If you are reading this blog, chances are you are like me and always interested in looking at opportunities to improve your performance, recovery or both. I first heard of Maurten while closely following Eluid Kipchoge and his build up towards Nike’s sub2 attempt at Monza in May of 2017, however at the time I didn’t really think much more about it as there wasn’t a lot of information other than Kipchoge was going to be drinking smaller amounts more often with a new drink designed to give him twice as many carbs as his previous solution. Towards the end of the 2017 though and it was seemingly impossible to ignore the traction that Maurten had made, it had won just about every major marathon and was even being used by Tottenham Hotspurs and World Tour Cycling teams. I’ve had a fair bit of trouble with fuelling in marathons and had always gone by the ‘old school’ philosophy of keeping energy and hydration separate but I had decided that while I had certainly gotten better at fuelling, it still wasn’t optimal and it was time to try something new.
Maurten Drink mixes use a hydrogel technology meaning that the drink will be consumed as a liquid and then instantly convert to hydrogel in the acidity of the stomach, encapsulating the carbohydrates. The hydrogel then enables a smooth transportation of the sports drink through the stomach to the intestine where the water, salt and carbohydrates are absorbed. The Gel 100 operates in a similar way allowing for a smoother transportation of the carbohydrates through the stomach and to the intestines. The biggest benefit of this technology is that it allows you to increase your carbohydrate intake without the risk of upsetting your stomach.
Maurten have 3 products currently on the market, the Drink Mix 320, Drink Mix 160 and Gel 100. The numbers after each of the products indicate how many calories are in a serving of each, to work out how many grams of carbohydrate that is divide the number by 4. Drink Mixes are dissolved into 500ml of water, while the Gel’s are in single serve packets. It is important to not over dilute the Drink Mix as this can affect how the hydrogel technology works.
How I use it:
I have been playing around with all three Maurten products and have now come up with a formula that works pretty well for me in training and for shorter racing, there will be a bit of trial and error to get the strategy completely fine tuned before my next Marathon but I am looking forward to getting that down pat over the next few months.
Drink Mix 320 – I have been using this drink prior and during my big interval session each week. I have also been using this drink prior to some races to top my fuelling up. I tend to prefer not to eat for 3-4 hours prior to a race and previously have used a gel just prior to race day. I’ve found using the 320mix to be a perfect substitute.
Drink Mix 160 – I’ve been using this prior to my long run every week, sipping on it from when I get up until I head out the door about 30-40minutes later. I have also used this prior to some of my shorter interval sessions during the week, particularly if I have misjudged my eating during the day and feeling a bit low on juice.
Gel 100 – This is a product of convenience, and I am using this during my long run to keep my fuelled up and also to assist with allowing me to push through my long run and finish it off strongly.
The taste of the product is fairly neutral, I wouldn’t say it tastes like anything in particular. The drink mixes do have a slightly sweet taste, with the 320 being slightly sweeter, but I certainly wouldn’t consider it to be a sickly-sweet taste. I’d still consider it to have a clean and crisp taste to it. The gel is unlike anything I’ve had before, the texture is crazy! It is virtually a jelly like substance and doesn’t require you to consume water to assist digestion. It basically dissolves in your mouth and is very easy to get down, however it is important to know that it doesn’t come out all syrupy like its competitors’ products and leaves little to no sticky residue in your mouth or on your hands.
From initially ignoring this product assuming it was a bit of a gimmick around the sub2 attempt, I have become a huge fan since getting to know more about the technology and having the chance to use the product myself. I am now a huge advocate for the brand and it will be my go-to product for fuelling my training and racing going forward!