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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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?
This post is long overdue as many people have requested me to write are running books I’m reading or have read. There are hundreds of running books out there and no one can ever read them all.
Of course, we have to start with “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. Born to Run is the running book every runner has asked another runner if they have read. It’s a great book and I highly recommend starting there. Plus Christopher McDougall has a new book coming out soon called: Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero.
Whether you are just beginning your running journey, long-distance ultra runner, professional runner, training for the Boston Marathon, or looking for a training book to stay injury-free, there are plenty of running books out there.
Here a few Running Books I’ve Read and Enjoyed:
There are obviously many more running books and I appreciate any suggestions.
I’ve written about the collagen creamer before. It’s an excellent creamer. It is free of added sugars, dairy, and gluten. It’s not as creamy as full-fat milk, and I like it in hot cocoa the best. Vital Protein Collagen Creamers contain MCT, a healthy fat, in coconut milk. Each coconut creamer also contains 10 grams of collagen and protein. Finally, one of my favorite parts of any Vital Proteins Collagen product is the ingredients list. Each Vital Protein product is made with real food. There are no artificial sweeteners or refined sugars. Plus, the Collagen Creamer is also Dairy and Gluten-Free (it’s not critical for me, but I do know it is for many).
The Collagen Lattes are all dairy-free and have 10g of bone broth collagen. Like the Collagen Creamers, the Collagen Lattes also contain MCTs and are dairy and gluten-free. There are no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or additives.
Two flavors Madagascar Vanilla and Golden Milk flavors contain no caffeine. The Cocoa Caramel and Hot Cocoa flavors each have 5 mg of caffeine.
So which is “better”?
The answer is neither!
Looking strictly at ingredients and nutrition facts both contain coconut milk powder, which means they are dairy-free. I’m not lactose intolerant, but my husband is, and they work well for him.
The creamer is best added to a drink like coffee or smoothie while the latte flavors can be drunk as a stand-alone drink.
The other main difference is the sourcing of the collagen. The creamer is sourced from collagen peptides. Also known as collagen peptides creamer. What are peptides? Collagen peptides act as building blocks for the body and help build stronger hair, nails, and joints.
The Collagen Lattes contains bone broth collagen. Bone broth is bones and cartilage and is better for bone health. As a runner, I like the added benefit of bone health.
You won’t go wrong for either, and it comes down to your preference. If you are looking for a healthier alternative for creamer, I would choose the creamer. If you want to substitute your coffee or morning drink altogether, the latte is a good place to start.
Right now I’m drinking Golden Milk which I like and highly recommend.
Thank you to Vital Proteins for sending the new Collagen Latte Golden Milk to try.
Questions for you:
Have you tried Collagen Lattes or Collagen Creamer?
Each month, Vital Proteins sends me products to try, and I share my favorites or answer questions people have.
I’ve already been using Vital Proteins for over a year, and I find I genuinely recover faster and feel better than if I don’t. Usually, I have one serving twice a day.
Since this is primarily, a “workout blog,” many people have asked how it helps with recovery. Keep in mind these statements are not evaluated by the food and drug administration and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
What Makes Collagen Peptides Different?
Vital Protein Collagen Peptides have the added benefit of providing 18 g of collagen protein. I’ve personally found my body recovers much better when I have protein after a run or workout. Vital Proteins are also dairy free.
Why Take Collagen?
Until I learned more about collagen, I had no idea it was the second most abundant substance in the human body. (after water).
Collagen is found everywhere in the body. The purpose is to provide the body with strength, structure, and elasticity.
With the natural process of aging, our bodies become less efficient, producing collagen. This leads to slower workout recovery time. By adding collagen, you can help speed up the process.
One of the essential jobs of collagen is to keep our bones and connective tissue in optimal working conditions. For runners and people that work out, this is imperative. Like rest, you cannot train hard without recovering hard.
How Can Collagen Help Running Performance?
New research shows collagen can help decrease joint pain often associated with high impact exercise.
Long-term strenuous exercise, like running, leads to collagen degradation in the body. We naturally lose collagen as we age but running and other high impact sports can quicken this. It’s not an overnight occurrence, and the degradation of collagen is a slow process. It usually takes years. Like a stress fracture, it takes time and isn’t an issue that just ‘pops up”. That is why anyone running for years may have the same collagen issues.
Collagens Promotes a Healthy Response to Natural Inflammation:
Running stresses your body, which causes inflammation. Taking Collagen or any protein directly after a workout helps to promote inflammation and speed up the repair of connective tissues that are damaged. I feel and recover better on days I do have collagen within 30 minutes of working out.
Promoting Joint Health:
In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear runners and athletes talk about “bone on bone.” This means they’ve lost the cartilage in their knees. Losing all of the cartilage in your knees is from years of wear and tear on your body and joints.
How does Collagen Help Joints?
Increases lubrication around joints to make more mobile
Helps to increase bone density (A BIG ONE FOR RUNNERS!)
Reduces inflammation around joints and improves healing of connective tissues
Which Collagen Products are Best for Recovery?
While products like “the beauty glow,” have collagen and protein, they aren’t the best if your goal is to recover faster.
A Few of my Favorite Vital Proteins Products for Recovery are:
The Orginal Collagen Peptides are unflavored and can be added to anything. The collagen peptides are digested and absorbed by the body quickly for maximum benefits. Besides helping recover, they also help improve joints and ligaments, and tendon health. Of any collagen product, they are the most versatile and can be added into almost anything with no extra flavor, including hot or cold liquids, coffee, smoothies, and baked goods.
Bone broth was one of the first products I started taking from Vital Proteins. Bone broth is filled with amino acids. These amino acids prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue, repair leaky gut, improve sleep quality, and help regenerate cartilage. Important for runners, bone broth also contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
The Collagen whey is my favorite product, and I try and have a serving most days. In addition to the collagen, the Vital Proteins Collagen whey contains 26g of grass fed whey protein concentrate and 5,105mg of BCAA. If you are looking for a protein powder, the Vital Proteins Collagen Whey supports recovery and mixes well into smoothies.
It’s one of the newer products, and I wrote about Vital Proteins Collagen Water last month. I like how many different flavors of collagen water there are, plus it’s portable. If I’m running from somewhere other than my house, it’s easy and packed. Of any of the products, the collagen water is the easiest to pack and bring with you.
In summary, I’ve found I’ve recovered faster and stronger after hard workouts by taking Collagen. Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing me to continue to be an ambassador.