Run Oregon Test Kitchen: Gnarly Nutrition

The last few summers have been hot and we find it hard to imagine that it is going to get any less so in the future. While there are a lot of macro-issues with that, if you’re an active person, on a micro-issue level you’re not only going to need water, you’re going to need something with electrolytes in it to replace all that you are sweating out on your runs. There are about 1000 types of electrolyte powders out there and it’s getting harder and harder to figure out which one is right for you. Gnarly Sports Nutrition gets that, and they’ve offered you better choice than many of the others.

Gnarly has created a powder-based sport drink called Hydrate electrolyte mix that comes in three flavor options. hat’s great about this product is that it’s loaded with B Vitamins and electrolytes and easy to throw into your water bottle on a “long run” or “big workout” day to keep you moving along.

Of the three flavor options, (Orange Pineapple, Raspberry, and Ruby Red Grapefruit) we tested the first and the third – the former in a travel pack and the latter in a larger 40-serving bag.

Heini: I tested the travel-sized Orange Pineapple flavor. I enjoyed it a lot! I’m not keen on super strong flavors or sugary sweetness mid-run, and for me, the balance here hit the spot perfectly. The powder was easy to mix and easy to drink, and the travel packs mean you don’t have to fuss with measuring scoops.

My stomach tends to be on the sensitive side, so trying anything new is always a risk and not something I would attempt before heading out for 10 miles in Forest Park. But I had no issues and no concerns with this one. It settled in my stomach well and seemed to provide sufficient energy and hydration for my workouts. I love that the ingredients list is pretty short and simple, and includes a lot of B vitamins as well as electrolytes – and only 4 grams of added sugar in a serving is a big plus!

That would be two thumbs up from me; I enjoyed Gnarly and will continue to keep a few sticks handy.

Matt: I tested the Ruby Red Grapefruit flavor, one of my favorite flavor profiles. The taste was surprisingly mild and using it on short term HIIT workouts in my garage treadmill and longer outside runs, it did not distress my stomach. It did not taste powerful or overly sugary (it is described as low-sugar), and no one needs all that in the middle of a run. Only natural sweeteners and coloring are used in Gnarly products, and they are all non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, NSF for Sport Certified.

Obviously the stick-version that Heini reviewed is more appropriate for on-the-go running, I did like having a larger option available to fill up at home when need be. I seem to be doing most of my workouts and runs in my garage nowadays (and likely continuing in the dark and dreary winter), so having a larger bag out there was super easy for me. It’s also cost-efficient as well if you don’t feel you need a travel-ready option. 40 servings for ~$26 is super cheap for a hydration option.

There are lots of nutrition and hydration aids out on the market today. Give Gnarly a try!!


Products & Price:

  • Hydrate
    • 40 Serving Bag ($25.95)
    • 5 stick Travel Pack ($5.00)

Specs (from website):

  • Formulated to optimally replace the fluid and electrolytes you lose when you sweat.
  • Packed with B vitamins and trace minerals to support energy metabolism and performance.
  • Just enough sugar to hydrate you effectively without causing gut rot.
  • Light, refreshing and just plain delicious.
  • Safe for athletes of all ages.
  • Flavors are NSF Content Certified and Orange Pineapple is also NSF for Sport Certified.
    • NSF Content Certified Products go through a toxicology review, label claim testing and contaminant testing for heavy metals, microbes and pesticides.
    • NSF for Sport Certified Products must pass NSF Content Certification and are additionally tested for over 270 substances that are banned by professional sports leagues as well as national and international doping oversight organizations.

Thank you to GNARLY SPORTS NUTRITION for providing us with samples Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, 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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