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Another Satisfied

"I started using these products in January. In March I set a trail and course 50 km personal best. In April I set a road 50 mile PB. In May I ran a distance PB in a 12 hour trail race. The ease of e-Fuel to go into solution allows for a much quicker transition through aid stations. The completeness of the e-Gel allows for good sustainment when you just want to stick with water for your fluid intake." (read more)   

Tim Lofton
Product: e-Fuel
Sport: Ultra Running
Marysville, Washington
User since: January 2004

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 e-Fuel Endurance Blend

FRS is widely marketed to athletes, but with one of the highest levels of simple sugars, extremely low levels of complex carbohydrates and virtually no electrolytes it just doesn't stack up against the competition. e-Fuel's higher levels of complex cabs and lower sugars allows it to deliver significantly more energy (see discussion)

For a more complete discussion of each ingredient and the differences between e-Fuel and FRS, click on the ingredient links on the left side of the table.



FRS FRS (low cal)

  Calories (8 oz serving) 80 63 17
  Complex Carbs 14 g 2 g 2 g
  Sugars (% of total carbs) 29% 86% 71%
  Carb Sources Maltodextrin
Juice Concentrate
Juice Concentrate

  Sodium 150 mg 10 mg 7 mg
  Potassium 60 mg 0 mg 0 mg

  Sodium Citrate no no
  Potassium Citrate no no
  Citric Acid

  Vitamin E 60% 0% 0%
  Vitamin C 60% 180% 180%

Protein 0 g 0 g 0 g

Caffeine no yes yes
Sucralose no no yes

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Maltodextrin is the preferred carbohydrate source for endurance athletes and as such it is the primary ingredient in e-Fuel as well as most other good products on the market. Cytomax is 55% simple sugars. The danger of high sugar content products such as Cytomax is that they can elevate your blood sugar level too far too fast which can lead to a sugar crash (also known as bonking). Higher sugar content also raises the osmolality of the product which can reduce energy delivery, delay fluid absorption and promote dehydration. 
e-Fuel is designed to provide complete and balanced electrolyte replacement that is critical for proper hydration and to avoid muscle cramping. The sodium and potassium levels in e-Fuel are designed to meet the American College of Sports Medicine's recommendation for electrolyte replacement during intense athletic activity.
The Citrates in e-Fuel assist in the carbohydrate to energy conversion process as well as reduce and slow the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles.
e-Fuel is one of the few sports drinks on the market that contains antioxidant vitamins C and E to help protect against tissue damage, reduce soreness and aid in the recovery process. 
Protein has to go through a digestive process which draws blood away from working muscles to the stomach and intestines. When you are competing in an aerobic activity you want as much blood as possible supplied to your muscles carrying fresh oxygen for the energy conversion process. Consequently, independent studies have found no benefit of protein in a sports drink. See the following article from the American College of Sports Medicine for a more complete discussion:

  American College of Sports Medicine
  Failure of Protein to Improve Performance when Added  to a Sports Drink

  Science Daily
  Protein-added Sports Drinks Don't Boost Performance
While caffeine may give a temporary mental boost, unfortunately it is a diuretic, meaning that it causes your kidneys to produce more urine - thus promoting dehydration. Proper hydration is critical to optimum performance, and in our opinion caffeine should not be incorporated into your sports nutrition program. Our recommendation has always been that if you feel that you NEED caffeine, then only use a caffeinated product (there are plenty on the market) near the end of your competition when you need the psychological boost the most and there is little time to cause dehydration. We strongly recommend against relying on a caffeinated product for the duration of the competition.
To our amazement, sucralose (also known as Splenda) and other artificial sweeteners have begun to show up in sports nutrition products. The name may sound harmless, but check out the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center  and the Potential Dangers of Sucralose by Dr. Joseph Mercola. The temptation by manufacturers to use sucralose is great, because high performance carbohydrates such as maltodextrin provide very little sweetness to the product. Thus, adding an artificial sweetener allows one to achieve a sweet product without using sucrose, high fructose corn syrup and other simple sugars. In our opinion, artificial sweeteners belong in diet soda, not sports nutrition products. 



The nutritional information shown above for FRS is for an 8 oz serving of Orange flavor and Low Calorie Orange flavor as published August 2010. Please refer to the manufacturer's web site or product packaging for the most recent information.

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