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Adventure Racers : Fueling Strategies

*** PART ONE ***
Supplement Strategies - Training

I admire adventure racers. Among other things, doing several different athletic disciplines, going without sleep (I know how grueling multi-day events are), and not having the luxury of a detailed route map (like we ultra marathon cyclists have for our races) is quite a feat. Although I have never done an adventure race, I know and work with several athletes in the sport and have provided supplement and fueling strategies for these remarkable athletes for the past few years.

I truly believe that adventure racers and triathletes, more than any other endurance athlete, need to seriously consider and utilize a powerful and complete supplement and fueling program. The reason is simply because of the diversity of disciplines that these athletes are engaged while training and competing. Of course, I feel that all endurance athletes need to incorporate an intelligent and complete supplement and fueling program. Here’s my rationale for that belief and see if you don’t agree with me…

I've often said that there are three key tangibles that are needed to achieve success in athletics:
The use of high quality equipment - You don't need the "limited edition, gold plated" model but you do need to use good equipment.
The incorporation of an intelligent training and recovery program - You can't just "wing it" in terms of a training regimen and hope that the pieces will fall into place. Similarly, you have to recovery as "hard" as you train to get the most out of your training.
The consistent use of high quality nutritional supplements and fuels, and a sensible supplement/fueling program - As an adventure racer you're demanding a lot out of your body. Your nutrient requirements - just to maintain health - are much greater than the average person. But your goal isn't to just maintain health at a minimally acceptable standard; your goal is to achieve supreme health. In addition, you want to get the absolute most out of your body so that it can do what you want it to in your workouts and races, having more fun and achieving more success in the process.

So you see, while there are many things that come into play that determine athletic success, I believe the above three "tangibles" are paramount and if one of them is lacking the others suffer. So do give consideration to the incorporation of a supplement program; I truly believe it will pay huge dividends not only in your athletic performance but your overall health as well.

I've categorized the Hammer Nutrition products into four groups. The first one, "DAILY ESSENTIALS," contains supplements that are, without exception, the most important, the first products that should be considered and incorporated into your program, and the ones that should be taken every day, all throughout the year. In fact, these three products, because of the tremendous benefits they provide for general health, would be ones that even non-athletes should seriously consider using on a daily basis.

Supplements that make up the "next line of support/defense" are listed in a category entitled "VERY IMPORTANT." These supplements do not replace the three Daily Essentials but would be the next logical step, complementing the Daily Essentials products wonderfully by providing additional support and benefits. These particular products may be used daily or on an "as needed" basis.

The third category listed is "IMPORTANT," meaning that these products are not crucial in comparison to those found in the first two categories but are ones that provide specific benefits, adding to the nutrient strength of the supplements given higher priority. If you're seeking the ultimate supplement program for enhancing your athletic performance and overall health the addition of these products should be considered.

The fourth group is "SPECIFIC," meaning these particular products may in fact be ESSENTIAL under specific conditions, as determined by you and your particular circumstances.


YOU'LL FIND SUGGESTED DOSES FOR ALL THE PRODUCTS IN ALL THE CATEGORIES COME LATER IN THE ARTICLE




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DAILY ESSENTIALS
Premium Insurance Caps
Race Caps Supreme
Mito Caps

All three of these products should be the cornerstone of any athlete's supplement program because they provide the widest range of benefits for enhancing both athletic performance AND overall health. These three products provide a solid nutrient foundation, working synergistically to accomplish four primary goals:


Provide replenishment of basic vitamins and minerals, which athletes deplete in greater volume than do sedentary people, to optimize overall health.
Provide enhanced support for the immune system and cardiovascular system by supplying a wide range of antioxidants for the neutralization of free radicals and the cellular destruction they cause.
Provide key substrates to enhance and ensure efficient production of energy.
Provide support for mitochondrial health. Dr. Bill Misner writes, "The longer you can stimulate the lifespan or health of the mitochondria, the longer you will live and the better you will perform in endurance events. The athlete who has the most healthy/efficient active mitochondria is the athlete who performs at their best."


Premium Insurance Caps


If we could obtain all the nutrients we need from our food supply then a multivitamin/mineral supplement would not be necessary. Unfortunately, this is simply not possible. Our belief is that today's food supply does not contain adequate amounts of nutrients for average people, let alone athletes, living in the world today. Dr. Bill Misner has stated, "Athletes today ingest only 11% of the organic nutrients from their food sources that the athletes of the 1940's enjoyed."

