Trail Sisters Half Marathon & 10k

September 14th • Buena Vista, CO

Nutrition Round Up – Fuel to Keep you Cruising

Gina has always been stubborn and bold, so when it came to advocating for women’s rights and equality in the outdoors, she was bound to make changes. As the founder of Trail Sisters, Gina’s goal is to grow participation and opportunity in women’s trail running. Gina is also Mayor Pro Tem for the town of Buena Vista, Colorado, an active member and former Training Director of Chaffee County Search & Rescue, and Race Director for the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile, Marathon, and Trail Sisters Half Marathon.

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Many attribute time on feet to being the most important part of training, but I’d argue that correct nutrition is just as important. For instance, your body could be as finely tuned as a Ferrari, a Lambo, or a Shelby GT500, but if there’s no gas in the tank, that beautiful machine will just sit idle in a parking lot.

Now that you understand the importance of nutrition, it’s time to figure out what products or concoctions work best for you.  First, you need to figure out what works with you tummy, and then what works at mile 10 as well as mile 30. Don’t be surprised that what works at the start, isn’t working by the end (although of some it does).

Don’t get discouraged if you’re not nailing fueling the first time around. Perfecting nutrition is a process, so take your time and try lots of different fuels. Everyone is different, so don’t think because your trail sister swears by eating slices of pizza, that pizza is going to have the same positive effect on you (although it could!).

In an effort to aid your search in finding the right fuel for your V8 engine, we reached out to various nutrition brands with a few questions to help you navigate what works best with your tummy and provides results.

*Note* We categorized brands via Liquids, Solids, and Gels, but most of these brands have products in each category (visit their websites for more info).


Skratch Labs | Nuun | Tailwind Nutrition | Hammer NutritionClif Bar | Honey Stinger

Gu Energy | Muir Energy | Trail Butter | Spring Energy

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What is unique about Skratch Lab Products?

We exist to help others become better. Dr. Allen was tired of sports nutrition products making athletes sick so he decided to start making sports drinks and food from scratch. We use real science & our own experiences with food and activity to help people be better. We believe in clean, quality ingredients. We also believe that food is crucial physically and emotionally. For example, even something like sharing a meal can make all the difference for a person, there is more on those philosophies in our cookbooks. We also have a killer guarantee, if our product does not help you be better we will replace it with another Skratch product or refund you your money- no matter where you bought it.

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

We have some great bars we launched this past year. They have a great balance and amazing flavor. Loving the savory-sweet miso ginger and the chocolate cherry almond but I am sure next week I’ll be on a cherry pistachio kick. We also rolled out some new anytime and sports hydration mix flavors. The matcha green tea and lemon is great- I really love that I can have it hot or cold (Ski touring!!) and for a sweet-tropical taste the passion fruit is a new, fun, different flavor. Also a HUGE fan of the matcha lemon chews. The matcha products are great because they have a subtle, calm caffeine energy.

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What is one creative concoction that you make using Skratch Lab products as an ingredient?

We have so many fun ways to experiment! Here are a variety of ways:

Cookie bars are fun to experiment with. We made a batch of cinnamon snickerdoodles with apples, and also party cookies

We have a birthday cake and fudge pop recipe using our recovery mix.

And finally, a smoothie with our hydration mixes. 

Mix the recovery mix into a smoothie or get jazzy and make a chocolate coffee smoothie. Banana (or avocado for lower sugar depending on time of consumption/activity), scoop of mix, milk of choice, cinnamon, coffee (if you make too much one morning- freeze in an ice cube tray and throw the frozen coffee cubes into a smoothie with our recovery mix!) maybe toss in some coconut oil or another flavoring or supplement you like.

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What is unique about Nuun Hydration Products?

Nuun’s flagship hydration product, Electrolytes, is meant to hydrate and replenish for when you work up a sweat. It is packed full of 4 key electrolytes meant to dial in on optimal hydration. When your body needs it the most, Nuun Electrolytes is the best way to re-hydrate or pre-hydrate

Vitamins is a fantastic complimentary product to electrolytes. Vitamins works to provide your body with the minerals it needs for healthy functionality on days when you break less of a sweat.

Immunity helps to support overall immune health whether you’re sick, on-the-go, or stressing your body through high intensity workouts. Nuun immunity’s proprietary blend of anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and electrolytes packs a triple punch to fight back against common cold and flu symptoms.

Performance is hydration for endurance-f or long workouts of 90 minutes or more, or super hard shorter workouts. This product has electrolytes + the carbs your body needs for extended or intense effort.

