e-Fuel rapid-mix powder is loaded with complex carbohydrates instead of sugars for sustained energy, antioxidants and balanced electrolyte replacement to help avoid cramping and injuries, and NO artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners … it’s Just Clean Energy!

complex carbs

e-Fuel is more than 70% complex carbohydrates. Compare that to drinks like Tailwind, Skratch, etc., that are virtually all sugar and no complex carbs. Because complex carbs have a larger molecular structure than simple sugars your body is able to uptake more energy. This isn’t something that we’ve invented, it’s proven science. Read below for a complete explanation.

Because your body can uptake more energy when you use complex carbs instead of simple sugars. If you’re doing any kind of endurance sport, then the more energy you can get from your nutrition the better you’ll perform. Period. Competing drinks like Tailwind, Skratch are virtually all sugar with no complex carbs, check out our comparisons

LONG ANSWER (or watch this video)

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. A good drink is isotonic (the same concentration as your cellular fluids). When an isotonic drink gets to your small intestine, fluids are absorbed and the carbohydrates are transported by energy transporters (SGLT1 and GLUT5).

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 an isotonic drink with complex carbs can contain nearly twice as much energy compared to one with simple sugars.

This isn’t something that we’ve invented here a Crank Sports, it’s proven science. Many sports drinks (including e-Fuel) use at least some complex carbohydrates 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. e-Fuel derives 71% of it’s carbohydrate energy from complex carbs. Compare this to drinks like Tailwind, Skratch, etc. that are virtually all sugar and no complex carbs. Because of this, e-Fuel provides up to twice as much energy than other drinks.

Why do other companies use so much sugar? Simple, because it’s sweet and inexpensive, and sweet things sell. So if you want to sell a lot of something you make it sweet. But if you want to make the best PERFORMING product you use complex carbs.

multi-carb source

e-Fuel uses maltodextrin (complex carbs) with a bit of fructose, which is a key difference. If you use too much fructose it can cause stomach and GI discomfort. But when you use small amounts of fructose it can actually significantly increase energy uptake and performance. Your body has an “energy transporter” that’s sole job is transporting fructose, so if you’re not using fructose you’re not tapping into your body’s full potential to supply energy to your working muscles. Read below for a more detailed explanation.

Your body has two different types of energy transporters. One transporter just processes fructose and nothing else. The other transporters handle all other carbohydrates (both simple sugars and complex carbs), but not fructose. So, if you’re not using some fructose then the fructose transporters are sitting around doing nothing – you’re missing out on energy that could be delivered to the working muscles. The problem is that if you use too much fructose then you overload the transporters and you can get stomach discomfort as a side effect. The trick is to use enough fructose to take advantage of the transporters, but not so much that you overload them.

With e-Fuel that’s exactly what we’ve done. You get a little bit of fructose and the rest complex carbohydrate for maximum energy delivery.

For more info read this article:
fructose: what you need to know

rapid absorption

Rapid absorption is critical so that you get the hydration, energy and electrolyte benefits and no sloshing around in your stomach. The key to rapid absorption is ensuring that you are consuming “isotonic” solutions (concentration approximately equal to your cellular fluids). When mixed as recommended, e-Fuel is isotonic, thus allowing for rapid hydration, electrolyte replacement and sustained energy.

low sugar

As we explained above, complex carbs will provide significantly more energy than simple sugars. But it doesn’t end there. If you have too much sugar it will drastically increase your blood sugar (the sugar high) and when this happens your body slows down insulin production. Insulin is like a gatekeeper that allows glucose into your muscles. When your insulin level drops, less energy is provided to the working muscles and your performance suffers.

Many popular drinks like Tailwind and Skratch provide all of their energy from sugars.

On the Nutrtion Facts label on your favorite product you will see “Total Carbohydrate” and below that you will see “Sugars”. Both are listed in grams. To calculate the sugar percentage, divide sugar grams by carbohydrate grams. For example Tailwind has 25 grams of total carbohydrate and 25 grams of sugar -> 100% sugar.


Endurance athletes sweat … a lot! When we sweat it cools down the body through evaporation, but unfortunately sweat contains critical electrolytes that need to be replaced in order to maintain hydration, avoid cramping and reduce the risk of injury. If we drink water it rehydrates us but we don’t get the electrolytes we need.

At Crank Sports we design all of our products to replace critical electrolytes at rates recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. So unless you have an unusual electrolyte imbalance (consult with your physician), the electrolytes in e-Fuel should provide complete and balanced replacement.

