Fuel Elite: The Gold Standard Sports Drink For Fueling And Hydration

EndurElite Fuel Elite Key Points

  • Replaces SustainElite. Improved taste and solubility.
  • 25 grams of carbohydrates per serving using three different carb sources to utilize multiple intestinal transporters for maximal carbohydrate digestion and absorption.
  • BCAA matrix to prevent muscle protein breakdown, delay fatigue, and promote gluconeogenesis.
  • Complete electrolyte profile to stop cramps, enhance intracellular hydration, and maintain blood volume.
  • The ability to use 1-4 scoops in 20 ounces of water for different durations/intensities of endurance exercise.

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Fuel Elite

Why Do I Need a Sports Drink?

When I was younger, I vividly recall watching workers in my neighborhood guzzling down neon-colored drinks during the summer heat. More specifically they were chugging lemon lime Gatorade. Did they drink Gatorade because they were athletes? No. Were they even exercising? Nope… they worked construction, which carries with it a degree of physical exertion, but ultimately no, they were not exercising.

Sports drinks, like Gatorade, are some of the most popular “supplements” in our society today. However, that is mostly because they are consumed for typical beverage purposes – they satisfy humans’ basic instincts of “I’m thirsty, and this tastes good.”

Even though most will taste pretty good and we’re certainly not complaining about that, their intended purpose is not enjoyment – it is to deliver some calories to fuel exercise as well as fluid and electrolytes to replace those which are lost in sweat. Not all are created equal, and we’re not just talking about taste. What does science tell us about optimal fueling and hydration?

EndurElite Fuel Elite Carbohydrate Sports Drink

How to Replenish FUEL

One of the most critical strategies for endurance athletes is fueling during training and racing. Without refueling, after about an hour, you’ll begin running low on carbohydrate stores and end up slowing down a bit; after 2 hours, you’ll be feeling even more sluggish; after 4 hours, you’re toast! This is why fueling is so important!

The human gut can absorb up to 1 gram of dextrose (glucose) per minute (60g per hour). However, the guts capabilities can be improved with co-ingestion of dextrose (glucose) and fructose up to 1.7 grams per minute (~100 grams per hour).

This is because our intestines have specific absorption mechanisms for each type of sugar – some types of intestinal transporters can only shuttle dextrose (glucose) into the blood, while others can shuttle only fructose (1,2). By supplying both types of carbohydrate, we can increase absorption and support faster running, biking, and swimming!

Absorption from the intestines into the bloodstream does not, however, mean all of that carbohydrate will get to the muscle and supply energy. If consuming 1.8 grams of dextrose (glucose) and fructose per hour, rates of muscular utilization (oxidation, “burning”) is still only 1.25-1.6 grams per minute.

To maximize muscular utilization, carbohydrate (as dextrose (glucose) and fructose) must be consumed at a rate of 2.4 grams per minute, and this strategy enhances maximal carbohydrate oxidation to 1.75 grams per minute in highly trained individuals.

Note how that paragraph ended, “highly trained individuals.” Only the top 10-20% of athletes are going to need to ingest such high quantities of carbohydrate each hour. This is because only they have the necessary physiological adaptations to be able to make use of each gram of carbohydrate. Trained, but not elite, individuals will be in the 30-90 grams of carbohydrate per hour.

Carbohydrates help fuel your training

Examples of Fueling Strategies for Runners, Cyclists, and Triathletes

Yes, 30-90 grams is a large range of carbohydrates. It is to accommodate a large range of athletic capabilities. For example, elite marathon runners are completing their races in just over 2 hours. That means they’re covering 13 miles per hour. Someone who runs a marathon in 4 hours (~6.5 miles per hour) is still doing a good job, but this runner requires less carbohydrate per hour because they’re completing less work in the same period of time (miles). Ultimately, the 26.2 miles will require about the same amount of fuel for every athlete.

