by Rich Karaz
Editor’s Note: Rich is the former owner of The Sneaker Store, runner, and in the midst of cycling road racing season. Rich was the perfect guy to give Maurten a test drive because he’s tried it all and isn’t going to endorse any products without a thorough vetting. Take a look below to check out his experience with Maurten 160 & 320. Let his experience inform your buying choices and get some usage tips, too!
New to the shop: Maurten Nutrition. Maurten is fairly new to these shores and the point of the product is pretty simple: Get enough carbs, get enough calories, all while getting enough fluids and not feeling like you have a basketball in your gut. Simple and desirable, yes? Getting it down? Not so easy.
Presenting the magic of Maurten. The uniqueness of the product which consists of a drink mix and a gel, is when ingested and with the acids in your system mixing with the fluid, the carbohydrates become encapsulated in a gel and your body absorbs them separately from the fluid. So it’s a double effect: Hydrate and Fuel. Stay true to the mixing ratio: 500cc’s water to 1 packet. Don’t cut it, do as your told.
My first foray, X3:
Setting the scene, it was back to back cycling road races, a gym day then a 1 hour ‘power’ test the following day. 3 of 4 days, super hard efforts. Maurten highly recommends to be true to the ratio recommendations and that’s what I did. My goal? To have sustained energy. The conditions were cool to cold so it wasn’t a ‘sweat out’ condition and I made a conscience effort to sip, sip, sip and get it down. The taste is no added flavor except for plain ole sugar sweet. It’s not overbearing and quite pleasant.
Saturday’s race, 38 miles on a tough course with tough competition without a great week of preparation. I have to say, I didn’t feel power fade off. (Note: using the 320 mixture) even under the stress of making the decisive split. It actually crossed my mind, ‘Geez, this stuff is going down very easy!’ Sunday’s event was even more demanding and with rain, country roads covered in mud and manure, it was very Belge-like. This time my mixture was the 160 seeing this was a shorter event. Sip, sip, sip and that I did. Around 3k to go and being in a 3 up breakaway with a teammate, he made the classic cunning move to open a gap for me. I had the opportunity to ride away and take the win. Sip, sip, sip. The finish is a 1k climb over 20% gradient. Alas I was caught within 50 meters but I held it fairly well. So back-to-back competitions, yes I think this stuff works!
Tuesday was an indoor bike workout consisting of all out efforts, 10 second, 5 minute, 20 minute and 1 minute. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. My Maurten mix was 500cc’s of the 160. Sip, sip, sip. My power held well and I’m pleased with my results. To do it again? Yes, I feel the 320 over the course of 1 hard hour would have been better.
Those experiences were ride. Yes, it’s easier to get down the fluids because you’ve got bottles on your bike. Running? Not as convenient. Enter the Maurten gel. Is it hydration? No. You still need to get in fluids. Just like other gels, getting the gel down with just plain water is ideal. Maurten is revolutionary. There is no reason not to try it, you need to try Maurten.