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

Nuun Immunity is the latest innovation from Nuun.  Whether you’re sick, on-the-go, or stressing your body through high intensity workouts, Nuun Immunity’s proprietary mix of botanicals and electrolytes aids in the protection of your immune system. With a balance of anti-inflammatories (including turmeric & ginger), free-radical fighting antioxidants (such as elderberry & echinacea), and our hydration-optimized blend of electrolytes, Nuun Immunity packs a triple punch in supporting immune health and protecting against common cold and flu symptoms.

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What is one creative concoction that you make with Nuun as an ingredient?

One of the Nuuntini favorites  the Mint “Nuunjito”

For more Nuuntini recipes, food recipes and Nuun knowledge be sure to check out Nuun’s blog.

The fresh lime “Nuunjito” is an electrolyte-charged version of the classic mojito. Nuun has amped up the citrus kick in this cocktail with a full tablet of fresh lime + energy. The chopped and muddled mint leaves drive home familiar mojito flavors while the Nuun Electrolytes Energy tab adds a unique caffeine boost to the classic cocktail.


Muddle the mint leaves with a mortal + pestle (a wooden spoon also works!)

Then mix all ingredients together in a glass. Garnish with fresh lime and any added fruit of your choice for your own personal twist on the Nuunjito.

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What is unique about Tailwind Nutrition?

Tailwind products are designed to be “simple and complete.” Our Tailwind Endurance drink combines [calories + electrolytes + hydration], addressing the three different aspects of fueling your adventure. Our Tailwind Rebuild recovery drink combines [complete protein + carbohydrates + electrolytes] for a full recovery. Drink a bottle an hour of our endurance fuel during your activity, and a bottle of Rebuild immediately afterwards, and you will feel energized during your run, and feel better faster for the next time you go out.

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

We are most excited about our newly released Tailwind Rebuild recovery drink, available in both vanilla and chocolate. It is vegan and tastes absolutely delicious – rich, smooth, and creamy. It is based on a patent-pending mathematical model that results in a highly efficient protein where most of the protein in Rebuild goes straight to recovery – nearly 2x as much as chocolate milk and 3x as much as other recovery drinks on the market.

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What is one creative concoction that you make using a Tailwind as an ingredient?

Oh boy, we just created a White Russian with Tailwind Rebuild which is to die for. You mix Kahlua, vodka, and Rebuild (chocolate is our favorite), and the end result is amazing. Likewise, mixing Bailey’s Irish Cream with the vanilla Rebuild is pretty amazing too! We are experimenting with Chocolate Rebuild ice-cream so stay tuned on that one!

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What is unique about Hammer Nutrition?

In terms of endurance fuels, Hammer stands completely apart from the others. All of our products are built around supporting optimal health and an understanding that exercise and performance always stem from wellness. Nothing we make sacrifices health for performance or taxes the body-system for the sake of a quick boost, candy-like flavor, or anything else. Everything we make is healthy, safe, and completely natural—period.

In terms of fuels specifically, Hammer is unique in that we do not use simple sugars as carbohydrate sources. While nearly every other competitor’s products are comprised at least in part of simple sugar, all of our fuels are built around complex carbohydrates. Thus, they offer more stable energy and correspondingly stable blood sugar levels (our products are even safe for diabetics), are much easier to digest, and are supportive of general health.

Our use of electrolytes is also unique and exceptional. While many products market “electrolytes,” but actually just sell salt, all of our electrolyte products are full-spectrum mineral blends balancing sodium chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. This is why they work so well, are so quickly absorbed, and are the best-selling electrolytes out there.

Lastly, our sports drinks and gels do not contain citric acid, as do most others. They do not contribute to net body-acidity (which is increased by exercise anyway), do not burn your throat or stomach, and are far easier to digest.

In conjunction, these features explain why we have so many die-hard Hammer fans. Way too many athletes struggle with digestive issues, muscle cramps, and uneven energy levels due to inferior fuels and poor application. Sadly, many accept these conditions as the price they pay for enjoying their sport—but it doesn’t have to be this way! When folks find Hammer, they realize there is another way to fuel, and a whole new universe of performance, energy, and health opens up to them.

In order to facilitate this process, we offer free educational resources including two print-source books, a bimonthly magazine, and countless online web resources. These are designed to help people dial in their fueling plans, maximize their performance, and be their best versions of themselves. Beyond that, we have a full staff of client advisers in-house taking calls, answering questions, and helping people of all activity levels and walks of life demystify the whole process. We encourage anyone with questions to give us a call at 800.336.1977. A real person will answer the phone, eager to help. How’s that for unique?

