What Makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

Maurten Energy Gel and Maurten Drink Mix Review

One of the most common fueling questions I get is: “What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Maurten Drink Mix Different”? Is it better? Why do so many professional runners use it?  While my preferred gel is Maurten, I have had success with most gels.

One thing to keep in mind is every person is different. What works or some doesn’t work for everyone. Nutrition and fueling is a personal part of running and most of it is done with trial and error.  I’ve written about fueling before in the newsletter, but like shoes, there are many different types of fuels for many different types of people and stomachs. 🙂

What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

So Back to Maurten:

Previous research showed the human body could absorb up to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Now, research shows that we can use up to 80 grams.  Having too much sugar is what leads to stomach issues.

Unlike many fuels on the market, Maurten has no added flavor. It’s slightly sweetened but you won’t taste chocolate, cherry, or watermelon. Maurten Energy also uses natural ingredients so no extra color or preservatives.  I have noticed the Maurten with caffeine tastes like just caffeine. (It does have a taste, almost alkaline, bitter, and slightly soapy).

So What Makes Maurten Energy Gels (Gel 100) Different?

To understand what makes a Maurten Energy Gel different, we must understand traditional gels and energy sources.

Traditional “gels” are usually water and carbohydrates mixed together to make a thick syrup (and “goo”). To make them “gel-like,” there are preservatives, and to get a flavor, they add artificially flavors and preservatives.

Maurten Energy gel

The Maurten Gel 100 uses hydrogel.

What is a “hydrogel”?

A hydrogel is a biopolymer matrix and made with a blend of fructose and glucose.  The hydrogel technology is a biopolymer, which means it’s water-based with small pores. The hydrogel acts like a sponge. This biopolymer matrix allows the body to absorb and keep 100 grams of carbohydrates per hour (i.e., The Maurten Gel 100).

The hydrogel in the Maurten Gel 100, enables a smooth transportation of carbohydrates through the stomach to the intestine. This means if you often get an upset stomach, the Maurten Gel 100s are a bit smoother on the stomach.

Plus, the hydrogel allows you to use gel and also has an electrolyte liquid. Doing so, with most traditional gels, results in an upset stomach or cramps. (I’ve used with on-course electrolyte aid and never had an issue).

What about the Maurten Drink Mix?

The Maurten Drink Mixes come in 2 varieties:

  • The Drink Mix 160
  • The Drink Mix 320

Each of the drink mixes is mixed with 500 ml of water.  When combined with water, the Maurten Sports Drink instantly converts to hydrogel in the acidity of the stomach. The hydrogel then enables a smooth transportation of the drink through the stomach to the intestine. The intestine is where the water, salt, and carbohydrates are absorbed.

To make it easy, the Maurten Drink mixes refer to how many calories each contain. The Maurten Drink Mix 160 has the standard amount of carbohydrates we thought the body was able to absorb. The Drink Mix 320 contains twice the energy and nearly 14% of carbohydrates. That is nearly twice the amount of carbohydrates we thought the body could once absorb.

To get the most amount of carbohydrates, you want to take the Maurten Drink Mix 320.

Maurten Energy gel

So Why Use the Maurten Drink Mix vs. Maurten Gel:

First, gels are easier to carry. Most of us don’t have the luxury of elite bottles at races. We must bring our own fuel. Gels allow you to consume energy without running with bottles.

What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

Is Maurten Energy Gel or Drink Mix Right for Me?

The only way to know is to try yourself. Reading product reviews (yes, even here won’t tell you until you try).

If you’ve tried Maurten Energy Gels or Drink Mixes, let me know!

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

Do you like Maurten Energy Gel? Which is your favorite?




  1. I like the gels. I just got the drink mixes, and I’m not sure how to use them. Which mix do I use, and when do I drink it—before the run or during the run in place of gels?

    1. Amy, that is a trial and error for every single person. Most elite marathoners try to take about 60 g per hour of fuel but it all depends on your stomach. Some people’s stomachs don’t tolerate the higher concentration at once. I aim for 1 gel, during miles 5, 10, 15, 20. That’s what I have found works for me.

    1. I haven’t used ucan but they are both going to get the calories and carbohydrates. The hydrogel in Maurten is different so ucan might sit differently in your stomach.

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