A 140.6 km distance ironman triathlon takes, on average, about 12 hours to complete. An athlete completing this race may require a total of 1000 grams of carbohydrate, which works out to be about 83 grams per hour. Also consider this, “average” athletes in this race are a little above average! That’s why they’re at the top of the 30-90 range!

The record is under 8 hours now, but for math’s sake, let’s say 8 hours; that’s 125 grams of carbohydrate per hour or almost 2.1 grams of carbohydrate per hour (getting pretty close to supporting maximal oxidation at 2.4 grams per hour! That’s elite!). On the flip side, a 16-hour racer would consume about 63 grams per hour.

For your own personal use, guesstimate your total requirements at 60 grams per hour and apply it to one of your long runs or rides during training, and take a measure of your performance, such as pace or power output.

Depending on how you felt, do a little more or a little less carbohydrate during your next training session. Repeat until it’s perfect! If your race lasts longer than 5 hours, you may need a practice race to get it dialed in just right because you’ll likely need more total carbs if your training is not as long.

Overhydration Can Cause Low Blood Sodium


This aspect of nutrition is complicated because it’s very individualized. The best way to determine your fluid needs is to weigh yourself before and after a 1 hour training session at race pace. You may also check your urine color and frequency.

Dark, infrequent urine means dehydrated and clear, very frequent (more than every 2 hours) could be overhydration. If you can, weigh yourself on the most accurate scale you can find that goes out to at least 2 decimal places (hundredths). The amount of weight you’ve lost from pre to post session is nearly all water. Take the difference in kilograms. That is how many liters of fluid you should aim to replace each hour during exercise.

Be sure to consider temperature and humidity! Higher temperatures increase how much you will sweat (duh, right!?). However, humidity is also a big deal. If there is more moisture in the air, the moisture on your skin (sweat) can’t evaporate and cool you down.

The body is stupid in this regard, because it will just keep pumping out sweat, accelerating fluid loss! If it’s not humid, you also need to pay attention because all that dry heat will prevent you from feeling all sweaty and trick you into thinking you’re not sweating, but you are!

The stomach can process up to 50 mL of water each minute (3000 mL or 3 liters per hour).

General rehydration recommendations range from 170mL to 1060 mL per hour, and you’re probably somewhere within that range.

Since we don’t know how much you sweat/urinate and the environment you’re sweating/urinating in, we can’t provide information that will definitely suit your needs. In fact, your needs will vary race-to-race. If it makes you feel better, the average runner only drinks about 300 mL per hour! This is estimated to be less than necessary, however.

It is important to hydrate, obviously. Your body starts to shut down if you do not rehydrate. You can over hydrate as well. Hyponatremia is low blood sodium, and it is a relationship between salt and fluid balance. Too much fluid, and sodium becomes dilute.

Sweating, without rehydrating with fluid and sodium, can also reduce blood sodium levels to a point of concern (rarely, this becomes fatal). So without further ado…

The 5 Steps To Replenishing Electrolytes

How to Replenish ELECTROLYTES

Much of the electrolyte discussion is just like the fluid discussion. Replace according to your needs. If you have dark urine, you may be excreting a lot of electrolytes, but this is a rough indicator, as there are other metabolites in urine.

A better tell is white sweat rings on your hat or clothes when they dry. If you see any white, you’re going to need more than what is found in a sports drink. If your event lasts longer than 1-2 hours, you’re going to need more than what’s found in a sports drink.

There’s an added level of difficulty with electrolytes, though! Actually 4 extra levels. The first is sodium, as discussed, but you must also consider potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride.

Although sodium is the primary electrolyte lost in sweat, simply consuming sodium without the others throws your regulatory systems out of whack.

Potassium is the next most important. Potassium works hand-in-hand with sodium to control blood pressure. Did you know, high sodium intake is NOT actually related to high blood pressure? It is actually the balance between sodium and potassium.

