When running these long endurance races (marathon’s and longer), you really need to consume calories as you run, it’s a necessary evil. Maybe some people don’t see it as an evil, but in general, I really don’t enjoy most of the fuels that are out there. I’m not a sugar person, and in general they are sickly sweet and I usually tire of them long before the race is done. I wanted to summarize what I’ve tried over the years, and what I’ve settled on, and why.
I’ll leave a disclaimer here, first I’ve never had stomach issues, I can tolerate most things on the run. Also the opinions below are all my own.
Cytomax. I tried Cytomax a few years ago, and it was ok. I didn’t love the flavor, but didn’t hate it either. It seemed to work ok. What I didn’t like was the price tag, and how hard it was to get.
Nuun. I’ve used Nuun a lot over the years. I mostly like it. It’s super convenient, I love how the tabs just dissolve in water, and there’s no mixing or powder leftover. There are two things I don’t like about Nuun, first that it has an artificial sweetener in it. I try to avoid eating too much artificial sweeteners. Also it has no calories. Taking in calories is sort of the point of fuel while running, so this is a show stopper for Nuun.
Tailwind. Last year when I was in the U.S. I came home with a couple big packs of Tailwind. It’s all the rage in the ultra running community. Maybe it was like finally seeing that movie that everyone’s been talking about for so long, it was a bit of a let down. It worked fine, but I really disliked the taste of it. It actually tasted salty. Basically all endurance fuels have salt in them, but you usually can’t taste the salt, but with Tailwind I could, and I didn’t like it. Also it’s expensive and hard to get here.
GuBrew. I’ve used this for a few training cycles. I don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other. It tastes ok, and works ok for me.
Skratch. I first tried Skratch last year when I got a sample in a Stridebox. The sample was pineapple flavored, and it was really good. Last year after I decided Tailwind wasn’t for me, I bought a bag of Skratch from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op), and finished my training for my first Ultra using Skratch. Of all the fuels I’ve tried, it’s definitely my favorite. It tastes really good, it mixes up easily, and is economical.
I was planning on using Skratch to train for my races this year, and then an opportunity arose. Skratch was looking for ambassadors to represent them. I do not take on the idea of becoming an ambassador for a product or company lightly. I am not in it for discounted or free product. I have to actually REALLY like the product before I will consider it. All this to say that I have officially accepted an offer from Skratch Labs to be an ambassador! I’m super excited about this, they have a lot of cool products, and I haven’t tried them all, so I’m excited to try them out. I’m also excited to share my love of their products with you all. If you haven’t tried Skratch, you need to! For all you Canadians out there, I have a way for you to save 10% off Skratch, head over to RaceDayFuel, and you can get 10% off anything you buy by entering terryt10, and if your purchase totals $100 or more, then shipping is also free.
What do you fuel with? Have you tried Skratch?