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

We have an impressively wide range of exciting products hitting the market this year, so it’s really tough to pick just one or two. However, the two new additions to our electrolyte product line should be mentioned first.

First, we have a new flavor of Endurolytes Fizz, our effervescent electrolyte drink. This new Cola flavor is delicious, all natural (like everything we make), and offers balanced electrolytes (as described above) and 20 mg of green tea-derived caffeine for just a little energy boost. It’s equally well suited for consuming during exercise, a mid-afternoon pick-up, or (my personal favorite) a little insurance policy for driving home from the races or activities out of town. It makes sure you get home cramp-free, hydrated, and most importantly, awake (and thus alive)!

Customers get 13 tablets for about 2 dollars less than our primary competitor sells their product for, so Fizz pencils out on the financial side too.

We also introduced a new Endurolytes Extreme Powder. This is a very slightly flavored powder with wide application. First, it’s great to drink in water alone, as it dissolves fully, has mild flavor, and doesn’t leave residue or film behind in hydration packs—that’s a hugely unique feature. For hot days, you can also use it to supplement other fuels such as HEED or Perpetuem in order to increase the electrolyte profile as needed. That’s a great feature, especially for people who don’t like to take electrolyte capsules otherwise.

Next, our best-selling product—Recoverite—is coming out in a vegan option this summer. Recoverite is a 3:1 complex carb to whey protein isolate recovery drink fortified with amino acids and electrolytes. It works incredibly well and has the fanbase to prove it. Even though the whey component is extremely high quality and virtually lactose-free, we know that some folks need, or prefer, something not derived from animal products. So the Vegan version is for them. It’s just as delicious, and includes all the bells and whistles of the original, but made with pea protein instead. We anticipate a serious run on this product upon release!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we also have a number of supplements coming out this year. That includes our recently released and incredibly effective digestive enzyme supplement (EnduroZyme), a liver support product (LSA Caps), a heat tolerance product (Liquid Endurance), and another hugely important and universally applicable supplement that I’m not yet able to call by name—but keep your eyes open. It’s gonna be huge!

What is one creative concoction that you make using a Hammer product as an ingredient?

The sky’s the limit! Folks frequently mix Hammer Gel into standard items for sweetening or flavoring (without all the sugar)—such as stirring into oatmeal or cereal, using as a topping, etc.

Our awesome range of protein powders make amazing smoothies and can also be baked into breakfast items such as waffles or pancakes to add protein. Hammer Vegan is the best bet for the latter. My personal favorite smoothie is one made by our National Sales Manager, Bill Sirl. He combines peanut butter, bananas, Espresso Hammer Gel and Chocolate Hammer Whey with coconut milk for an incredible recovery smoothie. His vegan protein waffles are also super incredible!

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What is unique about CLIF BAR Products?

CLIF BAR is a great-tasting energy bar made with a nutritious blend of organic rolled oats and wholesome ingredients for sustained energy. With recipes crafted and inspired by athletes and foodies in the CLIF Kitchen, CLIF BAR provides athletes and adventures with sustained energy before, during or after activity. Convenient, nutritious, and delicious, CLIF BAR is important gear you need for before and during your adventures. CLIF BAR sources ingredients that are not genetically engineered, and CLIF BAR does not contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors. With 750 million pounds of organic ingredients – without synthetic fertilizers and highly toxic, persistent pesticides – used since 2002, Clif Bar & Company continues its journey to make good food in a better way.

 What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

CLIF Energy Granola: The first energy granola inspired by CLIF BARS, CLIF Energy Granola is crafted with wholesome and nutritious ingredients to help you start your adventurous day. It’s made with delicious organic oats, almonds, cashews, seeds and dried fruit; plus, it provides 8 grams of plant-based protein, 25-27g whole grains(depending on the flavor)‡, is certified organic and gluten free.

CLIF Fruit Smoothie Filled: CLIF Fruit Smoothie Filled Energy Bar is the first organic energy bar inspired by classic smoothie ingredients like fruit, nut butters and seeds. These bars are made from a blend of creamy cashew butter and the bright fruit flavors of organic fruit inside a CLIF BAR®.

CLIF Bar Sweet & Salty: Inspired by our very own Clif Bar chefs’ chocolate chip sea salt cookie recipe, these new bars combine sweet and salty flavors to not only create a craveable, dynamic flavor, but also help reduce palate fatigue. The new collection of CLIF Bars provide an elevated taste experience, with a dynamic combination of classic sweet flavors and salt-infused chips and chunks. The bars combine the same great nutritional profile our fans know and love, but with a hint of sea salt to enhance the sensory experience.

What is one creative concoction that you make using a CLIF BAR product as an ingredient?

