During my training i've tried a variety of nutrition products on the market and have used some in training: Gatorade, Nuun, Clif, CarboPro (both regular and 1200), various protein recovery drinks from Naked Juice and Trader Joe's =0.....and I just used whatever sounded easiest on my stomach. Truthfully, during my first Ironman training, I just used Gatorade, never took an ice bath, barely stretched and I just never even bothered to "recover," because I just didn't buy into the hoopla of stretching, "recovering," whatever, either my body would handle it or it wouldn't. What I didn't realize is, that with the amount of training I was doing it was just as important to recover as it was to actually DO the workout.
For example..what was wrong with Gatorade? It worked for all those amazing athletes in the commercials...so, I stuck with what was comfortable to me---not really branching out because I just felt like everything else was really gimmicky. I'm all for simplicity. I knew on Ironman day I didn't want to be eating two types of bars, three types of drinks, how ever many tablets..it just didn't make sense to me.
Enter my second year of Ironman training, I got a little smarter, I realized that I needed to recover (and Amanda in not so many words explained that by helping my recovery, I could recover faster and maybe go faster)..so...you name it, I did it...foam roller, ice baths, protein recovery drinks and stretching.
What is really funny, is the whole new "compression" clothing phenomenon, I managed to hold out from buying any of these ridiculous looking items until....OCTOBER..and my Ironman was November 23rd =0. After the SOMA Half at the end of October, my legs were absolutely shot and I had a six hour drive home--they were throbbing so badly--I actually drove to a running shop and promptly dropped $100.00 on compression tights. Drastic: yes, Needed: yes, Helpful: totally....honestly, I put those tights on and the throbbing was reduced to a slight "ache."
So--what i'm saying is when I started triathlon, I was more of a purist and it takes me a while to trust a new gadget or nutrition product. By the time I bought my Garmin 305, the 405 was already out. Now, they're up to Garmin 305xityie or something like that----no idea what it looks like---and you guessed it, i'm still wearing my 305.
This year already has been absolutely amazing---i'm learning that I need to figure out a way to cut my recovery times down--no more 20 minute ice baths and 20 minutes of stretching...I need to get my stretching in after the workout and in the shower, and my recovery drink needs to be quick and do the job super fast....because i've got a little guy that demands my attention!!
Enter: new nutrition products by First Endurance...and honestly, the First Endurance Ultragen Cappuccino (for RECOVERY) tastes like a Starbucks iced coffee...honestly..it takes me two seconds to mix it with water or my new discovery SKIM MILK (enter: iced latte!) ---and provides me with what I need to recover after a long ride or run. It tastes absolutely awesome, not gritty/watery/overpowering..absolutely perfect. I do 1 1/2 scoops with 16 ounces of water or milk. Sooooo tasty!!!
On my ride I tested out the First Endurance EFS Powder in Fruit Punch (smelled like Kool Aid when I opened it..YUM)-the BEST part about this product is that it has a sugary taste but minimal sugar unlike Gatorade which is powered by sugar. So, I just mix in the powder with water....AND it's CLEAR-----so you don't have to worry about annoying *enter color* stains on clothing and bikes! I used this (DURING exercise)
I also tested out the First Endurance Liquid Shots in Vanilla (similar to GU)---on my run and don't laugh--but I tested it out with a small taste and I go "HMMM," and Dave was standing there he was like "I WANNA TRY!"...so, he tries it and he's like "THAT is good." For me, some of the other "shot" products have always tasted like metal or some sort of odd flavor. This----tasted like caramel.....
Anyway, my point is: each year in triathlon i've become more open minded about trying "new" things....and First Endurance has graciously offered to sponsor Team Trakkers and in doing so, I was so thrilled to try out their products and ....they make their products easy to use and they taste AWESOME!
My favorite part: I'm marathon training: I want my liquid shots easy to figure out: I take in about 100 calories every 5 miles. First Endurance Liquid Shots come in a FLASK that is measured out on the side to 400 calories. And you can SEE how much you're taking in on the flask-----so, rather than carry four stupid, sticky packets of shots, I can carry ONE flask of yummy tasting Vanilla.
Here's the best part about these products. You do NOT have to be a triathlete to use them. Let's say you are a hiker, or mountain biker, or walker or kayaker, or skier---and it's been a long day. YOU need to make sure that you're taking in calories when you exercise for long periods of time (I would say over an hour)----and help yourself recover. It's not just for triathlon!! Actually, even after a hard game of tennis, or hockey, take time to recover (or quickly recover!).
So! TRY something new for a change and be open minded....you'll be just as excited as I was!! Check out First Endurance---they're in local shops as well as online!!!