With a wide variety of fuel and hydration mixes on the market, it’s tough to say what works best for your body. But, we should be stoked to have so many options in flavors, nutritional content and intended uses. The Gnarly Nutrition product line has something for everyone — from pre-workout mixes, recovery powder and supplements aimed to make your body healthier while improving your performance. I’ve been testing out both the Fuel?O and Hydration mixes for several months and, after finishing up a bag of each, it’s time to share some thoughts.
Gnarly Nutrition Fuel2O Mix Contents:
- All-in-one nutrition fuel for long days
- 100 calories per 12 oz serving
- Sucrose/dextrose and two carbohydrates for easy digestion
- 250 mg sodium per serving and other essential electrolytes to aid in hydration
- Available in two caffeine-free flavors (Tropical and Limeade) and one caffeinated (Cherry Cola)
- Suggested use: Mix 1-2 scoops in 12-16oz of water for efforts under 2 hours. For efforts over 2 hours, mix 2-3 scoops per 24oz water.
- MSRP: $34.95 (25-serving bag)
Gnarly Nutrition Hydrate Mix Contents:
- Electrolyte-optimized to improve muscle function
- Packed with B vitamins for added energy
- Low in sugar
- Only 30 calories per serving
- Suggested use: Mix one level scoop of Gnarly Hydrate into 12-16 oz of water or mix the entire bag in a 5 gallon jug and serve it to the masses.
- MSRP: $27.45 (40-serving bag)
Several years ago, Science in Sport launched their Beta Fuel. It was formulated for the demands of the Ineos Grenadiers Cycling Team, but released to the masses. In essence, the purpose was to make a drink mix that has all the carbohydrates and electrolytes to fuel your activity for 2 hours or longer. The new Gnarly Fuel2O mix aims to deliver the same benefits and is intended for longer activities where carbohydrate absorption is critical to continued muscle hydration and performance. With Fuel2O, you can use it alone, but it will also work well supplemented with other bars or gels to mix things up and keep your stomach happy.
On the other hand, Gnarly Hydrate mix is just made to maintain hydration, reduce fatigue and allow your muscles to perform at their best. With the Hydrate mix, you’ll definitely want to supplement it with more carbs to maintain energy, but it’s formulated to be easy on the gut for sustained hydration levels.
So, how do you know when to use one over the other? Here’s a quick guide from their FAQ:
“Hydrate is formulated to replace what you lose when you sweat, namely water and electrolytes. It contains some sugar to help actively push water into your body, but it doesn’t contain enough sugar to be a significant contributor to caloric intake. Fuel2O has an electrolyte profile similar to Hydrate, but contains additional carbohydrates for fuel as well as HMB to kickstart recovery.”
In short, if you want an all-in-one source of fuel and electrolytes, go with Fuel2O. That being said, how did I mix-and-match them for cycling and indoor training?
When going with Gnarly Hydrate, I typically supplemented it with SiS Isotonic Gels as my fuel for 1-2 hour rides. The instructions say to mix 1 scoop per 12-16 oz of water. Using my 24 oz Elite Fly bottles, I thought I’d go with two scoops — seemed within the suggested parameters. Welp, for me, I’ve found that going with a lighter mix is better. Two scoops was way too powerful and started to irritate my throat. Going forward, I just stuck with a single scoop for either a 21 or 24 oz bottle.
At that lower strength, throat irritation was lessened and the mix tended to dissolve much better. Still, I was always surprised to see small granules settled at the bottom after a hard shake and a long, rough gravel ride. I’d say, overall the Hydrate mix is a little too strong for my tastes and doesn’t mix as smoothly as other hydration tablets or mixes. Your experience may vary.
Let’s move onto the Fuel2O mix. I also went with two scoops to start and I did like how it mixed and tasted over the Hydrate mix — hands down. It mixes up smoothly and ends up having a creamy flavor to it. The consistency feels a lot like SiS Beta Fuel. It’s kind of a velvety feel. I appreciate the full nutritional content of Fuel2O as it supports me well throughout long efforts.
The consistency of the Fuel2O mix is intentionally made for sipping, not gulping. However, I still prefer to mix it thin with just a single scoop per bottle. It makes the bag last longer and I still felt supported throughout my activities. Gnarly suggests one bottle hourly, which is about as long as it takes to sip your way through a bottle of Fuel2O.
- Mix-and-match based on your needs
- Fuel2O mixes smooth and velvety
- Bags are more economical for home use
- Hydrate is available with/without caffeine
- I preferred a lighter mix, which makes them last longer
- Both have been gut-friendly
- Hydrate mix doesn’t dissolve completely
- Hydrate irritated my throat at full-strength (half-strength is much better, but still grainy)
The Bottom Line: Gnarly Nutrition Fuel2O and Hydrate Mixes
Hydration and energy mixes, gels, bars and gummies is something you kind of have to figure out for yourself. Everybody reacts differently to the nutritional contents. Mixed thinner, I’ve really liked the velvety taste and support provided by the Fuel2O mix. Hydrate remains okay, but I prefer other hydration options, to be honest. That throat irritation is perplexing. Maybe other flavors than the Orange Pineapple I tested would be better?
Buy Now: Visit GoGnarly.com