What do Daybreak Racing, Aravaipa Running, NW Trail Runs, Vacation Races, and other trail racing companies have in common?  They all use Gnarly Nutrition as the electrolyte drink at their aid stations.  Gnarly athlete Mike McKnight used its products on his Colorado Trail FKT.

Gnarly Nutrition is a Utah-based company that caters to outdoor and gym athletes.  I scheduled a Zoom call with Shannon O’Conner, COO and Head of Product for Gnarly Nutrition to learn more about Gnarly’s focus on trail running.  Gnarly has always been used for trail running, but prefers organic growth and is now getting further into the trail running space. See the video to watch the full interview.


Gnarly Athlete Trevor Fuchs using Gnarly Hydrate on a run


Gnarly has a full range of products separated into four categories: Pre-Training Workout, During Workout, Post-Training Workout, and Daily Nutrition.  The products are free from artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.  They are also free of GMOs, soy, gluten, and proprietary blends.  All products are NSF certified for contaminates and a selection of products are NSF certified free of over 300 anti-doping products on the banned substance list.  All products are designed to taste great and prevent gut distress.

Here are the products Shannon recommended for trail running:

Gnarly Hydrate

This light and easy-to-drink electrolyte mix for use during races.  It has all the important electrolytes like sodium (250mg/serving), magnesium, chloride, potassium, and calcium.  It has only 30 calories per serving and low sugar content that’s just enough to help push water through the system.  The B vitamins help with energy metabolism.  Hydrate is meant to purely replace fluids and electrolytes, so an alternative source for calories is recommended.

Gnarly Fuel2O

The Fuel20 is what is used at aid stations for the Gnarly-sponsored races. It’s an all-in-one fueling, replenishment, and recovery product. It has all of the electrolytes of the Hydrate with blockchain amino acids and 100 calories of easy-to-digest carbohydrates.  HMB, a metabolite of the BCAAs, allows for faster recovery after the race. Shannon recommends two servings per hour during racing.  This will be available in late May 2021 to the public as Gnarly is awaiting approval for sports certification from the NSF.


Gnarly Branched Chain Amino Acids

BCAAs turn on muscle protein synthesis helps with both muscle building and muscle recovery.  Highly recommended for aging athletes to help with muscle loss.


Gnarly Pre Workout

Kick-in-the-butt nutrition before a race or intense workout.  Preworkout has BCAAs and also beta alanine, citrulline malate, and caffeine. Beta Alanine acts as an intermuscular buffer to reduce the burning sensation caused by acid buildup from a high anaerobic workout. Citrulline Malate is a vasodilator to increase blood flow.  180 mg of caffeine is about 2 cups worth of coffee.  There is also a small amount of ginseng to help push athletes out the door.  There is also a caffeine-free version.

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