Friday, May 16, 2014

MUD ENERGY Fuel review ~ Long Run Envy










Eighteen weeks is a long time to be training for anything.
At least it is for me.

Looking at the workout schedule for the 50k ultramarathon I plan to do in September, it was obvious something was missing for the next 4 weeks: 
the long runs. 

So, without over-thinking anything, when friends invited me to run about 18 miles with them on a new section of trail (the day before my schedule started) I said yes! 

This gave me a reason to test out a new brand of running fuel I came across via Twitter
- Mud Energy☺. The owners of Mud Energy were kind enough to send me samples for review.


Besides the fact that the Mud Energy gel packs come in chocolate, I was intrigued by a list of natural ingredients I can trust are good for my body.
  • Coconut
  • Brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice
  • Guarana 
  • Real vanilla and dark chocolate cocoa
  • All-natural sea mineral concentrate (low sodium salts for electrolyte replacement)
  • Sustamine (amino acids quickly absorbed for muscle repair)
  • Ginger (for inflamation and anti-nausea)
  • Protein (Brown Rice Protein, Hydrolyzed Collagen and a Whey Protein Isolate)
  • Gluten free
I have to confess I couldn't wait for my run to try a package! At home I opened and tasted the Chocolate Truffle Rage flavor. At first I wasn't sure what to think. It had a good chocolate taste, but wasn't nearly as sweet as I am used to. If you expect your gel to taste like chocolate frosting, this is not the gel for you. 

After a few more samples, I decided it tastes pretty good ☺ . It is sweet, but sugar is not the first thing you notice when you taste it; rich chocolate is. The texture is typical of most energy gels- except with a hint of salt, and I could feel a bit of finely ground protein in the gel. It passed the kitchen test!

On to the running test...
Mud Energy suggests you take one serving (2 ounces- twice the size of most gels) before exercising, and that you take them with water. Conveniently, I had rice cakes with almond butter for breakfast in the car- so I just took a pouch of Mud Energy and squirted the chocolate gel over the rice cakes. This made my breakfast just slightly sweet, much improved, and it went down well with coffee! (I did drink 20 ounces of water on the run, and could have drank more).

I packed some extra gels in my pack for refueling, unsure how long we'd actually run. By the time I even started to think of refueling, we were only a few minutes from the car. 

In nearly 4 hours of stop and go running, I never had any cramping or digestive issues. I never felt queasy or weak, or like I was going to have a sugar crash. The one pouch did VERY well for one long trail running morning. I would expect a more intense long run would require more frequent refueling. Next time I go, I'll actually follow the Mud Energy package directions and refuel after a few hours. 

A few things I really like about the gels:
  • Natural ingredients
  • Gluten-Free
  • Good flavor
  • Convenient package (Comes with a D ring for attaching them to your pack. I just zipped mine in my pack)
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Comes in 100mg of caffeine, or no caffeine
  • Each pack lasts up to 4 hours, so fewer servings are needed
  • AWESOME protein content,12 grams = 2 eggs worth! (Good for muscle recovery.)
The only negative things I can think of about these energy gels are:
  • They are only available in chocolate. That might not work for everyone. 
  • If you have a serious sweet tooth, you might want to look for something different.

Final analysis:
Loved these. I am looking forward to having Mud Energy gels with me on some upcoming long runs, if I don't break into them sooner!

You can learn more about this grass roots company HERE.
Or follow Mud Energy on twitter or Instagram

And, since I won't be running long for a few weeks... these photos will have to do:


Setting out as a group, crossing Medicine Creek.



After about 4 miles of (mostly) uphill running..




Break time! 
We wore Ian out on the way there...
He took off and left us behind on the way back ☺

Getting a bit of the drier climate on this stretch of the trail. 


The view at our turn around spot- Tokatee falls. 
We ran upriver from a different parking spot, on a section called Deer Leap. Then we connected with the road for about a mile and took the Tokatee falls trail, which is nice for a family hike.

On the way back.. 
You can't be too concerned about keeping your feet dry. 


Before we started the steady descent...
Looking into the canyon where the North Umpqua River flows below.

On top of the world!! It's a pretty great place to be ☺
#zerolimits #rockyourcompressionsocks

Kristen gets a good look below!

It is very hard to keep up with Stacie!

Not a bad place to relax at the end of a run.


I'll be posting some training updates soon! 
Right now, it's mostly easy.. most of the time.
***
What's your favorite flavor of gel? 

How's the running weather where you are? It was 96F here yesterday.. O_o

Do you miss it when you don't get to run long? I don't always do, but right now I'm in a groove...






32 comments:

  1. Awesome pic Raina! So lovely. I've heard of Mud Energy from Twitter as well, but haven't seen them around yet. Good review!

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    1. Thanks EB! Hope your running is going well.. Off to check for updates :)

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  2. sounds so yummy!

    love those pictures. i really need to move to the pnw.