People with high blood pressure do not eat enough potassium to help control sodium levels. But endurance athletes aren’t really at risk of having too much sodium (all that sweat, y’know?). Potassium is the primary electrolyte inside of cells (sodium is abundant outside of cells, in the interstitial fluid). Therefore, it is not lost as fast as sodium, but don’t forget it! It’s required for nerve and muscle function.

Similarly, magnesium is a pretty common culprit in cramping. If you’ve hydrated and added salt, but you’re still cramping. The issue is probably magnesium, so this electrolyte is pretty important as well. Calcium we know for bone health, but it is also essential for muscle contractions. Finally, chloride helps maintain blood volume.

For shorter races, replenishing electrolytes is not a significant concern, as the body should have enough already on board. For longer races, look for about 100 mg of sodium per hour if you’re a light, clear sweater and up to 2,500 mg per hour if you’re a heavy, salty sweater.

Recommendations on the other electrolytes during exercise have not been researched at this time, but their relative abundance to sodium in sweat suggests replacing 22 mg of potassium, 1.7 mg of calcium, 1.7 mg of magnesium, and 78 mg of chloride per 100 mg of sodium required.

What is Wrong with Current Sports Drinks?

When formulating Fuel Elite, we performed a “competitor analysis,” which means we compared the labels of all the sports drinks we could find. We discovered that most sports do NOT have all three of the most essential characteristics of a good sports drink: 1) contain at least 25g of carbohydrate per serving, 2) utilize dextrose (glucose) and fructose for dual transporter mechanisms, and 3) have a full profile of electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, chloride, calcium, and potassium).

Fuel Elite contains 25g of carbohydrate per serving with a mixture of dextrose (glucose), fructose, and highly branched cyclic dextrin, matching cellular transporters, and has all 5 important electrolytes.

Fuel Elite Has You Covered For Your Endurance Needs

Why Fuel Elite Will be the New Standard

Fuel Elite covers the basics. Good – we wouldn’t be here if it didn't. Here is what makes Fuel Elite the best sports drink for endurance athletes. NO maltodextrin. Fast, medium, and slow releasing carbohydrates. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). A complete electrolyte profile. The ability to dose serving size based on exercise duration and intensity. These are FIVE advantages that Fuel Elite has over any other sports drink.

First, maltodextrin is not the end-all, be-all carbohydrate. It is good. It is better than pure dextrose (glucose), but it is not the best, and to be quite frank, EndurElite wants to bring you the best. Therefore, our primary carbohydrate source in Fuel Elite is Cluster Dextrin®. Cluster Dextrin® has the same molecular weight as maltodextrin but with more “branching.” Branching refers to short chains of poly- and oligosaccharides that “branch” out from the main starch molecule. This enhances digestion.

Research on Cluster Dextrin® has demonstrated that it has faster gastric emptying time, reducing potential for upset stomachs, and improves endurance performance (3,4).

Another advantage of Cluster Dextrin® is maintaining a moderate molecular weight with accelerated gastric emptying time. This means it won’t sit heavy in the stomach, but it will still digest and release carbohydrate into the bloodstream over a longer period of time than sugar. Sugars are important too though, to quickly introduce carbohydrates to the system. That’s why Fuel Elite contains 5.3 grams of dextrose (glucose) and fructose.

During exercise, especially endurance exercise, muscles are heavily damaged. When this happens they break down their muscle proteins into amino acids, most of which are BCAAs. The BCAAs are released into the bloodstream to be metabolized for energy. The amount of amino acids in the blood helps regulate muscle integrity, and the BCAAs stimulate processes to resist muscle breakdown.

More BCAAs and other amino acids in the blood signals to the muscle that it does not need to break down its own proteins because the blood already has enough.

Maintaining muscle during exercise means they will continue working the way they should from start to finish! Consuming BCAAs has even been demonstrated to improve the performance of trained cyclists compared to maltodextrin (8).

The effects of electrolytes are a little more important than just accompanying water and carbohydrates into the body. Keeping water in the body is just as important as sweating it out. Maintaining fluid increases the ability to cool by sweating as well as reducing rates of temperature change, as water is very good at maintaining a constant temperature. If we were not made of 60% water, going outside on a sub-freezing day could quickly result in our frozen demise.