The truth is that our soils have been depleted because of today's farming techniques, which utilize fertilizers containing a mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) only. Prior to the 40's, farmers practiced crop rotation, mulching, manuring, and other techniques that maintained soil nutrient quality. After World War II, leftover chemicals used to make weapons were sold as fertilizers. Every successive crop grown using NPK fertilizers has further depleted the soils of essential nutrients, and if they aren't in the soil, they're not in the foods. If they're not in the foods, they're not in your body. Additionally, according to Dr. Misner, "the use of pesticides and herbicides has been observed to interfere with the complete absorption of vital organic substrates." So not only does the soil no longer contain many of the essential nutrients it used to, our ability to absorb what little there is left has been compromised by the use of pesticides and herbicides.

In addition to our food supply being degraded by crops grown solely on NPK fertilizers, commercial ripening, harvesting, shipping, storing, and processing practices further degrades it. Even the government's RDA handbook points to hundreds of studies showing that the nutrient content of our food supply is further diminished from the time it is harvested to the time it is consumed. If that wasn't bad enough, add to that the fact that as we age our rate of absorption of nutrients decrease. Taking medications of any kind? They interact and interfere with nutrient absorption. All of this strongly suggests that food alone cannot and will not provide enough vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal health.

I've always considered the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) to be an archaic standard that never took into account the particular needs of athletes and my belief in that is confirmed from one well-known sports nutritionist who states, "If you use the RDAs to plan your nutrition, you will never, never reach your athletic potential." Even the RDA handbook states, "RDA are recommendations for the average daily amounts of nutrients that population groups should consume over a period of time. RDA should not be confused with requirements for a specific individual." The former chairman of the RDA Committee has even been quoted stating RDA's "are not recommendations for the ideal diet."

Most compelling of all, in my opinion, for why a potent multivitamin/mineral supplement is necessary comes from Dr. Misner who states, "Science has concluded that even marginal nutritional deficiencies are responsible for 644 diseases or disorders. Researchers have established by applications of reliable research as well as through trial and error that athletes tend to deplete vitamins, minerals, enzymes, coenzymes, and other substrates more than sedentary people do." Simply put, the need for supplementation with a multivitamin/mineral supplement is not only a wise strategy, I consider it vital.

I believe that not supplementing the body with adequate supplies of basic nutrients is comparable to building a house without first putting in a strong foundation. Without this strong foundation, none of the other necessities of the house will have any structural integrity or be of much benefit. Similarly, without adequate replenishment of vitamins and minerals, other supplements, including ergogenic supplements, will most likely never realize their full potential.


Race Caps Supreme


As most of us know, mitochondria are micro organelles ("little organs") found in virtually all cells in the human body, except red blood cells. The 20-2500 mitochondria per cell produce the majority of the body's energy (ATP) by means of an intricate and complex process called cellular respiration. The production of ATP within the mitochondria involves two metabolic cycles known as the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, which is also called the "Krebs" or "citric acid" cycle, and the oxidative phosphorylation electron transport chain, commonly abbreviated as ETC.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a main component of Race Caps Supreme is a vital catalyst, perhaps THE primary substrate involved in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Without going into the complexities of this process, which would take several pages, we can truly say that CoQ10's importance cannot be overstated because quite simply, without CoQ10 the chain of cellular energy production is broken. This is key not only for athletic performance but also for maintaining cardiovascular and brain health, and strong immunity. In regards to cardiovascular health, one well-known cardiologist is quoted as saying, "I have long considered CoQ10 a wonder nutrient because of its ability to support heart health." In addition, CoQ10 helps to lower blood pressure and may play a key role in the prevention of Parkinson's disease. For both athletic performance and general health applications, there is simply no question that the athlete MUST supplement with CoQ10.

Idebenone, also called hydroxydecyl Q, is an analogue of CoQ10 and the other primary ETC component of the formula. A superb compliment to CoQ10, some experts suggest it may be even more powerful in action than CoQ10. Dr. Misner explains, "Idebenone supplies all of the same benefits as CoQ10 plus some distinct advantages based on its more complex chemical structure. Though very similar in chemical make-up to CoQ10, its longer chain organic structure gives it extra powerful antioxidant properties making it a more effective "free radical quencher" resulting in less cell and tissue damage." In essence, Idebenone extends the already powerful benefits of CoQ10 and under hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions Idebenone's ATP generating capabilities are even superior to CoQ10.

The problem with energy production is that it's not a completely "clean" process (more on that later), which is why Vitamin E, while not directly involved in the cellular respiration process, is a vital component in the Race Caps Supreme formula. This is because even essential antioxidants used in the complex process of energy production have a slight "dark side." Dr. Misner writes, "CoQ10 auto-oxidizes and unleashes massive amounts of various free radicals that damage delicate tissues and because CoQ10 is necessary for electron transport and ATP (chemical energy) production, cellular death may ensue." In other words, while CoQ10 is vital for energy production and provides antioxidant benefits, it, like other antioxidants, has biologically negative, PRO-oxidant capabilities as well. This is one reason why a substantial amount of vitamin E is included in Race Caps Supreme. The naturally derived, easily assimilated succinate form of this vitamin supports CoQ10 and Idebenone in neutralizing free radicals, which are a naturally occurring metabolic by-product of energy production. Succinates are also a key component in the TCA (or "Krebs") cycle.

