Established in 2015, Swedish nutrition company Maurten has harnessed the power of science to create a robust and effective range of sports nutrition. Shooting to popularity with a host of high-profile brand ambassadors including WorldTour trade teams, IronMan World champion Jan Frodeno and Sub 2-Hour Marathon world record holder, Eluid Kipchogee to name a few, Maurten has established itself as arguably the premier name in sports nutrition today.
Below, we’ll take you through the Maurten range and give you our insights on our first-hand experience with using the products. Read on for more.
How it Works
First developed six years ago, the science behind Maurten products, and importantly what separates it from its competitors is its natural hydrogel technology. It achieves this with two naturally occurring ingredients, Pectin and Sodium Alginate. These ingredients are said to react with the acidity of the stomach to form a hydrogel, rather than simply being present in the ingredients of the products which can cause gastrointestinal distress.
By encapsulating the carbohydrates and essentially hiding them from the sensors that would detect and deal with them as the stomach does with other carbs, it allows these gel-covered carbohydrates to pass into the intestines where they are said to be absorbed more efficiently. Essentially what this means is that athletes are said to be able to take on more energy, without triggering that all too common stomach ache often associated with sports nutrition products.
The Product Range
While first entering the market with its much-revered Drink Mix, Maurten now offers a range of Gels and Caffeine products, all of which are suitable for vegans and vegetarians and are all gluten-free.
The products only contain natural ingredients – all well-established and food-graded. Drink Mixes contain maltodextrin, fructose, pectin, sodium alginate and sodium chloride (salt). Whereas each Gel 100 contains water, glucose, fructose, calcium carbonate, gluconic acid and sodium alginate.
Prices for the single sachets range from AU$3.95 to AU$6.50, whereas individual gels range from AU$4.95 to AU$6.50.
Multipacks are also available from AU$59.40 for a 12 pack of GEL 100, through to AU$110 for the Mix Box reviewed below.
Ideal for those needing both hydration and energy, the Drink Mix range is where Maurten started. Two variants of the mix are offered, Drink Mix 160 and Drink Mix 320. Drink Mix 160 contains 40g of carbohydrates (per 500ml dose), whereas Drink Mix 320 is renowned as one of the most carbohydrate-rich sports drinks on the market with 80g per dose.
Both drink mixes are designed to be used either before, during or after your run, ride or workout. For best results, the Drink Mix should be used with water that contains less than 40mg of calcium per litre, to ensure the Mix performs to its full potential inside the body.
Designed for athletes on the go, the GEL 100 is just that, a gel-filled with a unique blend of fructose and glucose which is claimed to enable a high intake of carbohydrates per hour. Maurten says that its ratio of fructose to glucose (0.8:1) is what makes it easy on the stomach compared to traditional sports gels that consist of water, and carbohydrates mixed into syrups with added flavour and preservatives.
The GEL 100 doesn’t contain any colourants or preservatives and comes in a 40g serving, 60% of which is carbohydrates.
Caffeine Tastes Better
In addition to its standalone Drink Mix and GEL products, Maurten now offers caffeine-infused variants of these two products. Traditionally, the sports nutrition industry has attempted to mask the bitterness in caffeine-based gels with added flavours and acids, or by lowering the caffeine content. The CAF range of products contains 100mg of caffeine in each serve, which is the equivalent of one and a half espressos or a cup of brewed coffee. Perfect for that pre or mid-ride pick-me-up.
Having used just about every big name nutrition brand there is, and ultimately suffered the effects of flavour fatigue, “gel gut” or a lack of performance, so say that I was looking forward to testing out another nutrition product with big claims would be far from the truth. However, after doing some research on the brand, its ambassadors and the laundry list of strong results, world and course record’s its users had accomplished while being fuelled by Maurten, I was definitely swayed.
So with that, Maurten Australia kindly sent a Mix Box my way, and the testing began. Opening the mix box and I was pleasantly surprised both at the presentation of the products and the number of products included;
- 6 x Gel 100
- 6 x Gel 100 Caf 100
- 6 x Drink Mix 160
- 3 x Drink Mix 320
- 1 x 500ml Tacx Bottle
Also included was a handy booklet, taking you through each of the products and a QR code to a fuelling guide. While the fuelling guide was a little vague, it did allow me to ballpark what products to use over a given period of time, so with that, I pre-mixed a 320, stuffed my pockets with enough Drink Mix and Gel’s to get me through my ride, saddled up and set out on a five-hour ride down Australia’s surf coast.
Subbing out my usual pre-ride espresso with a GEL CAF 100, was a great way introduction to the products themselves. The caffeine was evident in the gel, but per the marketing, there really wasn’t any bitterness or after taste, while the carbohydrate portion of the gel was also pleasantly neutral. The GEL CAF 100 was also a real winner deep into a long ride when I needed both a physical and mental energy boost. I felt the caffeine was easily absorbed, without ever making me feel jittery or overdosed.
The Drink Mix 320 has a noticeable thickness to the texture when mixed with 500ml of water, but nowhere near what you’d describe as unpleasant, or unpalatable. Most notably, every sip of the Drink Mix 320 felt like it was energy-rich, without being overbearing. Maurten claims that athletes can intake up to 90g of carbohydrates in an hour of exercise and at 80g per serve, the 320 mix is right on the edge. Despite being packed with energy, I used each of the 320 Drink Mixes on longer rides in excess of three hours long. I feel that this set a solid foundation to my nutrition intake, fuelling me from the half-hour mark through to the hour and a half mark.
If the Drink Mix 320 was the foundation, the 160 provided the gas in the tank to keep me going during workouts, and rides up to 2 hours in duration. Having half of the carbohydrates, and calories of its big brother, the 160 was much more diluted and easier to drink as a result. Energy-wise, the 160, with its 40g of carbohydrates is more or less on-par with the GEL 100, however, is better suited for users such as myself wanting to hydrates and fuel at the same time.
Last, but certainly not least, the star of the show for me was the GEL 100. These gels were super easy to open, down and dispose of on the go and felt like they provided ample energy, be it for a long ride, Zwift race, workout, or shudders a run. The taste was neutral enough that I never felt flavour fatigue, and the easily consumable energy felt like it got to work immediately, fuelling my muscles, rather than pumping me up for a sugar high and subsequent crash, as I’ve found with other gels on the market.
Overall I was extremely impressed with the Maurten range, and the fact I purchased another Mix Box after I finished the review sample speaks volumes of the quality of the product. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for nutrition that is easy on the gut and has a noticeable impact when used if you can stomach the price.
Thanks to Maurten Australia for providing the product for this test
Imagery courtesy of Maurten
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