It's used by pro-riders, runners, and triathletes, and it's now at Wiggle. But what is Maurten and what makes it so effective as a source of sports nutrition?
Some of the world's best runners use Maurten. Arguably, the best; Kenya's superhuman Eliud Kipchoge is a fan, as is elite tri-athlete Jan Frodeno, Spanish professional sky runner Kilian Jornet, and multi-time gold medalist Mo Farah. There are a few others besides.
Well, it's a few more than a few. Maurten fuels a huge tranche of pro-athlete and cycling teams around the world.
What makes it special is their patent pending discovery in 2015 of how to make sports fuels easier to tolerate, using high concentrations of carbohydrates in hydrogels with only natural ingredients.
Since their effectiveness became realised in the 1960s, carbohydrate drinks have beome an endurance sport staple - but they have a downside.
Stomachs don't cope well with high concentrations of sugar and GI distress is occasionally the result.
But using their unique hydrogel technology, Maurten is able to increase the amount of carbohydrates in their gels and drinks while reducing the risk of gastrointestinal problems.
In fact, their Drink Mix 320 contains nearly 14% – or 80 grams – of carbohydrates when mixed, which is around twice the energy content you would usually expect to find.
Another significant difference between Maurten and other energy supplements is that they have no added flavors. "We're not impressed by artificial flavors," say Maurten. "You can tell what you're getting from the taste of our drink mixes."
And the approach they take to what goes into their products is reflected on what goes outside. You'll notice Maurten products comes in plain packaging, black and white. It's no nonsense. It's no frills.
The latest Maurten products at Wiggle
The Drink Mix 320 CAF 100 uses Maurten’s hydrogel technology. Hydrogel encapsulates the carbohydrates and allows for the absorption of 80g of carbohydrate per hour while reducing the risk of the gastrointestinal problems often associated with carbohydrate-based sports drinks. This unique and natural absorption system, that uses alginate, creates twice the amount of energy as other sports drinks currently available on the market.
The 'Solid' bars from Maurten offer a neutral flavour with a nice level of sweetness and delivers high-carb, low-fibre fuel option. The Solid 225’s are made from natural ingredients and the carbohydrates and sweetness come from a variety of sources including sugar, oats, and rice.
The Maurten Gel 100 is specially formulated with 6 natural ingredients that allow the fast absorption of 25g of carbohydrate per gel. Much like all of Maurtens products, the Gel is sweet but has a neutral flavour and doesn't contain any colours, flavourings or preservatives.
Maurten - the science
- Maurten drinks - how they work
Mix the Drink Mix 320 and 160 with water, and you’ll have a liquid sports drink containing high concentrations of carbohydrates. The drink instantly converts to hydrogel in the acidity of the stomach, carrying the carbohydrates. The hydrogel then enables a smooth transportation of the sports drink through the stomach to the intestine where the water, salt, and carbohydrates are absorbed.
- Gels - how they work
The GEL 100 is a hydrogel – a biopolymer matrix that holds carbohydrates. It relies on the same concept as Maurten's drinks where the hydrogel technology enables a smoother transportation of carbohydrates through the stomach to the intestine where the carbohydrates are absorbed. In the case with their drinks, the hydrogel is formed in the acidity of the stomach – but the GEL 100 is a hydrogel formed in production, by combining sodium alginate and calcium carbonate under exact conditions.
- Solid - how they work
The bars aren’t a replacement to Maurten’s Hydrogel range but are designed to complement it. They can be used in a variety of sporting events, pre-session, during a ride and post-session to replace carbohydrates.
- Maurten formuation
The hydrogels in Maurten sports drinks are built from the combination of two natural ingredients:
Alginate – extracted from the cell walls of brown algae.
Pectin – found in apples, lemons, carrots and tomatoes, to name a few.
These two dietary fibers have been used for decades within the food industry. Combined under precisely the right circumstances, alginate and pectin form a pH-sensitive hydrogel.