Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ENDURANCE ATHLETE STAPLES GU GELS/HYDRAPAK GEL-BOT/NAVITAS NATURALS

Plus: Intelligent Nutrients & LA FRESH®



We've done triathlons of Olympic/International and Sprint distances---and seemed just fine with water for hydration needs---with the occasional swig of some of that fruity electrolyte liquid on the run part.

But now that we are embarking on 70.3 Ironmans...that  line of slurping does not work...even for training.

Which had us curious about gels...endurance supplements for on the go motion, easy digestion, sustained energy---not the crash and burn of chocolate bars---that seemed to work when we ran marathons. We had tried gels before---and def. are advocates...but not with the urgency we seemed to need devour them- NOW!!!

Lucky us, we got a box load of GU Energy Gels and Chomps ...

Consider us converted...we tried several flavors of the Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gels (100 calories apiece)--- in assorted flavors---and the long lasting energy surge was so profound, we wonder how we ever did 3+ hour bricks (bike/run) without downing one...say every 45- 50 minutes for us, with water. Instructions dictate having one 15 minutes before exercise too.


The gel syrupy texture goes down easily--- we actually tape the gel packets up on our handlebar, ladder-like, and easily ripped off the top, on the go.

Apparently, these souped up GU gels have a simple/complex carbohydrate packed formula here---with an increased amount of an amino acid called histidine that slows energy sapping acid build-up in muscles.

And more "branched amino acids" as more fuel source to limit muscle fatigue.


Plus-higher levels of citrates to convert the carbs into energy...and a new complex"Ornithine-Alpha-Ketoglutarate---that is supposed to limit the body from breaking down muscle protein for energy---very helpful in endurance activities.  




No sharing with cat either

















Flavor wise we favored the Blueberry Pomegranate that managed to taste authentic-not chemically...with a bit of caffeine and sea salt too. Other flavors include Vanilla Orange, Cherry Lime, Pineapple (no caffeine) and Chocolate Raspberry.


Also tried---the Gu Energy gels---that come in 10 flavors! Our fav, the Mint Chocolate and Espresso Love (Dire Straits fans?) and the holiday only, Gingerbread...purpose-wise, somewhat similar to the aforementioned ultra formulas...with a fast-acting fructose that we felt gave us a surge to keep on going. Electrolytes are replaced too ---a good thing now that it is hot out.

And what we like about the GU Chomps---is that we can stick them on our bike handlebars for easy access...and just let them dissolve inside our mouths. Like the gels, there is sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance, and complex/simple carbs for sustainable energy. There's also Vitamins C+E...antioxidants...though post race, we like our vitamin C in a celebratory recovery cocktail.

We cannot emphasize enough how these GU gels and Chomps have made a difference in being able to complete our triath time-sucking training. So much so that we didn't share with or teammates---a single pack...!!!

www.guenergy.com

And now that we are 6x a week gel consumers---we wanted to try out the handy HydraPak Gel-Bot ourselves...that we had seen at an Outdoor Retailer tradeshow.

Easy to use---just fill up the inner cylinder/chamber with gel, and the bottle with water...it all screws shut---and how it works...is that when the nozzle is fully open, we got the water only---but when the nozzle was pushed down,, we could squeeze the gel out of the middle valve.

The HydraPak bottle fit right into our bottle cage on our tri bike---and it was easy to grab the nozzle with our teeth- to push/pull the nozzle on the ride.

www.hydrapak.com/gel-bot

NAVITAS NATURALS is a company that so smartly has "the mission" to provide organic "superfoods" ---including powders made from superfruits like ACAI and the GOJI berry that are loaded with nutrients, trace minerals and antioxidants.

Add to smoothies, teas---or in our case, sprinkled on top of oatmeal, our go to pre-exercise meal...
 --- adding a bit of sweet flavor too, besides being healthy---AND are easily, a better way of getting the nutrients we need vs. a vitamin supplement pill of who knows what kind of quality.

