GEAR CHECK: eFUEL & eGEL
Fulfilling my role as your running guinea pig/beta tester, I continue perusing the ole interweb and race expos looking for the latest/greatest and “diamond in the rough” gear and products.
While wandering the aisles of the OC Marathon expo, I spied the booth of Crank Sports displaying their line of energy drinks and energy gels. I walked over and chatted with the head of the company for a few minutes and liked what he had to say, as well as his enthusiasm. If Crank Sports’ products were anywhere as energetic as he was, I was going to be in good shape. He gave me a few samples of both their eFuel drink mix and eGels to try out over the next few weeks.
For starters, here’s a link to the Crank Sports website:
Now before I go any further, let me put in one important note about this (and any review). I’m going to once again quote the theme song from “Dif’rent Strokes.”
What might be right for you, may not be right for some…
This holds true for gear and I think even more so when it comes to anything you put in your body. Each person’s system and preferences are unique and their own.
I don’t like overly spicy foods (my friends call me a wimp), but I’ll also eat or drinks things that some of my buddies won’t touch. Except beets… I hate beets. If you make a sports drink that tastes like beets, kindly keep on moving.
But I digress. Again, I’ve got my own preferences when it comes to taste, consistency and how my body reacts. So take my thoughts with a grain of salt (and salt is good when you’re sweating a lot).
I really liked the eFuel energy drinks. In addition to having cool names…. “Mountain Rush,” “Citrus Slam,” “Tropical Blast” and “Radical Raspberry”… they flat out tasted good (which is a plus).
Some other sports drinks can taste “artificial,” like you know you’re drinking sweetened chemicals. The taste of the eFuel drinks was more subdued, which was a welcome change and felt a bit more natural.
The “Citrus Slam” (my favorite flavor of the bunch) was refreshing and tasted “orange,” as opposed to “FRIGGIN’ ORANGE!!!!” And I enjoyed that subtlety, especially after 18 miles.
In addition to the taste, the eFuel drinks also boast some other advantages, such as utilizing complex carbs and low sugar (to lessen the sugar spike/drop). And yes, they are “Gluten free” (a question I seem to hear a lot these days).
There’s more info about the drinks, but I think the Crank Sports website can summarize it better. Check it out by clicking here.
I also tried out the eGel electrolyte energy gels… “Mountain Rush,” “Tropical Blast” and “Cherry Bomb.”
Now, I’ve had some mixed experiences with gels in the past (some good, some not so good). In fact I hadn’t used a gel in almost two years.
I’m happy to say that the eGels were pretty much like their “liquid cousins” in taste and effectiveness… flavored (and natural) but not excessive.
There were two other things about the eGels that I particularly liked. The first one is simple… more stuff. I’m used to having to tote a ton of gels because they only provided 100 calories a pack. The eGels have 150 calories (I’ll save you the math… that’s 50% more) in a package that isn’t much larger than other gels. This benefit might be lost on a smaller person, but I was happy to not have to carry quite so many packs on my run.
The additional “good” quality worth mentioning I think benefits other runners as much as I. Other gels have had the tendency to play a bit of havoc on my gut, making me… how shall I say it… “in possession of excess methane gas.”
Fine, they made me a bit “farty” (admit it, we’ve all done it during a race).
The eGels were quite easy on my insides and for that I, and everyone running downwind, are grateful.
Again, you can check out the eGel info by clicking here.
So to summarize, Crank Sports’ eFuel energy drinks and eGel energy gels tasted good, didn’t cause a gastrointestinal calamity and kept my fuel tank from running dry.
Some good stuff worth trying out.*
Eat, drink… and Run on!
*Note: When it comes to anything you eat or drink, be sure to check out the ingredients and test it out during training. Remember… NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY!
(Let me know if you’ve tried eFuel and eGels and what you think… or if there’s any other product out there you’d like me to test).