e-Fuel vs. Cytomax

The good thing about Cytomax is that it uses complex carbs compared to drinks like Skratch, Tailwind and others that are virtually all simple sugars. e-Fuel is even better because we use more complex carbs and even less sugar than Cytomax. In addition, e-Fuel is all natural with no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or sugar substitutes, it’s just clean energy! Cytomax on the other hand uses Stevia which can cause stomach issues. Read on for a complete comparison:

complex carbs (8 oz)

e-Fuel

14 g

Cytomax

7 g

By far the biggest difference between e-Fuel and Cytomax is that e-Fuel uses significantly more complex carbohydrates. This is critical because your body can uptake more energy when you use complex carbs instead of simple sugars.

This isn’t something we’ve invented, it’s proven science. Here’s how it works:

The carbs/energy in a sports drink are transported into your cellular system through osmosis. If you recall learning about osmosis in science class, it’s the way a fluid crosses a membrane. In order for the fluid to cross, it has to be an equal or lower concentration than the fluid on the other side of the membrane. In this case you’re trying to get the sports drink across your cellular membrane so you can use the energy. Ideally you want the drink to be isotonic, which means it’s the same concentration as your cellular fluids. At this point the drink can be rapidly absorbed and carry the carbs and electrolytes along with it via osmosis.

What’s interesting is that the concentration of a fluid (also called the osmolality) is largely dependent on the NUMBER of particles in the fluid, and less dependent on the size of the particles. Complex carbs by definition have a larger molecular structure than simple sugars, basically they have more glucose molecules stuck together. But remember, it’s the number of particles, not the size that matters most. What that means is that at the point of absorption (isotonic), a fluid with complex carbs can transport nearly twice as much energy into the cellular system compared to one with simple sugars.

Many drinks (including e-Fuel) use at least some maltodextrin for this reason. Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate with an extremely large molecular structure. Where e-Fuel sets itself apart from other products is that we use much more complex carb and less sugar. This allows you to get more energy when you use e-Fuel compared to our competitors. If you’re doing any type of endurance sport, then maximizing energy uptake should be important to you.

carb sources

e-Fuel

Maltodextrin
Fructose

Cytomax

Maltodextrin
Fructose
Dextrose

The dextrose in Cytomax is a simple sugar that we don’t think should be in your sports drink. You’d be much better off ditching the dextrose and using more maltodextrine.

Maltodextrin is a long chain complex carbohydrate. As we explained in the complex carb discussion, the advantages of complex carbs are significant.

Fructose is also a sugar, but it’s very different than all other forms of sugar and we use it in all of our products for a very good reason.

Fructose sometimes gets a bad rap for endurance athletes because it is thought to cause stomach and GI discomfort. Like anything else, if you take too much fructose it can be a problem. But if you use it properly it can actually significantly improve performance … without stomach issues. Here’s why:

Most of the energy that we use during endurance sports comes from consumed carbohydrates that are converted into glycogen and stored in our muscles. Glycogen can then be quickly broken down into glucose and used to fuel the muscles. The liver also stores glycogen which has been converted from fructose and serves as an additional “fuel tank” to power your muscles.

Here’s where it gets interesting …

The main route for glucose absorption from the gut is through a transporter called SGLT1 – a protein that acts like a door, helping glucose go from the gut to the bloodstream. SGLT1 has a maximum capacity and can only transport around one gram of glucose per minute (240 calories/hour). Fructose, however, is absorbed with a different transporter, called GLUT5. By using both transporters you can increase the amount of carbohydrate the body can use during exercise up to approximately 300 calories/hour.

GLUT5’s sole job in life is to transport fructose, so if you’re not consuming fructose then you’re not using the GLUT5 transporter … it’s like having an additional fuel line and not using it, why would you do that? In addition, your secondary fuel tank (your liver) will be under utilized as well.

The rapid absorption of fructose mixtures and special handling of fructose in the liver are the two main reasons that fructose can also also help to speed up recovery after exercise. A recent study found that when athletes drank sports drinks containing both fructose and complex carbohydrates after exercise, they accelerated the recovery of their liver glycogen stores. It almost doubled this rate of recovery compared with drinks that didn’t have fructose, when the same total amount of carbohydrate was consumed.

