the gel. I feel like it gives me a hearty punch of fuel without sitting heavy on my gut and instantly feel a pep of energy. Because these aren’t goopy I can put it right back in my pocket without creating an oil slick. I stick to one gel every 3 miles because that’s what works for ME. If you need it less often then you do you!
These are immensely more convenient than my apple cause packets and I require a lot less to get me through my runs
They are easy to tear open with my teeth and allow me to keep running without having to stop and fuss with the packaging.
The ONLY downfall I found is that they are pricey but after everything is said and done I can justify it since my body is the machine that carries me through the miles and what I put into is the gas that will keep me going.
I have a pretty sensitive stomach and have had ZERO issues with these. I also have not had that dreaded crash after runs from underfeeding. Win: win
If the price is your only deterrent from trying them I highly urge you to hit the order button and just do it. I wish I would have known about these before spending a bunch of money on cheaper more accessible options—I also would have saved myself from a lot of stomach aches.
Be sure to check out my Instagram for a fun Maurten Gel Giveaway!!! *winners will be chosen at random and announced 1/03/22*
Any questions that I didn’t cover here? DM on Instagram or email me at Info@runningandschmidt.com