Recommended Electrolyte Replacement
500 mg Sodium per liter (34 oz) of consumed fluid
200 mg Potassium per liter (34 oz) of consumed fluid


e-Fuel contains antioxidant vitamins C and E to protect against tissue damage, reduce soreness and aid in recovery. This is achieved by neutralizing free radicals that are produced by the muscle’s use of oxygen during intense athletic activity.

just clean energy

Many of our competitors use Xylitol, Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes in an effort to make their drinks sweeter without adding sugars. The problem is that these ingredients are well documented to cause gas, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems … never a good thing for an endurance athlete.

e-Fuel contains no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or sugar substitutes, never has and never will. It’s just clean energy!

no caffeine

Read our view on caffeine and why we don’t put it in e-Fuel or any of our products:
article: caffeine

no fat, fiber or protein

Fats, fiber and protein have to go through a digestive process that draws blood and oxygen away from the working muscles. This can be completely counterproductive to your workout. For a more detailed explanation read below.

If you remember the Lance Armstrong scandal, it was all about blood doping. By illegally increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood, more oxygen is then provided to the muscles. The more oxygen you have available the better you will perform, period. Likewise, if you reduce the available oxygen to the muscles your performance will suffer.

When your are training or competing, your body is amazingly adaptive and it does everything it can to help you out. One way it does this is by drawing blood form parts of your body that don’t need it at that time so that it can route more blood (and therefor oxygen) out to the working muscles. A large user of blood is your stomach and intestinal tract, and it will draw on this blood supply.

The beauty of e-Fuel is that that it is absorbed via osmosis instead of going through a full digestive process. However, when you consume anything with fats, fibers or protein, these ingredients must be digested. This means that your body has to route blood back to the stomach and intestines for the digestive process, thus taking blood and oxygen away from the working muscles. 

If you are trying to set a personal best, run a qualifying time, etc., consuming something that takes away from your performance, even a little bit, should be avoid if possible.

*Note on ultra events: when you are competing in ultra events that last 12 hours and longer, all the rules change a bit. By definition you are going at a lower intensity level than you would in a shorter event, and you may be able to get away with using fat, fiber and/or protein. Be sure to experiment during your training. Everyone is different and needs to figure out what works best for their body!

rapid mix

A common issue with complex carbohydrates is that they can be hard to mix. We worked long and hard on this one before launching e-Fuel. Our solution? The first Rapid MixTM complex carb drink! During production we use a process to essentially “puff up” the powder particles, thus exposing more surface area to the water and resulting in a powder that dissolves more rapidly. That’s cool.

dare to compare

One of the most common questions we get is “how does e-Fuel compare to what I’m using now?” Good news, we’ve put together head-to-head comparisons between e-Fuel and most leading sports drinks:

CytomaxSkratchHammer HEEDTailwindUCAN20 more comparisons

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customer testimonials

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

Jerry Sanders

"Been using your products for sometime now. Took a bit of a break from them, and decided to try some other brands. Using the competitors products, I was continually having leg cramps after 60 miles of riding. I switched back to e-Fuel, and no more cramps! Just finished a 110 mile 11000 feet climb this weekend! Couldn't have done it with out e-Fuel!" ...
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Glendale, California
Sport: Cycling

Carl Gordon

"I have to tell you that this stuff is great. I haven't done any thing really long yet, only rides in the 50-70 mile range, but the effects are great. Makes the hills a little less painfull and the recovery is much better. It also mixes well and tastes as good or better than the competition. I would like to really praise you on your excellent service. Your web site is perfect. I recieved prompt information regarding shipping and receiving of my shipment. You guys knew I got it before it did. That's kickin." ...
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Plano, Texas
Sport: Cycling

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

David Brumley

"I am an immunodeficient triathlete who has gone through just about every product on the market. My body has difficulty with nutrition absorption and GI distress. After a successful long bike ride (6 hours) without problems during or after I used it on my next race. The results were amazing. My first AG win without any issues or drop in energy late into the race." ...
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McKinney, Texas
Sport: Triathlon

Frank Noble

"Gels I've used prior would include Hammer, Honey Stinger, GU, and VFuel. Carb/Electrolyte drinks would include Hammer HEED, VFuel, and Tailwind ... I can say hands down these products are by far the best in both categories" ...
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Dallas, Georgia
Sport: Ultra Running

Gregory Allen

"I have always had a problem with leg cramps in the 2nd to 3rd hour of an event depending on intensity. I've been using e-Gel and e-Fuel since January of this year. It is the only thing that I have changed in my training and racing protocol. I did Lavaman olympic distance in Hawaii and never cramped (2nd). I did Wildflower olympic distance in California and never cramped (4th). I've done both of these races a number of times in the past and cramped every time. I haven't cramped on any long runs or rides this year. I know it is a short sample period. The combination and concentration of electrolytes in the Crank products seems to have solved my problem. I've never written a testimonial before, nor do I take much stock in them. None of this may work for you. It seems to work for me." ...
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Mill Valley, California
Sport: Triathlon