When Geoffrey Kamworor recently set a new world record half marathon time of 58 minutes and 1 second, (that’s a pace of 4:25 per mile), he surprised commentators by refueling twice during the effort. They speculated ketone esters might’ve been splashing around inside his water bottles, but in reality, it was a hydrogel drink mix created by Maurten. Other elite athletes including Mo Farah, Eliud Kipchoge and Desiree Linden have used Maurten’s magic potion to climb onto podiums too. Its hydrogel formula also comes pre-mixed in gel packets, and now, for the first time, Maurten is including caffeine in the recipe.
So, what the hell are hydrogels? They’re water-based biopolymers; Maurten’s are a mix of alginate and pectin, and it uses them as a vehicle to deliver carbohydrates faster and in greater quantities than similar drinks and gels. It’s a precise recipe, and Maurten confirmed with Gear Patrol that it did have to make slight adjustments to work caffeine into the mix. Gel 100 Caf 100 is “a bit stiffer” than the original gel, according to Herman Reuterswärd, Head of Communication at Maurten, but the unique functioning of the hydrogel remains (and the caffeine taste is kept to a minimum). Each packet contains 100 milligrams of caffeine in addition to 25 grams of carbs.
Given the proven benefits that caffeine can supply during endurance efforts, it makes sense that Maurten would harness it in its also-proven hydrogel products. Kipchoge and Farah both used the new caffeine-enhanced hydrogel in preparations for this year’s London Marathon, and according to Reuterswärd, Farah is using it to train for Chicago as well. Given Maurten’s growing popularity amongst non-elite athletes too, chances are we’ll be seeing plenty of empty white packets littering the streets of Berlin, Chicago and New York in the coming weeks.
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