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    1. Thanks girl!!! Come on out anytime. :)

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  3. Great post Raina. I love the review and look forward to trying out Mud Energy for myself!!

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    1. Thanks Josh! I appreciate you stopping by from G+ to comment. Hope you have a great week!

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  4. Again, great pics. Yup, you live in heaven. :)
    ( and thanks for the gel product review---only comes in chocolate is not a problem).

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Jimmy! If you like chocolate, you like chocolate :)

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  5. Okay, I NEED to run there! The stats on that gel look pretty good. I like the ones with real stuff. I often will use the Hammer Gel in mountain berry or mocha/espresso flavor for gels, or shot bloks for another option.

    So, what trail is this??! Where is a good spot to start? I need to start working on my trail running again. :) I can't believe you guys got to 96! Okay, I can. It was in the high 80s here, but I opted to run in the mornings or ride after work to stay out of the heat a bit.

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    1. My photos are from the Deer Leap section of the North Umpqua Trail. The trail is not hard to find. but it could get confusing when you get to the paved road. the main thing would be to take the paved road to the right and follow it to an easy to find parking area for the Tokatee falls section which is only about a mile long. Then if you can retrace your steps, you can run back to your car another 9 or 10 miles.
      We really should get together for a run, or some coffee in Eugene and I could show you some maps! :)

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  6. I've not heard of those. They sound good! 96? Are you kidding me? We had snow today. : (

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    1. They were good!! Snow in May... will there be a garden this year? Good to hear from you Marcia!

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  7. Your pictures! Oh my goodness. So beautiful. I just had to fill out a survey on press trips, and on the question of where in the US I'd like to visit, I thought if you west coast bloggers and your amazing places and out down Oregon as #1.

    That gel sounds wonderful. I think I'm going to look into ordering some.

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    1. Good answer!!! When you come out, let me know and we'll go for a tour. The gel is great! Good and growing more on me each time I use it. Hope you like it!

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  8. It was only in like the high 80s here in TX! I'm a fan of anything with caffeine in it! lol Despite the name, Mud sounds legit! happy long training:)

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    1. It's funny to think that it's cooler and Texas than Oregon , but we're back to the 60's. Happy to hear from you, Adrienne!

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  9. These pictures are incredible!!!! Wow! Makes me excited to keep trail running!! You know, I really love these Huma Gels that I tried yesterday. So good to me. But, I'm also not sure they provide all that I need for the endurance. I haven't looked into all that but I know I love them. I used the strawberry yesterday.

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    1. Hi Amanda! Those sound interesting. I haven't tried them. Looking forward to giving you a big trail hug soon!

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  10. I absolutely love those trails! Those have to be so much fun to run on.

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    1. Thanks Chad! We are very blessed here :)

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  11. Wooow that's a beautiful trail. Here in Cali the temp is 15 Celsius.

    I love chocolate not sure I would love Chocolate Energy Gel. :p Maybe I'll give the mud energy a try.

    I like one energy gel that's is natural and has tastes like kiwi can't remember the brand right now.

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    1. That's surprisingly cold! Are you on the coast?
      Happy to see you have a blog now! Thanks for coming over from the twitterverse :)

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  12. Looks amazing!! And super yummy, sounds like a great way to refuel! We are already over 100 here in AZ, but I am still running right a long, just a little slower! Carri~A Running bee

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    1. Nothing wrong with traveling slower when it's that hot!! You might not catch me outside after 10am or before 8 pm there. Good to hear from you, Carrie!

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  13. Lovely trails again Raina.
    As I'm not doing runs longer than 16k I haven't used a gel for 12 months or more! I like 'Expresso Love' (coffee flavoured). Weather is unusually mild (global warming) - 20C max the last few days. Looks like a terrible snow season coming up. Good temp for running though! Not greatly missing long runs as a 12k (75 minutes) every now and then seems long enough!

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    1. I think I've had that kind too! MudEnergy would be good with a hint of espresso in it. It was good with my coffee :D
      Winter will be good training rime for you then. You and the speedygeese get lots of time together without any 20 milers. Seems like such a fun crew you have there!

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  14. Wow, those trails look amazing. I will have to check out those Tokatee falls someday for myself. Good luck with your training!

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    1. They are spectacular, if you are in the area! You can visit them and Crater Lake all in the same day. Thanks for commenting on my blog here. Enjoying the photos in your race report! Amazing trails!

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  15. I like the GU's Chocolate Outrage and Salted Carmel flavors. I definitely want to try out the Mud Gels now though. Those look like beautiful trails to get to run!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Jess! Those flavors sound good to me too. Have a great weekend!

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  16. Pretty pictures! Good luck with your training! I am really excited for you! I know you'll do great!

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  17. Mud energy sounds like it may work for me -I don't like sweet or the thick texture. What a beautiful view, how great you had buddies to run with! That's a great place to train for your ultra :0)

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