What Run Oregon is Using: Natural Energy Edition

Run Oregon sometimes receives products to review. We recently  received some a few pairs of socks from a variety of companies out there. Here are our impressions of:


PocketFuel Naturals is a local (Hood River) company that specializes in energy gel shots.

Founded in Hood River, Oregon in 2010 by Mark & Heidi Ribkoff and Rod Parmenter. PocketFuel was created by athletes for athletes. What prompted Mark to start PocketFuel? Surrounded by an abundance of orchards overflowing with fresh fruit, he was inspired to innovate. He started by reading the ingredients on the products he used and knew there had to be a better way. Something whole food based, delicious and above all, portable. That has been PocketFuel’s mission from the very beginning.We are proud to now have our very own production facility here on the waterfront in Hood River, Oregon in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.  All of our handcrafted line of Nut Butter blends & brand NEW Cold Brew Coffee Energy gels are made by our dedicated team, in-house, thereby ensuring quality, consistency and fresh product delivered on-time to our customers.

They manufacture two seperate products, Nut Butter Blends and Cold Brew Coffee Energy shots. Their Nut Butter Blends come in 7 different flavors (2 almond based and 5 hazlenut based):

The Cold Brew Energy Shots come in 3 flavors:

They are described as such:

PocketFuel’s Cold Brew Energy Shots are a rich creamy blend of cold brewed organic fair trade coffee with a touch of organic coconut milk and either Chocolate or Vanilla to get you going and keep you focused. Slow brewed to reduce acidity, enhance taste while delivering a great source of antioxidants.

Since taste is such a subjective thing, it’s hard to formulate a full “review” solely on this factor. Multiple Run Oregon bloggers sampled and there was a pretty even split between it being described as “great” and “ok”.  We have found this to be pretty standard when it comes to energy packets. Even with the large companies who produce energy gels (Gu and Powerbar for example), there are people who think that gel is good and others who would rather die of starvation than open a pack and suck the contents down.

One Run Oregon blogger commented that the PocketFuels packets were a little challenging to use mid-run, as the package needed a little massaging to comine all the goodness inside. However, utilizing post-race (or post-hike, or post-workout) for refueling seemed to work a lot better.

From the Run Oregon perspective, we support local companies so we say give it a shot to taste-test for yourself. A 10-pack will start about $15 online and you can also pick some up in local retail stores.


Body Glove Surge:

5-hour Energy shots are sort of the “gold standard” when it comes to compacted liquid energy. You can go to any grocery store and see a few dozen up-and-comers falling in line behind 5-hour Energy. Body Glove Surge is a company with a similar product, but do NOT want you to think they are just another in this long line. So what sets them apart?

Body Glove claims to be the first proven all natural energy shot. They utilize added protein and green tea to acheive their natural energy. With natural ingredients, they call this an “endurance buzz” as opposed to an “empty buzz” from just caffeine. They have even gone so far to do some comparison studies against 5-hour Energy:

Recently, researchers at Montana State University reported on the synergy between caffeine, protein and carbohydrate. They compared the leading caffeine shot (5-hour Energy®) to a caffeine/ carbohydrate/ protein shot (Body Glove SURGE®. The scientists evaluated reaction time and endurance. Compared to the caffeine shot, the combination energy shot significantly increased endurance and reaction time, and individuals taking the combination product felt less fatigued during the exercise trial. In fact, 77% of the subjects consuming the combination energy product had an improvement in endurance of 8% or more.

I have tried the first two of these three flavors:

  • Grape
  • Peach Mango
  • Tropical Berry

Like mentioned above, taste is really a subjective thing. I found the taste fine and in line with most other energy shots I have taken in. My favorite part about it was the ingredient list. I LOVE it when ingredients are natural and actually things I have heard of before and can understand. The first few ingredients in the Surge is honey, organic agave syrup, and organic cane sugar. Can’t go wrong there.

I have used these a few times – specifically on early morning runs. My first experience was the Bald Peak Half. In that recap, I joked about being exhausted from all the hills. But I will say that I did feel surprisingly better than I anticipated I would through that first 800 feet of elevation gain and the subsequent 9 miles of rolling hills.

From the Run Oregon perspective, we again say give it a shot to taste-test for yourself if you are looking for a caffeine boost with a natural perspective. A 6-pack will run about $14 and there are a few places in the Portland area to pick them up.

About Matt Rasmussen (1554 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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