Needles to say, we are firm believers in 'you are what you eat'---all we have to do is look at the food our fellow subway passengers inhale---and get why American clothes just get cut bigger and bigger.

Re-sealable packets





















TOP Crunch---

We also munched on dried Organic White MULBERRYs ---that are also an excellent source of iron, vitamin and resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. Out of the bag-we devoured them, or they are easily mixed in with trail gorp or added to baking/smoothies...the crunchy texture is an added plus.

FYI:

The new Maqui Powder that we sprinkle on oatmeal too---is sourced from the organic berries picked exclusively in Patagonia Chile...

With a barely there slightly sweet taste---the maqui berry is packed with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties AND supposedly prevents the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood AND increases insulin in the body after consumption---so is often mentioned as a weight gain preventative supplement---

IN OTHER WORDS-this superfruit has gotten a lot of buzz as of late.

NAVITAS NATURALS has compound type powders made from superseeds like Flax, Hemp and Chia...and blends of the nuts/fruits for convenient use...all 100% organic too. Look for the products in Whole Foods etc and online.

Good to know-organic, kosher and vegan.

www.navitasnaturals.com

When we ran our first marathon---a NYC one, the start was packed. Besides being a bit stiff from hanging around so long for the start, we clearly remember being slightly nauseated cause we were scrunched in with a bunch of strongly scented, cologne wearing runners.

Cute logo


Well we guess everyone has their pre-race rituals--

Ours, in these hot months include avoiding insect bites---and as it were, we actually went to an Editor's preview of Intelligent Nutrients®---a USDA Certified Organic Bug Repellant Serum and Aromatic Spray---that smells so spicy good, we can see wearing this as part of our pre-race ritual and not making anyone nauseous.
















Deet-free and non-toxic, the formulas are made ---with aromatic and purposeful ingredients like flowery geranium, lemongrass, citronella, refreshing peppermint, cedar oil, cinnamon, and spicey clove...for a blend that like perfume, seems to have many exotic layers.


BUT really works to repel gnats, mosquitos, moths, ants etc...

We actually got a dark glass bottle to try---that of course, we broke before we got home. However the packaging was wonderfully saturated with the Intelligent Nutrients® serum---so we stuck it in our closet...

A multi-tasking functional repellant!

AND also free of parabens, silicone, mineral oil, petrochemical derivatives....

FYI: Founder Horst Rechelbacher founded the hair care company Aveda---now part of the Estee Lauder empire.

www.intelligentnutrients.com

LA FRESH® seems like a staple in our gym bag, transition bags, everyday hauler---we almost wonder how we ever traveled without some of these natural style wipes---that are functionally focused.

Save this much water using a wipe instead!
At a press launch---we met the Taiwan born entrepreneur who took the 2000 years old Chinese tradition of moist guest towels to cleanse off the dust from travels---fast forward to the modern age with the made in the USA disposable wipes.


Convenience for sure---we are so impressed with the wipes available---including six different fragrance free face cleansers, that are non-irritating and 98% derived with healing/soothing/toning ingredients,

PLUS: a waterproof makeup remover wipe--- that is alcohol free but gets the hard core mascara off and a
healthy hand sanitizer that is triclosan and alcohol free---kills the germs without drying out hands...

AND an instant body soother with refreshing peppermint---great for after race use---or for feet after a day walking the hot dirty city sidewalks...

Amazingly there is also a smells good nail polish remover wipe that will not shred, unlike cotton balls---which we are sure, fellow train/travel passengers would appreciate...

And even deodorant, hydrating lotion, Sunscreen SPF+30, lens cleaning and mosquito wipes.

Love the packaging...color coded...in multi-functional kits/combos and individual packs ($4.99-$9.99)

FYI: free of parabens, sulfates, GNO's, glycols, triclosan, phthalates, PEGs, acetone, dyes, fragrances, and animal-by-products

www.lafreshgroup.com