I was excited to try the Maurten Gel 160 gels. As I continue training for the California International Marathon, I’m looking for different fuel methods during the marathon. I like the original Maurten (and caffeine), but I always look for other options. Plus, I know my body *could* use the extra gels towards the end of the race if I can stomach it.
Some other Maurten products I’ve reviewed:
About the Brand Maurten:
Before we dive into the Maurten Gel 160, we must understand the brand Maurten. Maurten came to the running scene with a single mission: to redefine how athletes fuel during endurance events. They were founded in Sweden by a team of sports scientists and elite athletes and gained a reputation for pushing the boundaries of sports nutrition. Their breakthrough came in the form of the Maurten Hydrogel Technology.
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. There aren’t a lot of gels that are available in such high carbohydrate counts. Liquid? Yes, but not gels.
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 colors or preservatives exist. I have noticed that Maurten with caffeine tastes like just caffeine. (It does have a flavor: almost alkaline, bitter, and slightly soapy).
About the Maurten Gel 160:
The Maurten Gel 160 is a brand-new gel from Maurten. This gel represents the pinnacle of Maurten’s commitment to science-backed nutrition. It gives you more of the same product you already like. It’s designed to provide a sustained energy release for endurance athletes during those grueling training sessions and races.
Maurten’s Hydrogel Technology encapsulates carbohydrates in a unique matrix, unlike traditional gels that use sugars. This matrix forms a gel in your stomach, releasing the carbohydrates steadily, avoiding sugar spikes and crashes. It’s a fueling strategy that many athletes have found to be a game-changer in their performance.
What makes the Maurten Gel 160 different?
The Maurten Gel 160 is a bigger hydrogel. It has 40 grams of carbohydrates in each serving and only six ingredients. Plus, there are no added colors, preservatives, or flavors.
The Maurten Gel 160 stands out in sports nutrition, not because it tastes like a 5-star meal but because it doesn’t. It’s virtually tasteless. For runners who have struggled with overly sweet or overpowering gels, you’ll find a neutral flavor profile in Maurten. The lack of solid flavor means you won’t get the syrupy sensation in your mouth.
But Maurten’s gels are all very thick. They have the consistency of ultrasound goop, which takes a big adjustment. It’s not good or bad, but it does take adjustment. Maurten says you can take their gels without water, and I’ve found this generally to be true.
What is the difference between the Maurten Gel 100 and Gel 160?
They both use the same patented Maurten Hydrogel Technology with the same ratio of fructose and glucose — 0.8:1. The Gel 100 has 25 grams of carbohydrates, and Gel 160 has 40 grams. The Maurten Gel 160 is just more carbohydrates. It’s not more concentrated; it’s just more carbohydrates. It’s bigger.
My experience with Maurten Gel 160:
I had imagined the Maurten Gel 160 was a more concentrated version of the Maurten 100. I hadn’t imagined it was just a bigger package. So when I bought them, I thought that’s a lot of gel to take down. I first tried one on a 10-mile run, just a regular daily run with no speed. I didn’t know how my stomach would handle that much carbohydrate. Since I was already familiar with the texture, I could consume it (I chose to take it with water, although you don’t have to). I found it sat well, and my stomach absorbed it. I’ve tried it on even longer runs after having a couple of other gels with no issues.
I plan to start having them during speed workouts to ensure my stomach can handle them faster, too. So far, so good, and I haven’t had any issues with my stomach absorbing the Maurten Gel 160. If all goes well, I plan to use the Maurten Gel 160 towards the end of the marathon (probably after mile 16) for some extra boost. I don’t think my body could fuel a marathon with 5 Gel 160s (although I never say never), so having 3 Gel 100s followed by 2 Gel 160s might be the plan. Although alternating could also be the plan, as you can see, I’m still trying different options.
Cost of Performance: Is Maurten Worth It?
At $50 for 10, the Maurten Gel 160 is not cheap. (Although no Maurten product is). They are probably one of the most expensive fueling products in the running world. Considering the impact of stable energy levels, reduced GI distress, and improved race performance, it’s easier to stomach that cost. There isn’t much on the market like Maurten (the closest being Powerbar Hydro), so if it works for you, they’ll be worth it.
Conclusion: The Maurten Gel 160:
In conclusion, the Maurten Gel 160 is not your typical running gel. The consistency, taste, and just about everything else is different. Plus, the extra carbohydrates.
Who should buy Maurten Gel 160? If you have stomach issues and are looking for a gel you can take without water, it’s a great option.
Who should not buy the Maurten Gel 160? If you don’t like the consistency of thicker gels or don’t want to pay a lot of money, there are better and cheaper options.
Finally, remember that gels are all a personal experience. What works for me may not work for you. The best way to determine if a product suits your needs is to try it in training before race day. Your body’s response to different fuels is highly individual, so give the Maurten Gel 160 a test run and see if it works for you.
Questions for you:
Have you tried Maurten Gel 160?
What is your favorite gel for running?