Our new Energy Granola can be used in a variety of different ways! Toss it in milk, use it to top off Greek yogurt or an acai bowl, or just eat it alone as a snack!

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What is unique about Honey Stinger Products?

All of our products are honey-based, which is unique in the sports nutrition world. To have a product that not only tastes great but also contains ingredients that your body can recognize is key when you’re putting in the miles out on the trail.

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

I am most excited about our new Cracker N’ Nut Butter Snack Bars because who doesn’t like nut butter and chocolate with a bit of salty crunch? It is the perfect combination of salty and sweet and all ingredients are certified organic.

What is one creative concoction that you make using a Honey Stinger product as an ingredient?

Stinger Smores! It’s an easy swap. Upgrade graham crackers for your favorite Honey Stinger waffle. Start by warming the waffle and chocolate by the fire while roasting your marshmallow. When your marshmallow is done, the softened waffle and melted chocolate will be ready to combine for the perfect s’more.

Check out our recent blog post about the different types of Stinger Smores!

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What is unique about GU Energy Products?

We believe in giving athletes just the ingredients they need to perform their best in a form that’s both portable and gets to where it needs to go quickly. All of our energy products also deliver branched chain amino acids, which help prevent muscle damage, kickstart recovery, and keep you feeling fresher, longer.

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

French Toast! The taste is unbelievable, it was co-developed with local student-athletes, and it helps get more kids on bikes! We’re actually contributing 10% of all sales from this flavor to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) to help create and support mountain bike leagues for kids across the country… we like to say that he future looks brighter when there are more kids on bikes.

What is one creative concoction that you make using GU Energy as an ingredient?

I make my overnight oats with our Vanilla Recovery Drink Mix, which adds a protein punch and flavor. There’s no cooking required, and it works just as well in the backcountry as it does at home in the fridge overnight. I usually top mine with some combination of flax, chia, chopped nuts and fruit for an easy and nutritious meal.

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What is unique about Muir Energy Products?

Muir Energy is food, made exclusively with high quality, real food ingredients.   We make Muir Energy by hand.  All of our products are organic, vegan, paleo, gluten-free and non-GMO.  We use fewer ingredients (4-6 per flavor) and provide more nutrition than everyone else. Our flavors are refreshingly innovative and diverse (tart, sweet, savory).  Our products are versatile – consume them like an energy gel; spread them on toast; add them to oatmeal; cook with them, bake with them.  Endless possibilities!

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

Blackberry Thyme, Passionfruit Pineapple Banana and Sweet Potato Oregano.  We’ll be launching some new ones in the Fall – they’ll blow you away!

What is one creative concoction that you make using Muir Energy as an ingredient?

Goodness.  There are so many.  My wife and I use MUIR Blackberry Thyme with Brussels Sprouts;  we use MUIR Red Raspberry as a vinaigrette base and a glaze for vegan cheesecake.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with MUIR Blackberry Thyme

  • 1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 3/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • 5-8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1 tbsp Muir Energy Blackberry Thyme

Crush the garlic and chop the shallots into small pieces.  Cut the brussels sprouts in half, through the core.  

Preheat your oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper or oil a shallow baking dish.

Sautee the shallots and garlic in olive oil, adding the himalayan salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, red wine, and Muir Energy after a couple minutes on high heat.  After adding the Muir Energy, wine, and vinegar, turn the heat down to low and continue to stir until the Muir Energy is fully mixed with the vinegar, wine, and oil.  Add the brussels sprouts for a few minutes to coat them in the balsamic/wine/ME glaze.

Transfer the brussels sprouts mixture to the baking sheet or bowl.

Bake for ~20 minutes until the brussels sprouts are tender and caramelized.

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What is unique about Trail Butter Products?

A lot of the products out there are pretty artificial, with a bunch of processed maltodextrin for quick burning, high glycemic energy, which certainly has its place in the adventure kit. But what Trail Butter brings to the table is a simple, real-food alternative that is dense in calories without weighing down your pack and rich in protein and fats, burning nice and slow for that long adventure. 

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

We’re pretty excited to launch a single serve option in all of our flavors coming up in July or August 2018. The nearly 200 calorie serving in an ultra-portable 1.15oz gel-sized pouch, packs a punch while weighing very little. 

What is one creative concoction that you make using Trail Butter as an ingredient?

The concoction possibilities of Trail Butter are quite simply mind-boggling;)…slather it on a stroop waffle, squeeze it on top of your morning oats, stir it into your cookie dough, add it to smoothies, or like Trail Sister Krissy Moehl likes to do, pack Medjool dates with TB for a powerful quick/slow-burn combo. We like to think of it as a real-food calorie, protein, and fat boost to any number of home and trail treats.

