ProView – Gnarly Nutrition Fuel2O

Bonking sucks. And let’s be honest here, we’ve all done it. The careful balance of nutrition and hydration while exercising isn’t a new topic, it’s actually really, really old, but the products aimed at addressing this seesaw continue to evolve into ever increasingly niche pockets of the market. And so based on your needs, there’s likely a solution for you. The question is; which solution is the right one for your particular needs?

Gnarly Nutrition Fuel2O

Product Name: Gnarly Nutrition Fuel2O

Product Description: Gnarly Nutrition’s Fuel2O is the all-in-one, vegan-friendly solution for long days on the trails, in the mountains, at the gym or the crag. Fuel2O was created with fueling, replenishment and recovery in mind. Calories come from the easy-to-digest carbohydrates sucrose and dextrose, providing quick energy without causing an upset stomach.

Offer price: MSRP: $28.95 - $34.95

  • Overall Quality
  • Taste
  • Perceived athletic benefit
  • Ease of Use
  • Eco-Friendly


Gnarly nutrition’s Fuel 2-0 is a heavy hitter in terms of its nutrient delivery and calorie count and for those minimalists that would prefer to get their hydration and nutrition from a single source, it may just be the athletic beverage unicorn they’ve been looking for. 



  • Hefty nutrient load packs a punch
  • Easily metabolized and easy on the belly
  • Great ingredient list


  • Very intense flavor when diluted as directed
  • Not the easiest packaging to open on the go

I mention these specifics because Gnarly Nutrition Fuel2O is a pretty specific product aimed at addressing hydration and nutrition in a fairly unique way which also happens to coincide with those needs that ultra and endurance athletes face as they find themselves deep within the pain cave, hours into a workout or race.

More than your average electrolyte drink

Gnarly Nutrition’s Fuel 2-O can’t simply be called an electrolyte drink. It’s not. It’s way more. This was one of the more intriguing aspects of this product and one that will prove to be a serious selling point to its target audience.

While most other sports drinks offer the standard spread of electrolytes and sodium to replenish your body’s hydration needs, they often do so with a caloric intake of 10-30 calories which leaves the door open for additional calories, presumably in the form of snacks and such.  Gnarly’s Fuel2O goes another direction there, packing a whopping 100 calories in each 12-ounce serving.  I’ll add that Gnarly indicates a single serving as 12 ounces, but the provided pouches made 24 ounces, so a double serving.  And from this tester’s perspective, those calories are most certainly present and effective.  Simply put, this hydration mix filled me up and I felt less compelled to eat additional snacks along the way.  

I must admit, this took some getting used to.  But, I instantly thought of the ultra and endurance crowd, for whom this product is intended, and quickly realized its merits and benefits.  I was provided with three flavors.  Limeade, Tropical, and Cherry Cola.  I preferred the Limeade, but that’s most definitely a personal choice.  Also, for those in search of a caffeine boost, the Cherry Cola blend includes 30mg per serving.  

Because of its heavy caloric load when mixed as directed (1 pouch to 24 ounces of water) I did find its flavor and drinkability to be intense.  I often reached for a bottle of water to wash it down with.  Thus, I resorted to a 50% diluted blend which was far more palatable, but in terms of the intent of the product, certainly less effective.  

The nitty gritty details 

When mixed as directed, each pouch offers 100 calories of carbs derived from sucrose and dextrose, both easily digested during endurance activities.  These ingredients aren’t uncommon in athletic drink mixes and are certainly a standard to be expected, though the quantity of each is higher in this product.  You’re also getting 250 mg of sodium per serving which is on par with industry standards.  

Where Fuel 2-O departs from the commonalities is their inclusion of 280 mg of HMB.  What’s HMB?  Gnarly claims, “HMB is a metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine, which helps to minimize muscle protein breakdown, resulting in a faster turnaround between hard training sessions and races.”  Does it work?  From my personal experience, I can’t say that I felt a significant recovery effect, but the very inclusion of it in their product indicates a commitment by Gnarly towards a very clearly stated goal and for those that this mix is intended for, it’s probably going to be a selling point.

Room for Improvement

The packaging isn’t the easiest to open, especially with an elevated heart rate and with the added pressure of a ticking race clock.  So, plan ahead and pre-mix your Fuel 2-O.  This is a minor detail I realize, but other companies have come up with some very clever packing techniques so it’s worth mentioning.  

I’d prefer to have sleeves measured for the intended single-serving mixing.  As it is, each pouch produces 24 ounces and in the absence of a 24-ounce bottle, athletes are left guessing as they try to split the contents of a pouch between two 12 ounce bottles.  The bulk supply can with a scoop certainly does away with this issue.  

Eco-friendly facts

Gnarly gets high praise in this department across their entire product line.  Many of their products are vegan.  All of their products are non-gmo, rbst-free and use only natural sweeteners.  They say “no fake stuff” and they mean it.

The Final Word

This isn’t your average athletic drink mix.  In fact, it’s a powerhouse of a drink blend that packs a serious punch.  The minimalist endurance racer will appreciate the elevated caloric intake and the added benefits of Gnarly’s HMB blend during and after long workouts.  I probably wouldn’t reach for it for an after-work ride with friends, but for high-intensity activities lasting longer than two hours, it’s going to be high on my list going forward. 

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Quinn Keating
Quinn Keating
Ski Patrol Director

Quinn Keating calls the Green Mountains of Northern Vermont home and spends over 250 days a year on his skis and mountain bike.  Having worked various jobs in the ski industry starting back in 2001 doing everything from selling bagels at the base of the tram in Jackson to directing the ski patrol at his local hill in Vermont, he’s seen his share of trends come and go.  He now balances his outdoor pursuits with a career as a middle school teacher, father, and husband and is stoked to be sharing his passions with his daughter and students.  Like any self-respecting Vermonter, he likes maple syrup and IPA’s.

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