Maurten Drink Mix 160 review summary: Based on the company’s patented hydrogel technology, the drink mix comes in 40 g of powder per sachet. When combined with 500 ml of water, it becomes a sports drink that contains 160 calories, 39 g of carbohydrates, and 400 mg of sodium. With just a mild sweetness, the sports drink is palatable and easy on the stomach.
Aftering fueling several workouts and races with Maurten Hydrogels in 2022, we have found them effective in sustaining energy levels and easy on the stomach with a pleasant mild sweetness (here are two recent Maurten reviews after testing Maurten Gel100 in a road ultramarathon and a marathon). So we are eager to try the brand’s Drink Mix products, which are extremely popular among elite endurance athletes.
By the way, if you are wondering what the differences are between energy gels and sports drinks and which fueling form factor is suitable for what athletic situations, this article will answer many of your questions.
Without further ado, here is our review after fueling a 20km progression run and a 30km long slow distance (LSD) with Maurten Drink Mix 160.
Marketing claims – What is Maurten Drink Mix 160?
Just like Gel100, Drink Mix 160 is based on the company’s patented hydrogel technology, according to the product website. The company claims that carbohydrates encapsulated in hydrogel can bypass the stomach to the intestines, where they can be absorbed faster and without causing stomach issues.
Drink Mix 160 comes in a powder consisting mainly of maltodextrin, fructose, and sodium. When mixed with water, it becomes a thickened drink and “converts to hydrogel in the acidity of the stomach.“
The hydrogel-based sports drink mix is created using two dietary fibers:
- Alginate – extracted brown algae.
- Pectin – found in fruits and vegetables such as apples, lemons, carrots, and tomatoes.
Maurten also stated that all ingredients come from natural sources. No artificial flavoring and preservatives.
What are the ingredients of Maurten Drink Mix 160?
The ingredient list is simple, which is one of the reasons we like Maurten products. Just sugars and sodium.
- Sodium alginate
- Sodium chloride
Drink Mix 160 sachet is 40 g and contains 160 calories, hence the product name. When mixed with 500 ml of water, it becomes a sports drink with 39 g of carbohydrates, of which 13 g are sugar, and 400 mg of sodium.
Maurten’s product portfolio also includes the Drink Mix 320 with double the calories and carbohydrate content.
What are the taste and consistency of Maurten Drink Mix 160?
Although Drink Mix 160 doesn’t transform into a hydrogel until it enters the stomach, the sports drink’s consistency is a thickened, translucent fluid, almost like it has already begun gelling. It’s a unique texture compared with other sports drinks.
Mixed with 500 ml of water, the sports drink has a subtle sweetness (even less sweet than the Gel100). This fuel should be an excellent option if you’re not a fan of overly sweet flavors.
Packaging – Rips easily
The sachet is 15cm by 7.5cm. Size is a minor concern with drink mix packaging since most athletes pre makes the drink before a run or workout. The sachet is not bulky and will fit in hydration vests and packs if you plan to refuel for longer excursions.
The packaging material rips open easily, which is a plus when making the sports drink at race aid stations or mid-run. You want to be quick and hassle-free in these situations.
How did Maurten Drink Mix 160 perform?
- We tested Drink Mix 160 on two runs:
One sachet mixed in a 500 ml soft flask for a 20 km progression run (starting at marathon pace and final 5 km at threshold pace).
- Two 500 ml soft flasks for a 30 km LSD that took 2 hours 45 minutes.
- The taste is excellent. Just a subtle sweetness, so no issue at all with taste fatigue.
- At 39 g of carbohydrates per pack, the 500 ml sports drink is equivalent to two standard energy gels. So I had about two gels for the progression run and four for the LSD. I felt topped up and hydrated throughout both runs.
- Due to the slightly thickened texture, it was difficult to suck the last of the drink. But that could be due to the design of the flask’s opening.
- If you don’t have an overly sensitive digestive system, I recommend giving Drink Mix 320 a try. The same amount of fluids but with the carbohydrates of four energy gels.
- I have found that “micro-dosing” energy gels or sports drinks by sipping (instead of consuming a full gel all at once) is a viable method to take in more carbohydrates gradually and without overwhelming your digestive system.
- It’s too bad that we mere mortals don’t get to place water bottles along the marathon course. I much prefer sports drinks over energy gels. Unfortunately, carrying multiple soft flasks to run a fast marathon is just not practical.
- Like all Maurten products, the drink mix is on the pricier side of the spectrum.
Maurten Drink Mix 160 is based on the company’s patented hydrogel technology and comes in 40 g of powder per sachet. When mixed with 500 ml of water, it becomes a sports drink that contains 160 calories, 39 g of carbohydrates, and 400 mg of sodium. With just a mild sweetness, the sports drink is palatable and easy on the stomach.
The fluid converts to hydrogel when it interacts with the acidity in the stomach and transports the carbohydrates and sodium directly to the intestine for quicker absorption.
For situations and events where carrying multiple 500 ml water bottle aren’t an issue, we highly recommend Drink Mix 160 or Drink Mix 320.
For example, cycling with bottle holders on your bike, trail running with a hydration pack or recovery periods during interval workouts.
However, if you’re planning your fueling strategy to run a marathon PB, and you’re not fast enough to be permitted to place personal water bottles along the course, sports drinks are impractical, and we recommend going with energy gels instead.