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What is unique about Science in Sport Products?

At Science in Sport, we believe that the most sophisticated piece of sports equipment you’ll ever own is your body. We’re the unseen force behind personal bests, world records and Olympic medals. Our range of products is researched and developed by sports scientists and nutritionists in conjunction with world class athletes. This scientific research underpins everything we do. This means that everything we do, and every personal best you achieve with us is fueled by science.

Science in Sport tests products over and over again until they are right. We do this to ensure we provide you with the right range of product with the best possible ingredients for your needs – so that you can focus on performing to the best of your ability. Studies show that 1 in 10 sports nutrition products available in the market would get a professional athlete banned. Science in Sport have a world leading program to offer professional & amateur athletes a trusted range of products. All of Science in Sport’s products are Informed Sport Approved, ensuring athletes of the highest level of confidence in their sports supplement choice.

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

Science in Sport has a variety of nutrition products that are scientifically proven to improve performance. Here are a few of some of their renowned products for each need state:

Energy: Go Isotonic Energy Gel: Science in Sport’s Go Isotonic Energy Gel is the world’s first truly isotonic gel that provides a quicker supply of energy to the working muscles than a thicker, more concentrated gel. They have a clean, light taste designed to be absorbed without needing additional water. The isotonic formula also means that they are easy to digest and light on the stomach. Each gel contains 22g of carbohydrates with less than 1g of sugar. There are 6 different flavors to choose from in the US as well as caffeine and electrolyte options.

Hydration: Go Electrolyte: The Go Electrolyte powder by Science in Sport provides rapidly digestible carbohydrates with key electrolytes to provide energy and aid hydration in a workout session. This easily dissolving powder contains 36g of carbohydrates and is high in sodium in order to offset the negative effects of carbohydrate depletion and dehydration on your performance. Each of the three flavors, orange, lemon & lime, and raspberry, delivers energy and fluid fast to help improve performance, race times and delay the onset of fatigue.

Recovery: REGO Recovery Powder: REGO Rapid Recovery is a complete recovery product to be consumed immediately after exercise and is proven to improve recovery by 91% compared to water alone. This rapid replenishment of glycogen stores and the provision of soy protein helps rebuild muscle fibers and reduces muscle breakdown and soreness. When you consume REGO Rapid Recovery, you’re also getting 20g of protein, 22g of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of additional leucine. This product is vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, wheat-free, and nut-free.

What is one creative concoction that you make using Science in Sport as an ingredient?

During the hotter months of the year, stick a Cherry Go energy gel in the fridge 30 minutes before leaving for activity and you’ll have a taste similar to that of a Cherry Slurpee. And while the Strawberry and Chocolate REGO flavors on their own have a taste similar to that of Nesquik, you can mix either of those or the vanilla flavor into any smoothie for additional tastiness.

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What is unique about Spring Energy Products?

Spring is the first advanced sports nutrition product made with real food. Because of its design, it is more efficient in providing energy for endurance athletes without any GI problems.  We have created a whole line of nutrition products and a drink with various flavors and various nutrient content. Comparing to traditional energy gels, Spring is much less sweet and has a different texture. It provides a combination of complex, long and short chain, complex and simple carbs and fatty acids. This diversity in various sources of energy allows the body to better utilize it. Avoiding maltodextrin in our products almost completely eradicated GI problems. While designing Spring products, we have paid attention to physiology and how nutrients are absorbed and drew from it.

What new flavor or product are you most excited about?

We wanted to make a product that will be suitable for high intensity running for a long time. We asked Sage Canaday to work with us on a product that would meet his expectations during highly intense workouts and races.  We have been super excited about Canaberry. This product is very tasty, frequently compared by our customers to a a strawberry smoothy. On top of great flavor, it has a great nutritional value and texture. We are overwhelmed with the positive response from the running community.

What is one creative concoction that you make using Spring Energy as an ingredient?

Meredith Edwards uses Canaberry as a topping for her waffles and she also decided to make a Canaberry cobbler. Spring lovers say that there is no better everyday hydration than Electroride with sparkling water.

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About the Author

Gina has always been stubborn and bold, so when it came to advocating for women’s rights and equality in the outdoors, she was bound to make changes. As the founder of Trail Sisters, Gina’s goal is to grow participation and opportunity in women’s trail running. Gina is also Mayor Pro Tem for the town of Buena Vista, Colorado, an active member and former Training Director of Chaffee County Search & Rescue, and Race Director for the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile, Marathon, and Trail Sisters Half Marathon.

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