Maurten Drink Mix have a light yellowish colour, and even in its more concentrated version, less sweet in the mouth than other commercial drinks. The absence of a vivid colour ensures that is not coming with artificial colouring agents. The light sweetness due to the maltodextrin/fructose mixture, with “sugar” levels in the range of other sports drinks.
When consumed “as breakfast” it successfully replaced my milk drink, and I felt a steadier energy supply. The high sugar content of the milk is giving a peak of carbohydrates shortly after ingestion, while the combination of the maltodextrin/fructose as hydrogel gives a slower release, when reaching the intestine, delaying its energy supply.
During the long training the Maurten 160 was useful to avoid thirst. It tastes good and fulfilled its objective. Probably it also helped to keep the energy levels, but as the energetic needs and rhythm are very different from a competition, that seemed the next step.
Testing the Maurten 320 in racing condition I had to wait for a small marathon. Usually is not possible to get your own fuel station in a big marathon if you are not an elite runner. I used the Maurten 320 in the Mega Challenge Marathon, run over 6 laps, with a table available to keep drinks and not many runners in the field. I only prepared 500mL, and used the drink instead of the gels, until I finished the bottle at the end of lap 4, using gels after that. With cold and rainy conditions, I averaged 125mL per lap, equivalent to around 20g of carbohydrates every 7 kilometres. At the pace I finished the marathon, on muddy off-roads trail course, it would mean 20g, equivalent to 80 kcal, every 40-45 minutes.
When running a marathon, I usually consume 5 energetic gels, starting in the kilometre 12, and then one every 6 kilometres after that. That would amount to 22g carbohydrates, or 87 kcal, every 30-40 minutes, very similar levels to the ones I achieved using the Maurten 320 Drink Mix. It successfully substituted my energy gels while it lasted.
I tested the Maurten 160 in racing conditions, during the Eco Lisbon marathon, a trail marathon held in a park area in Lisbon. I prepared 1L of the Maurten 160 isotonic drink and filled my Camelback. Although I had to drink more liquid besides Maurten 160, as I was running for more than 4 hours in warm conditions, it was my main hydration source. It was useful for keeping me hydrated, and again to maintain my carbohydrates intake and energy levels, although I also used 2 small gels and some pieces of banana given out during the race.
Maurten Drink Mix, especially in its more concentrated version, was useful in providing the carbohydrates before and during a marathon race. I tolerated well the Drink Mix 320, so probably I would opt for it instead of the Drink Mix 160, doubling the carbohydrates intake. Its delicate taste is more pleasant than other available drinks.
I would especially recommend it for racing, although it may not be easy to get access to your own drink during a competition. Additionally, water stations may be at different points on the course, and you would need more than one bottle.
With a steeper price than other sport drinks per litre, its use would be justified during competition. On a day-by-day basis or during training maybe you could opt for a cheaper choice. During a race it would ensure the steadiest energy supply in the market while successfully replacing the energy gels. Considering the price of gels Maurten could come up even cheaper.
- 5 / 5 Drink Mix 320
- 4.5 / 5 Drink Mix 160.
Pros: easy to carry and prepare in one-dose sachets; nice taste without been sugary; possibility of replacing your usual energy gels.
Cons: maybe the price if you want to use it on an everyday basis.
Extra: there are also Maurten gels available, to be tested on a later occasion.