Also included in the formula is a precise blend of the Trimethylglycine (TMG), inosine, and glycerol phosphate to provide benefits for enhancing oxygen utilization, optimizing fats-for-fuels capabilities, and for providing additional support for energy production and acid buffering. Dr. Misner calls TMG a "Lipotropic Antioxidant Supreme" and writes, "Trimethylclycine is more commonly known as betaine, an alkaloid of beets. As an oxidation product of choline… it (TMG) also has been shown to perform lipotropic activity (fatty-acid utilization for energy production). It (TMG)…has been used to treat muscular weakness and degeneration… is a powerful antioxidant, which primarily acts as a methyl donor, enhancing the transport of oxygen to muscle tissues. Inosine, also known as an anti-fatigue nutrient, is a naturally occurring metabolic product that is readily utilized by the body. Inosine increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, allowing more oxygen to be delivered to the muscles, thereby reducing fatigue. Phosphates (in the form of glycerol phosphate) are used in the muscle mitochondrial cells for the production of energy and are also beneficial for buffering excess acidity.

Earlier both the TCA and ETC cycles involved in ATP production were discussed and that Race Caps Supreme's CoQ10/Idebenone combination fulfilled a major component for the ETC portion. For supporting the TCA (or "Krebs") cycle, the Race Caps Supreme formula supplies a precise amount of the Krebs Cycle Intermediates (KCI) Malate, Citrate, Aspartate, Lysinate, Glycinate, which are chelators for the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Another Krebs Cycle Intermediate, alpha ketoglutarate, is included as well. With this KCI donation now a part of the formula, Race Caps Supreme provides key substrates to support and enhance both metabolic cycles involved in ATP production.

To maximize nutrient absorption, Race Caps Supreme contains a potent blend of various digestive aids. One of these is a proprietary formula called the Enzyme Enhancement SystemTM and the other is the well-researched standardized black pepper extract called BioperineTM.

A long time ago Dr. Misner wrote, "The objective in formulating the original Race Caps [the original Hammer Nutrition product] was to provide the ultimate ergogenic aid not only for improved cardiovascular-musculoskeletal performance on the field of competition, but also to benefit the overall health of the athlete." This is still the objective of the Race Caps formula only now, with the arrival of the newest incarnation of the formula - Race Caps Supreme - the desired outcome of this objective has been realized.

The extraordinary combination of "super nutrients" found in Race Caps Supreme works powerfully and synergistically to cover a wide range of requirements for maintaining consistent and efficient energy production. Perhaps even more impressive are the overall health benefits that may be derived from this product. For enhancing both athletic performance AND overall health consistent supplementation with Race Caps Supreme is a wise strategy. I believe all people would benefit from this product and it's an absolute essential for athletes.


Mito Caps


Time and space limit what could take thousands upon thousands of pages to fill describing the actions and benefits of the nutrients contained in this product. I'll go out on a limb and say that this product is arguably the most important one Hammer Nutrition has ever introduced for promoting enhanced athletic performance and overall health. The Mito Caps formula is based on the studies of Dr. Bruce Ames regarding mitochondrial functioning, aging, deterioration, and regeneration. Mito Caps contains the two nutrients used in this landmark study: acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) and r-alpha lipoic acid (r-ALA).

Mitochondria, the energy producing organelles of the cell, need certain substrates to maintain efficient energy production; that's where the nutrients in Race Caps Supreme, along with some of the B vitamins in Premium Insurance Caps, come in. However, as discussed earlier, energy production has a "dark side" as well in that it generates literally millions of free radicals. A free radical is an extremely reactive molecule carrying an impaired electron. Because of their reactive nature, all free radicals seek out and acquire an electron in whatever way possible. When free radicals steal electrons from "healthy" molecules they convert these formerly healthy molecules into free radicals themselves, or break down or alter their chemical structure. Needless to say, free radicals have a destructive, damaging trait, and excess amounts are extremely harmful. Free radicals, or perhaps more appropriately, excess free radicals are the basis behind the theory suggesting they play a key role in aging and many age-related diseases.

Certain antioxidants such as vitamins beta carotene, C and E, and the minerals manganese, zinc, and selenium in Premium Insurance Caps - along with the CoQ10, Idebenone, and vitamin E component of Race Caps Supreme - help protect cells from the continuous onslaught of free radicals, which is one reason why regular consumption of these two products is highly recommended for everyone, athletes especially.

