Maurten Caf 100 review summary: At 40 g per pack, Maurten Caf 100 hydrogel supplies 100 calories, 100 mg of caffeine, and 25 g of carbohydrates, all from sugar. It also contains 22 mg of sodium and 6.4 mg of calcium. The energy gel has only seven ingredients and provides a mildly sweet, neutral flavor with a unique texture similar to unset jello.
Caffeinated energy gels have long been a popular fuel for pre- and mid-run, with scientifically proven cognitive and physiological benefits for endurance performance. Anecdotal evidence is, of course, also plentiful! Many of us have experienced a very notable energy boost and alertness when the caffeine kicks in.
Today, let’s review one of Runivore’s favorite caffeinated energy gels, Maurten Gel 100 Caf 100 (shortened to Maurten Caf 100 in the following review for brevity).
We have also tested other Maurten products and compared them with other brands. Have a read.
Maurten simplified the ingredients of Caf 100 to only seven items. Pretty much just sugars, a little bit of electrolytes, caffeine, and gelling agents – everything necessary to make an energy-packed caffeinated gel.
At 40 g per pack, Maurten Caf 100 delivers 100 calories, 100 mg of caffeine, and 25 g of carbohydrates, all from sugar. It also contains 22 mg of sodium and 6.4 mg of calcium. Overall, it’s a very simplistic design, providing what is most important for endurance performance without bells and whistles.
Maurten Caf 100 comes in a neutral, mildly sweet flavor similar to the rest of the brand’s products. In a roundabout way, a more “flavorless” energy gel is an upgrade to the many sickly sweet gels on the market. The hydrogel technology provides a unique texture, almost like jello that’s not completely set.
I may have detected a subtle coffee flavor, but my mind could have been playing tricks on me.
Overall, I enjoyed Maurten Caf 100 regarding taste and consistency. I especially commend the lack of an aftertaste, which can cause sweetness fatigue during events where you have to eat many packs of gels.
The sachet is relatively standard at 12.5 cm x 4.5 cm – compact enough for most fuel-carrying gears and easy to tear open.
I’ve recently tested some big energy gels with high carbohydrate content. I have to say bringing them on runs can be a bit cumbersome as they won’t fit in my shorts pockets and hydration compartments in the front (Here’s a review of an “unusually” large gel).
Therefore, it was nice to use a normal-size option again. I had no issue consuming Maurten Caf 100 on the move when running or biking.
I went on a 50 km trail run on a hilly but runnable route. The entire session was five hours. I consumed one Maurten Caf 100 before I started and a second at 25 km. Other fuel sources included two Neversecond C30 Fuel Bars, a SiS Go Isotonic gel, a Santa Madre CHO30 gel, and a SiS Hydro Go tablet mixed in a water bottle.
I also had a bagel and a weak cup of instant coffee for breakfast.
Here are my takeaways:
Marketing gimmicks are prevalent in sports nutrition for endurance sports, and I’ve tried many of them to write reviews for Runivore. In my humble opinion, only four external or exogenous interventions actually provide an acute performance boost.
2. Hydration (fluids and electrolytes)
4. Cooling on a hot day (for example, dousing yourself with cold water)
Caf 100 contains ample sugar (25 g) and a hefty dose of caffeine (100 mg), so it’s not surprising that I felt a surge both times I ate the energy gel.
The gastrointestinal tract begins at your mouth. So, how an energy gel tastes absolutely affects how your body reacts to it. I don’t know if the hydrogel really did anything to minimize the risk of stomach issues, but the neutral flavor agreed with my taste buds, and the unique texture was enjoyable. Both Caf 100 energy gels set well after consumption.
I do enjoy Maurten. However, despite the science-oriented branding and fancy terms like hydrogel and bipolar matrix, I’m not sure Maurten Caf 100 performed any better than other popular options from GU, SiS, Prevision Fuel & Hydration, Neversecond, etc. Maurten worked well for me, but I can’t say it’s superior. Given its high price of USD 50 for a box of 12, Maurten Caf 100 will strictly be a race day fuel for me.
Lots of sugar. Caffeine-packed. Decent flavor and interesting texture with no unpleasant aftertaste.
These three points sum up the Maurten Caf 100 experience.
The only drawback is the price. If money is no object to you, Maurten is, without a doubt, a great option. However, for those on a budget, there are many affordable energy gels and gel alternatives that can get the job done as well.