Electrolytes also maintain blood volume. When we lose blood volume due to sweating, heart rate must increase to continue delivering oxygen to working muscles.

However, increased heart rate means that the heart is working harder, which will decrease our performance.

Fuel Elite has you covered in the electrolyte department with a full and efficacious profile of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride.

Last but not least, Fuel Elite was formulated to be used for all durations/intensities of endurance exercise. In fact you could skip the gels and chews and use Fuel Elite as your only source of fuel and hydration for training and racing for events lasting up to 24 hours. How’s that you say? Generally speaking:

  1. For exercise lasting 1-2 hours you should shoot for 25 - 30 grams of carbs per hour to keep blood glucose elevated and spare muscle glycogen.
  2. For exercise lasting 2 - 3 hours go for 45 - 60 grams of carbs per hour.
  3. For exercise lasting more than 3 hours up to 90+ grams of carbs per hour can be consumed.

With Fuel Elite you have the ability to use 1 - 4 scoops (25 - 100 grams of carbohydrates) in 20 ounces of water for all fuel and hydration needs.

Fuel Elite- Maintain Blood volume, reduce risk of an upset stomach, keeps you fueled for longer, supports hydration needs, prevents muscle breakdown

The End-All, Be-All

Fuel Elite is the gold standard of sports drinks for endurance athletes. The first and the last of its kind. There are no improvements to be made. It has the best sources of carbohydrate presently available, in the right amounts, and in the right ratios. It has the 5 major electrolytes without guessing at what you, a unique sweater, requires. Fuel Elite has amino acids critical to muscle health and maintenance. Try it for yourself and see. Fuel Elite is the best sports drink for endurance athletes!



  1. Jeukendrup, A. E. (2011). Nutrition for endurance sports: marathon, triathlon, and road cycling. Journal of sports sciences, 29(sup1), S91-S99.
  2. Jeukendrup, A. E. (2008). Carbohydrate feeding during exercise. European Journal of Sport Science, 8(2), 77-86.
  3. Takii, H., Ishihara, K., Kometani, T., Okada, S., & FUSHiKi, T. (1999). Enhancement of swimming endurance in mice by highly branched cyclic dextrin. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry, 63(12), 2045-2052.
  4. Furuyashiki, T., Tanimoto, H., Yokoyama, Y., Kitaura, Y., Kuriki, T., & Shimomura, Y. (2014). Effects of ingesting highly branched cyclic dextrin during endurance exercise on rating of perceived exertion and blood components associated with energy metabolism. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry, 78(12), 2117-2119.
  5. Nickerson, K. P., Chanin, R., & McDonald, C. (2015). Deregulation of intestinal anti-microbial defense by the dietary additive, maltodextrin. Gut microbes, 6(1), 78-83.
  6. Nickerson, K. P., Homer, C. R., Kessler, S. P., Dixon, L. J., Kabi, A., Gordon, I. O., ... & McDonald, C. (2014). The dietary polysaccharide maltodextrin promotes Salmonella survival and mucosal colonization in mice. PloS one, 9(7), e101789.
  7. Nickerson, K. P., & McDonald, C. (2012). Crohn's disease-associated adherent-invasive Escherichia coli adhesion is enhanced by exposure to the ubiquitous dietary polysaccharide maltodextrin. PLoS One, 7(12), e52132.
  8. Kephart, W. C., Wachs, T. D., Mac Thompson, R., Mobley, C. B., Fox, C. D., McDonald, J. R., ... & Pascoe, D. D. (2016). Ten weeks of branched-chain amino acid supplementation improves select performance and immunological variables in trained cyclists. Amino acids, 48(3), 779-789.
  9. Woolf, K., & Manore, M. M. (2006). B-vitamins and exercise: does exercise alter requirements?. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 16(5), 453-484.