Amino Saurus, a sports nutrition maker based in Japan, offers a simple energy gel portfolio with only two flavors: mango and lemon. However, their ingredients are anything but ordinary.
Unlike some brands that focus on providing the essentials and removing unnecessary additives, Amino Saurus energy gels went the other way, including “fancy” ingredients and concepts that are rarely seen. In this review, we share our experiences fueling a four-hour long slow distance (LSD) run with Amino Saurus energy gels.
Although Runivore is a website mainly focused on the Western market, we take pride in finding interesting sports nutrition products from all over the world. We have recently reviewed other energy gels and energy gel alternatives from Japan.
Here are a few interesting points we noticed from the product website:
Let’s dive into the ingredients in the following sections.
Mango flavor ingredients and nutrition facts:
Fructose, maltodextrin, citrulline, agar, anserine-containing fish peptide/acidulant, arginine, magnesium chloride, flavoring, caffeine.
Lemon flavor ingredients and nutrition facts:
Fructose, maltodextrin, citrulline, agar, anserine-containing fish peptide/acidulant, arginine, magnesium chloride, leucine, isoleucine, valine, flavoring.
Amino Saurus energy gels are sour, possibly due to the high citric acid content. The two flavors are indistinguishable, especially when you’re working hard during a session. If you enjoy tart flavors, this brand should be a suitable option for you.
The consistency of the gels falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Overall, I found Amino Saurus energy gels palatable.
The packaging of Amino Saurus energy gels is long at 14 cm, which is understandable given the above-average weight (45 g), carbohydrate content (22-25 g), and calorie count (111-124).
However, the packet itself isn’t bulky, so the gels should fit in most fuel-carrying gear such as compression belts, shorts pockets, and different compartments of hydration packs.
The tear is located at the very top of the sachet, and it’s best to rip it open with your teeth. Be careful not to lose track of the tiny ripped piece of litter. The opening is also small, requiring more “sucking” and “squeezing” to consume.
One interesting thing to note is that the mango flavor has “1” printed on the sachet, while the lemon flavor has “2” printed on it.
The brand doesn’t explicitly state this, but there is speculation that the two flavors might be best used in tandem – mango for the first half of endurance races (caffeine provides a boost early in the morning), and lemon for finishing strong in the second half (BCAAs delay muscle fatigue and ease muscle soreness).
I tested four Amino Saurus energy gels (two of each flavor) during a four-hour LSD run on an undulating route. I had a light breakfast of fruits (kiwi fruits and apples) pre-run.
Here are my takeaways:
I believe that carbohydrates, water, and electrolytes are the three most important elements of mid-run fueling. Everything else is either overhyped, just marketing gimmicks, or the benefits are so subtle that they’re unlikely to make a difference.
While I’m not sure about the amino acid blend or the high protein content, Amino Saurus energy gels sustained my energy levels and caused zero stomach stress. The taste wasn’t exactly to my liking, but it’s palatable. Fans of tart fruity flavors will probably enjoy them.
At about USD 2.46 per gel, it’s on the higher end but certainly not outrageously priced. I’m comfortable recommending Amino Saurus.