But what about literally delaying, or even reversing, mitochondrial aging? What about restoring capabilities to more youthful levels? Antioxidants such as the ones mentioned above help protect cells, but can't do the whole job. What if there were nutrients available that would not only complement, enhance, and extend the capabilities of those nutrients, but also provide extraordinary benefits of their own? Ames' extraordinary studies have identified just such nutrients: acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) and r-alpha lipoic acid (r-ALA). Ames' studies found that ALC and r-ALA each had a role in improving mitochondrial activity and cellular metabolism.

The Acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) component boosts the activity of the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase, which plays a vital role in mitochondrial fuel burning and energy production. ALC and other forms of carnitine are the main nutrients the body requires for efficient utilization of fat stores for fuel. ALC also boosts neurological functioning, which would support concentration and mental focus (a major benefit for ultra-endurance events). ALC is also believed to help preserve lean muscle tissue by decreasing excess levels of cortisol. Lastly, ALC seems to reduce the depletion of ATP by forming acetyl-CoA, which one nutritional expert states, "[is] the most important intermediary in the generation of energy from amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates."

The other molecule, R-alpha lipoic acid (r-ALA) plays an important role in cellular metabolism by acting as a coenzyme in energy production. Arguably though, among all the benefits this amazing nutrient provides, its primary importance is via its antioxidant capabilities. R-alpha lipoic acid is commonly known as the "universal antioxidant" because it functions as both a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant, with the ability to neutralize several different types of free radicals, perhaps more than any other antioxidant known to man. In addition to helping rid the body of a tremendous variety of destructive free radicals, it also has the unique ability to recycle, revitalize, and extend the effectiveness and potency of certain antioxidants in the body such as CoQ10 and vitamins C & E. It also enhances GSH levels in the body. GSH, or glutathione, is an antioxidant produced directly by the body and is a primary immune system protector. Simply put, I believe that every single one of r-ALA's effects has a definite and positive impact on energy production and endurance, not to mention enhanced immunity. It’s important to use the right kind of alpha lipoic acid though. Most alpha lipoic acid supplements available today are a mixture of two forms, the "R" form with is the natural form, and the "S" form, which is synthetic. The "S" form of alpha lipoic acid, which is reduced in the cytoplasm, is inactive. Only the "R" form, the natural coenzyme, which is reduced in the mitochondria, is active and is why we only use that form in Mito Caps.

The reason DMAE and PABA exist in the product is to amplify and potentiate the ALC and r-ALA components. Ames' studies used extremely high doses of ALC and r-ALA and supplementation with those amounts are not only impractical but would be unbelievable expensive. DMAE and PABA are a nutrient substitute for the anti-aging "drug" GH-3 and mimic its effects (providing substantial benefits of their own). Dr. Misner writes, "By adding essentially what is a GH-3 formula, the resulting effects of ALC and r-ALA are remarkably multiplied." In other words, thanks to the effects of DMAE and PABA less ALC and r-ALA are required to achieve noticeable benefits.

The primary reason for including vitamin E and vitamin B-6 in the formula is that in order for the GH-3 like effect to be secure, these two nutrients must be present and available. Put another way, for DMAE and PABA to yield their benefits, adequate amounts of both vitamin E and vitamin B-6 are necessary.

Ascorbyl Palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C. Most everyone knows that vitamin C has its own antioxidant capabilities, but it's also beneficial for enhancing carnitine synthesis. Vitamin C enhances the bioavailability of carnitine, which may translate into greater fat utilization capabilities.

This represents but a fraction of the capabilities of each of the nutrients in Mito Caps, both singularly and collectively. I consider this product to be a definite "cornerstone" supplement for any person, athlete or otherwise. For athletic performance alone, no one says it better than Dr. Misner…

"Mito Caps product is a plausible and safe supplemental intervention that may reduce mitochondria substrate depletion imposed by age and endurance exercise stress. I have taken these substrates for over a year now in several formulae, at both the dose used in the Mito Caps and above, without any known side effects… except less fatigue, better endurance performance, and less required sleep. So few substrate molecules function biochemically inside mitochondria cells. Endurance athletes should realize how incredibly important it is to effect mitochondria and that every thing formulated in this compound influences mitochondria cell biochemistry function synergistically and remarkably. Mito Caps is a product that I recommend taken year-round."


SUMMARY


The combination of the above three products, while certainly not eliminating the possibility or probability for the need of other supplements, will provide a tremendous range of benefits for enhancing both athletic performance and overall health. Providing the body with these nutrients will in essence build a strong foundation from which any other nutrient can realize its full value.



