The first energy gel with reusable packaging

The first energy gel with reusable packaging

The end of single use plastic at running events. Every long distance runner is familiar with it: taking out the energy gel, tearing up the plastic pouch with your teeth, spitting the plastic snippet on the ground, drinking the gel, and in the worst case throwing the empty sachet on the ground. Not good. A few guys from Hamburg came up with a cool alternative.

The Story of the Tide Runners

The Tide Runners were founded in Hamburg in 2014 and quickly became the largest independent urban running crew.

Every Wednesday at 9 p.m., over 100 runners ran together through Hamburg's night.

The track of around 15 kilometers changed every week and there was always the option to drop out early and only run seven kilometers.

The large group runs at a pace of around 6.

Another crew called "slow and sexy" developed later, starting together, but not running with the main group, where injured runners and newcomers found their place in order to work their way back to the main group at a slower pace.

In addition to the social running, the social thought is also very important. There have already been various charity campaigns for homeless facilities and refugees, large clothing donations have been organized and people are constantly being helped and supported within the group.

Next to the sport, laughter and partying must of course never be neglected. The first beer was brewed: with 60 liters still manageable, it was already 2000 liters in the second round. The Tide Runners developed the reputation of party animals right from the start and today, they are known beyond the borders of Hamburg not only for their running qualities. Solid ties to running groups in Belgrade, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, New York and contacts to almost every place in the world have also developed.

From the loose group of runners in Hamburg, a strong core, friendships and ideas developed.

The real innovative spirit was awakened in one of the heads of the TRs, though, when it came to developing a platinum-based endurance gel, which can be mixed by runners themselves. 

From the first steps to the game changer

Some well-known gels on the market are based on glucose or maltodextrin. These cause the blood sugar level to spike and drop just as quickly - unfavorable for long runs or bike rides.

After working intensively with sugars and how they are processed in the body, the Tide Runners developed a gel made from isomaltulose, which is sold under the brand name Palatinose.

Before that, however, a lot of research was necessary, for example testing almost every endurance gel available on the market and the writing of a list of the effects of different types of sugar. Marc - the real head behind the gel - even implanted a Dexcom sensor (a thin, flexible platinum thread) in his skin, which measured the glucose concentration in the tissue fluid after consuming the various gels. The measured data was automatically sent to the associated app on Marc's smartphone via Bluetooth.

Crazy ideas require crazy actions and Marc is definitely a little crazy.

After the first positive results with the palatine powder were achieved, the Tide Runners organized a first 20 kilo sack in order to put it to the acid test in their own crew.

Palatinose is naturally found in very low concentrations only in honey and some plant species. It is thus artificially produced by a company.

The idea was to completely do without preservatives in the gel and to use vegan gelling agents.

Palatinose has only been approved as a food since 2007, which is why no manufacturer has yet relied on this type of sugar. In addition, Palatinose cannot be kept in its gel-like consistency for long, as it thickens (especially at low temperatures). From these supposed disadvantages, however, an absolute advantage suddenly developed: The gel should be easy to mix by the runners themselves.

Pure isomaltulose is mixed with a plant-based gelling agent and natural flavors in powder form, and the runners mix the product with water to get their desired consistency. Shake it – ready to drink. 

How exactly does it work?

So far, the unique gel has been available to self-mix in small disposable bags. These gel sachets are known to every endurance athlete, who regularly takes part in competitions as an absolute horror.

Practical as they are, disposable endurance gels are also an incredible environmental sin. In most cases, the entire marathon track is paved with waste. The cleaning truck is often not able to collect everything and therefore, you can find garbage in the bushes adjacent to the competition track months later. Pollution from disposable products is probably the biggest hurdle that endurance sports competitions have yet to overcome.

The Tide Runners were looking for a solution here, too, and are now offering their gels in two different mixtures as refill packs:

A packaging was developed and printed from BPA-free, recycled plastic in order to finally put an end to the horror of single-use and disposable products.

The starter set includes the 250 ml Tide Runners Edition Flask, the 10-portion refill pack and the branded Tide Runners measuring spoon, made of stainless steel.

  

Ingredients: isomaltulose (Palatinose™), gelling agent (locust bean gum, gellan), natural flavor

Average nutritional values 100g | 28g: calorific value: 1615kJ (380kcal) | 452kJ (106kcal); Fat: 0g | 0g; of which saturated fatty acids: 0g | 0g; Carbohydrates: 95g | 27g; of which sugar: 95g | 27g; Protein: 0g | 0g; Salt: 0g | 0g.

 

Tide Runners Crew Gel runamics package crop