run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

S.P.U.N.K. Experimentation

Sports Performance Utility Nutrition Kick*

After experiencing some major mental lows during the Baton Rouge Marathon, I figure it is time to start trying to find a nutrition source that I can stomach during long races.

I've never taken a gel during a race or a training run and felt any discernible "boost" of energy. I know lots of people who SWEAR by them, but for me... it's always just been something that takes extra time and either upsets my stomach or makes me gag (or both!), which is why it has been easy to just completely stop using them. BUT, I do think mentally, I could use a charge of calories. So, that's why I'm trying to find something that I can get down easily during a race.

So, the criteria for me on gels is just a couple of things:
1. I can actually eat the thing without gagging.
2. It doesn't make me vomit and/or shit.
3. It's easy to carry. (Stupid ShotBlox).


So far, I've tried the following gels:

Cherry Lime Roctane Gu
This gel is advertised as an "Ultra Endurance" energy gel. What makes it ULTRA, you ask?
From Gu's website:
Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel contains more of the ingredients that matter during long or intense activity while still being based on the proven ratio of simple and complex carbohydrates found in GU Energy Gel.
  • 3 times more Branched Chain Amino Acids
  • 10 times more Histidine
  • 2-3 times more electrolytes
Ok, now if you're anything like me... you read that and you're like.. WTF? I still don't know what any of this means.
  • More key electrolytes - Sodium and potassium help to properly maintain hydration
  • More Branch Chain Amino Acids (Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine) - Shown to serve as a fuel source (when taken with carbohydrates), reduce muscle damage, enhance recovery and delay fatigue – all critical during intense or long efforts
  • More Histidine (Amino Acid) - Can promote muscle buffers to prevent accumulation of lactic acid in muscles during exercise
You lost me at Amino...

Amy's Scoring:
1. It was thick and the amount was fairly easy to get down. No gagging.
2. It did not make me barf or shit.
I tried the Cherry Lime Flavor. It was okay. 
Overall Grade: B

Hammer Gel

From their website:

The staples of any energy drink, bar, or gel are carbohydrates. In this regard, Hammer Gel stands alone in today's glutted market of energy products. A look at the ingredient list on the label will tell you why: we use long-chain complex carbohydrates for smooth, consistent energy release. There's only a trace of sugar, so Hammer Gel doesn't set off wild insulin spikes causing "sugar high" and "sugar crash." You won't find our products saturated with cheap, ineffective, commercial-grade sugars, which can ruin health and performance.

Hammer Gel is an easily digested, concentrated source of complex carbohydrates with four amino acids added to enhance performance and prolong energy levels during intense training and competition. Hammer Gel has a syrup-like consistency that mixes easily with water if so desired. You can drink it straight, dilute it, or use it to flavor other Hammer Nutrition fuels. Use it before, during, and after exercise.

Okay, so, now my mind is BLOWN. I can mix hammer gel with WATER???? WTF?? That changes everything! Now, I have to try that.


Amy's Scoring:
1. It doesn't make me gag. But it is thin and I find that there's a LOT of gel in the packet.
2. Stomach happy.

Apple Cinnamon flavor is my favorite. It doesn't taste chemically or overly sweet.

Overall Grade: B-

The killer for me is the volume of gel. But the taste keeps it in the mix.

Power Gel

So, their website is acting wonky, and it's not letting me cut and paste their blurb about why their product is the best on the market. But, basically, it looks like Power Gel's offer the most sodium of all gels. Honestly, that might be a big plus for me. (The white ring around the edges of my face after a run would agree).

Amy's Scoring:
1. Goopy and thin, but no gagging.
2. No stomach problems.

I actually really liked the flavor of the Strawberry Banana. But, it did have globs of something in there, which made me worry that maybe it was expired??? And then I was afraid I was going to die from eating expired gel. But, who knows... maybe it just has little "bursts" or something in the gel.
Overall Score: B.

Conclusion: I'm going to try the Hammer Gel in water thing, I guess. And maybe give the Power Gel another go?

What are your favorite gels?

*You win at life if you know where S.P.U.N.K. comes from. And I mean, what television show... not where it literally comes from, you Perv!
When your entire body begins to burn, when the challenge has taken you to the max, fuel up with PowerGel® Energy Gels. Each Gel is designed with 27-28 grams of PowerBar’s C2MAX dual source energy blend, which can help deliver 20 to 50 percent* more energy to your muscles. Not only that, PowerGel® Energy Gels have the most sodium** of any leading gel on the market.
So if you’re the type of athlete that continues to push yourself on to new heights and achievements each day, PowerGel® Energy Gels can help boost your performance.
[SOURCES]
**200mg sodium - compared to other leading gels that offer less than 75mg per pouch .
 ** - See more at: http://www.powerbar.com/Products/powergel-strawberry-banana#sthash.lasNo7qm.dpuf
When your entire body begins to burn, when the challenge has taken you to the max, fuel up with PowerGel® Energy Gels. Each Gel is designed with 27-28 grams of PowerBar’s C2MAX dual source energy blend, which can help deliver 20 to 50 percent* more energy to your muscles. Not only that, PowerGel® Energy Gels have the most sodium** of any leading gel on the market.
So if you’re the type of athlete that continues to push yourself on to new heights and achievements each day, PowerGel® Energy Gels can help boost your performance.
[SOURCES]
**200mg sodium - compared to other leading gels that offer less than 75mg per pouch .
 ** - See more at: http://www.powerbar.com/Products/powergel-strawberry-banana#sthash.lasNo7qm.dpuf
When your entire body begins to burn, when the challenge has taken you to the max, fuel up with PowerGel® Energy Gels. Each Gel is designed with 27-28 grams of PowerBar’s C2MAX dual source energy blend, which can help deliver 20 to 50 percent* more energy to your muscles. Not only that, PowerGel® Energy Gels have the most sodium** of any leading gel on the market.
So if you’re the type of athlete that continues to push yourself on to new heights and achievements each day, PowerGel® Energy Gels can help boost your performance.
[SOURCES]
**200mg sodium - compared to other leading gels that offer less than 75mg per pouch .
 ** - See more at: http://www.powerbar.com/Products/powergel-strawberry-banana#sthash.lasNo7qm.dpuf

3 comments:

Carina said...

Honey Stingers gels. My personal fave is Ginsting (which contains no gin), but I also like Acai Pomegranate.

As for Gu, I like some of the rocktane ones, but dear god, I love the salted caramel gu. It's seasonal, but you might be able to find it still. So good. Actually something I'd be happy to eat for dessert after dinner. I just bought all the local boxes I could find, so I expect to burn out on it by mid-summer.

Meredith said...

I use the strawberry banana power gel almost exclusively as I like the flavor and it's thin enough to eat while running hard. I also love the carmel gu as it is like eating candy but it's a little thicker and harder to eat.

I also do salt tabs at the same time as gel. Hard to swallow sometimes but really helpful.

malik aayan said...

Really good post! Hope there will be more good post here!Thanks for sharing valuable information.solar panels for schools