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VERY IMPORTANT



Super AO
Tissue Rejuvenator
Phytomax
REM Caps


Super AO


Our bodies need antioxidants to protect us from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals (of which there are several types) are unstable atoms or molecules, usually of oxygen, containing at least one unpaired electron. Left unchecked, free radicals seek out and literally steal electrons from whole atoms or molecules, creating a destructive chain reaction. Excess free radicals, in the words of one nutritional scientist, "are capable of damaging virtually any biomolecule, including proteins, sugars, fatty acids and nucleic acids." Dr. Bill Misner writes, "Oxygen has the capacity to be both friend and foe. When energy fuels are metabolized in the presence of O2, 5% of them create molecules that contain an odd number of electrons. If free radicals are not neutralized by on-site antioxidant body stores immediately, tissue damage occurs to absolutely every cell membrane touched by these imbalanced molecular wrecking machines. Some theorize soreness and stiffness result because free radicals and waste metabolites build up during either prolonged or intense exercise. The more volume oxygen that passes into our physiology for energy fuel metabolism, the more increased free-radical-fatigue symptoms may be experienced."

Those words should sound the alarm bells loud and clear. You see, as an athlete you consume huge amounts of oxygen and metabolize greater amounts of calories - much more than sedentary people do - which means that you’re generating tremendous amounts of free radicals. In fact, endurance athletes generate 12-20 times more free radicals that sedentary people do! During periods of increased training volume and stress, free radical production increases even more. So while the benefits of exercise far outweigh any potential negatives, excess free radical production and build-up - if not properly addressed and resolved - may very well be the endurance athlete's worst nightmare. In essence, like rusting steel, the human body can oxidize and decay from excess free radical production and not only can this negate everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve in your training, it can result in severe consequences to your overall health. The necessity of neutralizing excess free radicals simply cannot be overstated.

The three Daily Essentials products will fulfill the primary antioxidants needs of the body. However, with so many types of free radicals produced in the body a wide variety of synergistically working antioxidants are required to neutralize them. This is especially true during times of higher intensity, multiple daily workouts, and/or greater training volume, when free radical production and accumulation can be extreme. Supplementing with a wide variety of antioxidants all year long is a wise strategy, allowing you to recovery more completely and without compromising your immune system, and it's especially important during peak training periods. This is exactly where Super AO comes in, beautifully complementing, but not replicating, the antioxidants found in the three Daily Essentials products. However, Super AO goes beyond a mere "antioxidant only" supplement. Two of the nutrients contained in Super AO - Ginkgo biloba and vinpocetine - in addition to their antioxidant benefits, also enhance recovery by improving circulation. Both these nutrients also provide the added benefit of supporting increased cognitive function. Whether you’re looking to increase immune system support all year through, but especially if you're doing multiple workouts in a day and/or when your training volume increases, adding Super AO to the Daily Essentials supplements is an excellent strategy and one that will help protect your immune system and preserve all your hard-earned gains.


The Super AO Formula



Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme and one of the powerful endogenous (that which occurs naturally in the body) antioxidants. It is responsible for neutralizing the most common free radical known as superoxide. It also aids the body’s utilization of the minerals copper, zinc, and manganese. The enteric-coated form in Super AO, which allows the nutrient to pass intake through the stomach acid to be absorbed in the small intestines, is an easy way to supplement this vital antioxidant.


Grape Seed Extract is high in a substance called OPC, a flavinoid that is believed to be several times more potent than even Vitamin C and E. OPCs are responsible for neutralizing three types of free radicals. In addition, the OPCs in Grade Seed Extract help strengthen and repair connective tissue and are excellent anti-inflammatories.


L-Glutathione is a protein that is produced in the liver from three specific amino acids. Along with the mineral selenium, it forms the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which, along with SOD, is one of the body’s endogenous antioxidants, and perhaps the most important one of all. Glutathione is also part of another enzyme, which has liver protecting qualities. It protects individual cells as well as the tissues of nearly the entire body and is an important nutrient in helping with the prevention of cancer, particularly liver cancer.


Ginkgo biloba is an herb best known for its ability to enhance circulation and increase the supply of oxygen to the entire body. This allows it to help relieve muscle pain in addition to its antioxidant benefits. A potential benefit of increased circulation is the ability to speed delivery of antioxidants throughout the body in addition to helping eliminate metabolic wastes more quickly.


Gotu kola is another herb that has antioxidant capabilities as well aiding in increasing circulation. It is helpful in decreasing fatigue and neutralizing blood acids and is useful for optimal heart and liver function.


Vinpocetine is chemically related to, and derived from vincamine, an alkaloid found in the periwinkle plant. Studies with vinpocetine indicate that it can dilate blood vessels, enhance circulation in the brain, improve oxygen utilization, make red blood cells more pliable, and inhibit aggregation of platelets. Vinpocetine also has antioxidant properties.


Tissue Rejuvenator


No athlete wants to lose valuable training time or miss an important race due to injury. Unfortunately, that sometimes happens to the best of us, especially when we stray from the safe haven of "maximum training" to that inhospitable territory called "overuse injury." Adventure racers are at a potentially even greater risk for injury, if only due to the fact that this particular sport involves a number of disciplines (not just cycling, for example). As a result, adventure racers use a lot of different muscles and joints, arguably more than most other athletes do. Other athletes who would benefit from the daily use of Tissue Rejuvenator are triathletes and runners.

