Updated for 2024


Liquid Shot originally launched in 2008. It was updated in 2021 to incorporate new research and technology. Since then, the horizons of the ever-evolving world of endurance fueling have expanded yet further. With an updated formula, Liquid Shot has evolved accordingly.

We’ve been following new fueling advances in the lab, by navigating the deluge of clinical research on the topic, and at the start line, by listening to the athletes who fuel with the First Endurance system. In this blog post, we explain how the new Liquid Shot aligns with the latest scientific insights and athlete expectations for carbs, GI tolerability, and flavor.


Flavor systems, fueling technology, new research on cramping and electrolytes – there wasn’t a single aspect of endurance fueling that we left unexamined. The most important change is to performance, of course, and today’s Liquid Shot uses the latest research and know-how available to give you gut-friendly energy, faster, when you’re bonking, ramping up, or otherwise don’t have time to waste.

Liquid Shot delivers an immediately usable amount of fast-acting carbs and an optimal electrolyte dose in a convenient package that’s easy to ingest (tastes great, less filling!). It empties from the stomach fast, gets absorbed into the bloodstream almost instantaneously, and delivers more energy-producing glucose molecules to working muscles. Every ingredient was chosen to meet this end, so it gives athletes the quick energy they need when they need it most.

With new fueling tech, there’s no reason you should have to wait 5-10 minutes for something to kick in. With Liquid Shot, you don’t have to. 


One immediate difference you’ll notice with Liquid Shot compared to traditional gels is that it’s not a thick, viscous sludge. In fact, it’s not really a “gel” at all – it’s a ready-to-drink shot of liquid fuel – hence the name, which hints at our design intentions.

Traditional gels are thick and viscous because they contain thickening agents. True to their nature, those thickeners can gum-up the digestion and stomach-emptying processes.

In contrast, Liquid Shot is isotonic, meaning it has a similar concentration of solutes as the body for fast digestion and absorption. It’s pre-engineered for balance with your body, which is a key reason it starts working almost immediately so you can maintain an uninterrupted high level of intensity – or save yourself from an imminent bonk! That isotonic-tuned quick absorption means it also limits GI distress, even when you’re at or above threshold, and the light consistency is easy to consume while breathing hard without having to choke it down with a bottle of water.


More of those advances: Research clearly shows all five electrolytes more effectively prevent cramping and dehydration than sodium or sodium/potassium combos. For example, the latest research even shows magnesium’s cramp prevention is just as, if not more, important than sodium.

Similar to the prior version, the new Liquid Shot formula contains clinically effective doses of all five electrolytes in the levels that endurance athletes require to help prevent cramping. There’s no need to carry extra electrolyte tablets in your pocket, which can be a nightmare to dig out and take during a race.


Ultimately, this is what Liquid Shot is for: fast energy that helps you endure when others are falling apart.

Exercise and endurance-related studies have been growing in number for years. That’s given us a lot of resources for understanding how to improve glucose delivery, digestion, and cellular uptake during exercise. It has also shown us that certain common ingredients and inveterate formula designs are actually impediments to net energy production. Unlike most of the endurance industry, we didn’t settle on a formula based on decades-old research.

The collected insights of the latest research led us to a mix of maltodextrin and glucose to maximize fast fuel delivery. Tweaking the proportions allows for fast stomach emptying for a quick boost of fuel energy, with a sustain for 15-30 minutes (depending on your intensity and remaining muscle glycogen). It lets us bypass the limit on absorbing pure glucose, pushing fuel levels beyond where they’d be with glucose alone.

We intentionally left out fructose and sucrose for two very good reasons. Based on real-life field testing, sucrose and fructose versions became sickly sweet and were not preferred. Fructose was also associated with GI distress not seen with the maltodextrin-glucose LS – that’s the last thing you need when you need more fuel fast.


It’s impossible to overstate how important flavor can be for endurance fueling.  We're including it as the last consideration in this designer’s blog on LS, but it was anything but an afterthought.

Something that tastes good in the lab can be horrible when you’re three hours into a race in extreme heat. There are a lot of different variables at play. You’re probably at least partly dehydrated, you’re at or above your anaerobic threshold, you might not have anything left in your bottles, you might be ready to pop – you get the picture.

The most extreme circumstances are when Liquid Shot is most effective, so the taste can’t be overpowering, but it has to be pleasant enough to encourage use, especially when you’re at your most miserable – after all, fuel does no good if it’s sitting unused in the packet.

We spent over a year testing prototypes with some of the top athletes in the sport to dial in the flavor. We tested and retested them in all kinds of racing and training situations and conditions (hot, cold, humid, wet, arid, etc.) to make sure we had something that checked all the boxes.


Liquid Shot is formulated to be used in situations where you need additional carbs, calories and electrolytes quickly – right before a race, at intervals during a race or hard training, when you’re starting to fall apart, just before a final sprint or critical effort, etc. That means it’s also designed to be used as a supplement to our EFS and EFS-PRO hydration mixes, which should be your primary fuel and hydration during exercise. 

In the past, you had to mix and match your endurance nutrition. You’d get gels from one company, hydration mix from another, and your recovery mix from yet another. That created all kinds of problems. The combined levels of ingredients could be too high (which can cause havoc on your GI system and take you out of a race), and there are risks of significant nutrition gaps (not enough carbs and electrolytes, which causes bonking, cramping, and other issues). As a result, there was a significant amount of confusion and guesswork surrounding endurance nutrition.

We recognized this problem and engineered the First Endurance line to work together, as a comprehensive system. Each product has a specific purpose, complements and works with the others to give you everything you need to be your best. No overlap, no unnecessary issues, and no confusion.

June 13, 2024 — First Endurance


Luke said:

George – thanks for the questions! Since you race in Myrtle Beach I assume you train in a hot humid climate normally. For a 5k run, a serving of EFS 30 minutes before the race should suffice – also helps to eat a high-carb diet a couple of days previous to race day. Keep hydrated during the run. Keeping a Liquid Shot handy during a 5k is a good idea if the event is hot and you expect to sweat a lot – if you feel your efforts are decreasing near the end before the sprint to finish, then a Liquid Shot will bring a fast boost of energy, and it has electrolytes too.
For half-marathons, Liquid Shot would be helpful in the last half depending on how you feel. While maintaining use of EFS as directed, Liquid Shots can be used in the latter half as needed if you need more of a boost, especially just before the final sprint.
Liquid Shots are easy to transport and stay stable if not damaged. In general, keeping a few Liquid Shots with you during an away from home event is always a good backup plan in case something is forgotten or missing or lost – always have a backup!

George said:

I'm 65 and have been running 5k distances for almost 25 years. I have been using EFS for most of those years, liquid shots for some training and during 4 Myrtle Beach half marathons. I train year round, roughly every other day. Are liquid shots needed for 5k distances? How long before a run should I drink EFS? Currently take EFS 30 minutes before I run. A good run for me is 8:40 minute miles.

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