Food Review: Muir Energy Gel

I recently had the opportunity to try out a relatively new gel made from a San Diego based company called Muir Energy. Energy gels aren't typically a part of my backpacker diet because, in the past, I've never been able to find one that I truly enjoyed. A lot of the brands I tested were chalked full of odd ingredients I couldn't even pronounce, way too sweet, and often left me with a stomach ache. When we began planning for the PCT, I briefly debated trying some energy gels again only to abandon the idea quickly once remembering how little I enjoyed them in the past.

Had I known about Muir Energy before the trail, they would have been a regular part of my diet starting day one. What immediately drew me to the product was how simple it is. Each flavor is made in small batches in a kitchen in La Jolla, CA (shoutout to my home turf!) with only a handful of organic, natural ingredients. Each packet lists on the front how many ingredients are in it, and you would be hard pressed to find anything listed that you don't recognize. As backpackers, we're constantly stuffing ourselves full of processed foods to maintain the caloric intake necessary to sustain energy throughout the day. When it comes to Muir Energy, their gels have 115-150 calories per 30g servings, which is more than your typical energy gel. On their website, they state that each gel has a comparable amount of potassium to that of a small banana, approximately 290-350mg. They have enough to help satisfy the hiker's need for calories and nutrition without overloading your body with a bunch of unnecessary and processed junk. It's so hard to have regular access to fresh and natural foods while on trail, which made Muir Energy an even more enticing option.

Muir Energy gels are incredibly flavorful and versatile, with the option to use them traditionally or as a spread. With 12 flavors ranging from Cashew Lemon Mate to Red Raspberry, and Cashew Vanilla to Hazelnut Banana, Muir Energy has the perfect flavor combinations to break up the monotony of consuming the same granola bar and trail mix combination day in and day out. Personally, I've found nothing keeps me fueled better before a big climb or long afternoon of hiking than a Cacao Almond Mate energy gel. Each packet is labeled specifically as "fast burning" or "slow burning", helping athletes find the right gel for that moment on trail when you need a quick burst of energy or a more consistent, sustained fuel source.

Muir Energy was born, in part, on the Pacific Crest Trail as the company's founder, Ian Muir McNally, was backpacking the John Muir Trail. His commitment to the backpacking community is evident through their interest in supporting PCTers. They offer PCT hikers a discount of 20% if you message them via instagram, according to one post. Their packaging is also incredibly lightweight, making it a fantastic ultralight snack option for being on the go.

If you're interested in trying Muir Energy, I highly recommend checking out their website. They're a fantastic company that's very rooted in the backpacking and outdoor community, and committed to providing each of us with a nutritional, simple, yet powerful product to keep us fueled through all of our athletic pursuits.

Disclosure: I did receive samples of Muir Energy for free, however this in no way influenced my decision to blog about the company or the contents of this post. Muir Energy gels are just a great product that I believe more backpackers should know about.

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