So whether you are:
Trying to prevent injuries from occurring to begin with, or
If you're currently nursing and you want to do everything possible to get back into action as quickly as possible

...Tissue Rejuvenator is an important product for you. To accomplish either one of those goals - preventing injury or helping promote tissue healing if injured - one of the best things you can do is supply your body with nutrients that provide the "raw materials" it needs to promote rapid tissue repair, while also helping to reduce inflammation, soreness, and pain. Tissue Rejuvenator does all that - it is exactly what your body needs in support, especially during times of injury - and it does it without requiring you to use NSAID-type medications, which can have undesirable side effects. With Tissue Rejuvenator, in its newer, more powerful formula, your body receives a mega-potent dose of a wide variety of nutrients including glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, MSM, and undenatured type II collagen (UC-IITM), which provides an extraordinary range of benefits. Tissue Rejuvenator was designed to primarily for use during periods of injury but it absolutely can be used daily as a preventative.


The Joint-Health Components of Tissue Rejuvenator



Glucosamine sulfate is classified as an amino sugar, a type of carbohydrate used for structural tissues instead of as an energy source. It is the basic building block/raw material in joint cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Glucosamine sulfate plays a major role in the synthesis of collagen, cartilage, bone, skin, and various lubricating fluids in joints. Glucosamine sulfate helps promote elasticity of joint movement and also functions as a mild anti-inflammatory.


Chondroitin sulfate is a natural component of several tissues in the body. Like glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate is one of the important building blocks for the repair of damaged cartilage. One of chondroitin sulfate’s important functions is its ability to block the activity of enzymes that break down cartilage. This helps reduce inflammation and protects cartilage from further damage. Chondroitin sulfate also promotes lubrication and cushioning in the joints.


Methylsulfonylmethane, better known as MSM, is a metabolite of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), a well-known solvent, which has been used topically as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. MSM is an organic form of sulfur, which is necessary for proper synthesis and maintenance of tissues such as skin, hair, nails, tendons and cartilage. MSM has been reported to reduce arthritic joint pain, enhance wound healing, and reduce allergic symptoms.


Tissue Rejuvenator’s Enzyme Blend of peptidase, bromelain, papain, amylase, lipase, cellulase, and phytase not only aids in the complete absorption of the nutrient components in the product, it provides its own potent anti-inflammatory benefits.


Boswellia serrata is an Ayurvedic herb that has been extensively as an anti-inflammatory for the treatment of arthritis. Its primary active ingredients are triterpene acids, which may also be useful for treating exercise-induced asthma and irritable bowel syndrome.


Devil’s Claw is a South African herb containing substances called iridoid glycosides that have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also purported to help relieve mild stomach upset.


Yucca Root is frequently used to combat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. It contains high levels of beneficial phytochemical compounds known as saponins, which may provide anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial benefits as well.


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) contains a substance called curcumin, which has not only anti-inflammatory properties but also liver protecting, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties as well.


Quercetin is a water-soluble flavonoid typically found in onions, apples, leafy vegetables, and other food sources. It is both a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and may also act as an antihistamine.


Undenatured Type II Collagen (UC-IITM) is a patented, extensively studied dietary ingredient derived from chicken sternum cartilage. Through a complex process called oral tolerization, UC-IITM works with the immune system to promote healthy joints and increase joint mobility and flexibility.


Phytomax


It's almost guaranteed that you're not consuming anywhere near the recommended amounts of vegetables daily and as a result, your body is deprived of the nutrients it desperately needs to achieve and maintain optimal health. You're not alone; the sad truth is that 95% of all Americans fall well short of the mark when it comes to adequate vegetable consumption. Dr. Bill Misner, who has been conducting dietary analyses for many years, states, "Only 7% of the dietary analyses performed between 1996-2002 were consuming adequate amounts of dietary plant foods." Now, this is just one person who has done dietary analyses but still, he's done several hundred over the course of seven years and only 7% were consuming adequate amounts? That's a pathetically low amount!

Even if you're one of those rare individuals who does consume six servings of fresh vegetables each and every day your body is most likely still not getting adequate amounts of key phytonutrients and enzymes. The USDA recommends 5-6 servings of vegetables daily but it's almost a sure bet that none of us come close to that. Without adequate vegetables in the diet you're not giving your body the nutrient support and protection it needs and your health and performance is suffering as a result. Make no mistake about it, adequate and consistent vegetable intake is critically important!