Bottom line … if you want to “be your best”, incorporate some fructose into your training and competition nutrition program.

sugar

e-Fuel

29%

Cytomax

55%

more If you’re doing short workouts sugar can provide adequate fueling. But if you’re doing any kind of endurance event then you will perform better using complex carbohydrates instead of simple sugars. See our complex carb discussion for more details.

sugar substitutes

e-Fuel

none

Cytomax

stevia

e-Fuel is all natural with no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or sugar substitutes. It’s just clean energy!

Cytomax uses Stevia.

According to WebMD: Stevia and chemicals contained in Stevia, including stevioside and rebaudioside A, can cause bloating or nausea. Other people have reported feelings of dizziness, muscle pain, and numbness. Using ingredients that cause stomach distress is the last thing that an athlete would want to deal with, so none of these ingredients are found in e-Fuel.

sodium

e-Fuel

150 mg

Cytomax

90 mg

In developing e-Fuel we relied heavily on the decades of independent research performed by the American College of Sports Medicine. They are a non-profit with no “skin in the game”, they just try to figure out how to make athletes better, stronger and faster. Electrolyte replacement is an area that they have studied extensively, and e-Fuel’s electrolyte levels are designed to meet their recommendations.

potassium

e-Fuel

60 mg

Cytomax

40 mg

Potassium is the other electrolyte that is important to replace during your training and competition, along with sodium. The level of potassium in e-Fuel is designed to meet the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendation for replacement during athletic activity.

antioxidants

e-Fuel

vitamin C 60%
vitamin E 60%​

Cytomax

vitamin C 45%
vitamin E 0%​

Antioxidant vitamins C and E help protect against tissue damage, reduce soreness and aid in the recovery process.

citrates

e-Fuel

Sodium Citrate, Potassium Citrate and Citric Acid

Cytomax

Sodium Citrate, Potassium Citrate and Citric Acid

Citrates assist in the carbohydrate to energy conversion process as well as slow the build up of lactic acid in your muscles.

Patrick Binienda

"I just finished a multi-day event where I ran through the Benton MacKay Trail, start to finish, over 287 miles - fueling almost exclusively on e-Fuel. Each day consisted of an average of 35 miles across some of the toughest mountain trails in the Eastern US. e-Fuel carried me through 9 days with little other nutrition except dinner meals. I have always suffered from over/under hydration using other fuels - e-Fuel is the most complete and efficient fuel I have used. My mountain adventure was a great success largely due to e-Fuel." ...
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Smyrna, Georgia
Sport: Running

Shaun Gallagher

"After having difficulty in races where my gastric system would 'lock up', I found that I simply couldn't handle gels and electrolyte pills frequently enough to support my needs. The calorie content and large amount of electrolytes in e-Fuel were a perfect balance for my training and racing needs. Because e-Fuel mixes fast and easy, it was easier for me to increase the concentration without worrying about trying to swallow a thick, clumpy drink. At Ironman Wisconsin I raced with 2 bottles of 4x concentrated e-Fuel (800+ calories per bottle) on the bike as my primary nutrition. Using eFuel helped me surpass my goal and register a 13 hour finish time with no cramping or stomach problems. " ...
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Tampa, Florida
Sport: Triathlon

David Tucker

"I'm training for Ironman Florida and during the summer months here in Florida, long bike rides take me into some really hot and humid weather. I've been struggling for 6 weeks with cramping every time my ride hit 60-65 miles in length. I read about e-Fuel and after two rides of 80+ miles with no cramping, I'm a believer!" ...
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Brandon, Florida
Sport: Triathlon

Shawn Smith

"At the USA Cycling Marathon Championships it was a 58 mile course and temps around 80-84. ... I raced to a 3rd place on only 2 bottles of e-Fuel and 2 e-Gels. No way around it. This product works and is fueling you can trust." ...
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Gainesville , Florida
Sport: Cycling

Vicki Griffin

"I am an Ironman distance, age grouper triathlete trying to qualify for Kona. Nutrition has always been a struggle... stomach issues, etc.... I used e-Fuel and e-Gel on my last 70.3, had no stomach issues, and won my age group." ...
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Leawood, Kansas
Sport: Triathlon

Kathy Murgas

"A friend recommended e-Gel years ago. I tried it, loved it, and 65 marathons (including 1 in each of the 50 states), I am still using it. I've changed the way I train, the shoes and wear, the clothes I wear, but never the gel I use." ...
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Dallas, Texas
Sport: Running & Cycling

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