Vegetables contain thousands and thousands of phytochemicals, which science is continually proving to be powerfully beneficial for optimal health. Unfortunately, while vegetables are key ingredients in the daily diet, today's food supply isn't what it used to be. As Dr. Misner points out, "Some authors from the food science industry argue that even 5 servings a day of fresh vegetables do not provide the organic substrates necessary for optimal cellular health. In the past 50 years, chemo-agricultural farming has depleted 90% of the soil's original minerals. Today's "veggies" contain only 11% of the organic minerals found in produce during World War II. To get what we once got from 3-5 servings of vegetables per day, we would have to consume 40 servings per day, or approximately the amount consumed by a medium-sized horse. What are we really missing? Plant sterols and phytoestrogens, which have been shown to protect us against cholesterol absorption, tumor formation, colon cancer, radiation poisoning, and the side effects of most allopathic medicines. Most of these protective phytonutrients, phytosterols, phytoestrogens are lost during processing, degumming, refining, deodorizing, canning, bottling and packaging; we simply are not getting enough."

So you see, while vegetable intake is still important, most of us rarely eat enough to begin with and what we do eat probably does not contain the quantity of nutrients we need. This is where Phytomax comes in. Three capsules of Phytomax will provide your body with more of the vegetable nutrition it demands than blue-green algae, sprulina, chlorella, wheat grass juice, barley grass juice, or any other similar product. In addition, Phytomax is a concentrated source of enzymes, phytosterols, and phytonutrients, which are so important for overall health but are unfortunately no longer available in appreciable amounts in our food supply. Dr. Bill Misner states, "If you chose to supplement all of the micronutrient profile found in Hydrilla verticilata (Phytomax) from food sources you would require 5 tossed salads, 1 cup of tomato juice, 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of lima beans, 1 cup of green beans, and 7 glasses of whole milk. Such a food volume would also yield 41 grams of fiber, 36 grams of saturated fat, 234 grams of cholesterol, 110 grams of sugar, and 2,486 grams of sodium."

Phytomax’s Phytosterol Benefits

Dr. Misner writes, "Phytosterols may decrease cholesterol absorption by displacing cholesterol from bile salt micelles. Cholesterol analogs found in plants may be protective against colon cancer. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), a free radical fighter, antioxidant and enzyme found in most plant life is being seriously studied for its plausible positive effects in halting the aging process. SOD has been shown to provide a natural defense against the potentially damaging superoxide free radicals generated during exercise or aerobic metabolism. Including a source of "green" foods may not only enhance recovery, but also prevent the side effects from radiation, carcinoma formation, and the initiation of leukopenia. University studies report that milk production from dairy cattle and the egg-laying capacity of chickens were significantly enhanced when these animals were supplemented with this form of Hydrilla (Phytomax). The assumption is that carry over to human physiology is obvious, though not yet confirmed by reliable research. Some studies do suggest that the nutrients from this plant may have direct application for free radical scavenging, anti-arthritic effect, stress management, remediating aging disorders, promoting healthy skin, and energy recovery."

Don't get me wrong; I believe that athletes and active people need to address the diet first and foremost because, more than any supplement pill, this is the foundation from which optimal health and performance can be achieved. Still, even our best efforts at improving our diet and consuming healthy foods on a consistent basis usually falls short more times that not. That's why supplementation in general is so important - to close the gap between what we need nutrient-wise and what we actually obtain in the diet - and it is especially true when it comes to vegetable intake. This is where Phytomax really shines. No, doesn't replace eating vegetables but instead, it efficiently and effectively bridges the gap between what we should eat and what we actually do eat. It's an important product that is a wonderful complement to the vitamins and minerals provided in Premium Insurance Caps. Gram for gram Phytomax is a powerhouse of enzymes, fatty acids, antioxidants, RNA, DNA, chlorophyll, sterols, and phytonutrients. Think of it as "completing the puzzle" when it comes to vitamin/mineral supplementation. With consistent intake of Phytomax you can experience what many athletes using the product enjoy, increased energy levels, faster recovery, improved immune system function, improved moods and mental clarity, and a higher quality of sleep.


REM CAPS


Unfortunately, in today's stressful world, it's oftentimes difficult to obtain adequate sleep. Athletes engaged in hard training are even more susceptible to being unable to get to sleep quickly and stay asleep completely. There is a definite link between obtaining a sufficient amount of sleep and the achievement of optimal health and athletic performance. One well-known coach calls insufficient sleep "The Ultimate Performance Killer". If you're like a lot of athletes you might find it hard to fall asleep easily, especially when your training volume and/or intensity increases. If that's the case, if you're suffering from part-time to chronic insomnia, there is a good chance that you will have increased levels of stress hormones in the blood, which may compromise your health and sabotage everything you've worked so hard to achieve in training. REM Caps, with a combination of powerful, yet completely safe and effective nutrients, is your ally, ensuring you obtain the full benefits of a sound, restful, and productive night's sleep.

An additional reason for why I feel so highly about REM Caps is due to its melatonin component. Melatonin, in addition to it being an effective aid to alleviate insomnia, is also a very powerful antioxidant. One well-known nutritionist has stated that melatonin is "one of the most powerful antioxidants ever discovered - with a greater range of effectiveness than vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene…" Another respected nutritionist writes, "melatonin neutralizes one of the most damaging free radicals, and does so five times more effectively than the antioxidant enzyme glutathione…" Due to its antioxidant benefits melatonin has been shown to be a powerful immune system stimulator and a substance that is garnering substantial attention as having genuine anti-aging properties.

If only for the antioxidant benefits that melatonin provides, REM Caps - used regularly or on an "as needed" basis - might be a great product to have in your "arsenal."


The REM Caps Formula



Valerian Root Extract - Valerian is perhaps the most widely used herb for the treatment of nervousness, stress, anxiety and insomnia. Valerian is also beneficial for improving circulation, treating high blood pressure, reducing mucus accumulation during colds, relieving muscle cramps, and helping to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.


Melatonin - Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced and secreted by the pineal gland, a tiny organ in the brain. Melatonin is responsible for regulating the biological rhythms in humans and is an effective aid to alleviate insomnia. It is also a very powerful antioxidant and is purported to be one of the premier anti-aging nutrients (see above).


5-HTP (5-Hydroxy tryptophan) - 5-HTP is isolated from the seed of a plant called Griffonia simplicifolia and is a natural precursor of the hormone serotonin that, along with melatonin and valerian, helps to prevent insomnia. Along with melatonin, 5-HTP also enhances the release of growth hormone during sleep. In addition, several other low-serotonin-level conditions are aided by the use of 5-HTP:



Depression
Carbohydrate craving
Tension and Migraine headaches
Premenstrual syndrome
Fibromyalgia


Magesium (as Amino Acid Chelate) - Of the dozens and dozens of roles magnesium plays in the body, one of the primary benefits for aiding sleep is that it helps the muscles to relax. Along with the valerian component in REM Caps, magnesium can provide real benefits for anyone suffering from night cramping.


Enzyme Enhancement SystemTM (proprietary blend of protease, amylase, cellulase, lipase, phytase) - The aging process can deplete/diminish the amounts of digestive enzymes the body produces. Adding enzymes to products works with the body, replenishing what it no longer can provide, and help a person absorb and assimilate the maximal amount possible



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IMPORTANT
ChromeMateTM
Boron
Xobaline
ChromeMateTM
Boron
Xobaline


ChromeMateTM


The trace mineral chromium is a hormone-like compound, which regulates carbohydrate metabolism. This has profound effects on athletic performance and, especially, recovery. Dr. Bill Misner writes, "Since all carbohydrates are eventually reduced in the body to simple glucose (the body's primary source of energy), a go-between for "plugging" simple glucose from the bloodstream into the cell is supplied in the presence of naturally-occurring, niacin-bound GTF chromium substrate (ChromeMateTM)." Citing Kamen’s 1990 research [Kamen, B. The Chromium Diet Supplement & Exercise Strategy. Nutrition Encounter Inc., Novato, CA; 1990; pp.11-13.], Dr. Misner continues, "Most diets do not contain adequate amounts of this GTF chromium to support prolonged endurance activities."

Studies suggest that chromium polynicotinate (not to be confused with chromium picolinate), when taken with carbohydrate, enhances recovery by increasing the rate of glycogen synthesis. Chromium, critically involved in insulin production, also has an essential role in energy production and the synthesis of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids. Chromium rapidly depletes via perspiration, urination, stress, pollution, and extreme temperatures, so supplementation becomes a necessity.

Optimal suggested daily intake of chromium is suggested to be anywhere from 200 - 600 mcg so even if you're currently using Premium Insurance Caps, which contains 200 mcg ChromeMateTM per 7-capsule packet, consider taking one ChromeMateTM capsule with post-workout recovery fuel to enhance glycogen synthesis and storage capabilities. Dr. Misner suggests that, "Within 2 hours of [completing] exercise, taking 2 grams of carbohydrates for each 2.2 lbs. body weight with GTF Chromium (ChromeMateTM) will result in a 300% increase in the rate of glycogen synthesis compared to no supplementation. The 2-hour post-exercise window is needed for conversion of carbohydrates to muscle glycogen through the insulin (IGF) mechanism. This anabolic response will not completely take place in the absence of GTF chromium. If only a minute amount of GTF chromium is available, only a third of the amount of muscle cell refueling will occur." If you're interested in enhancing recovery completely, make sure you have enough chromium (200-400 mcg) in your post workout supplements or fuel.



Boron


Boron isn't as well known as other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, but they can't do their job without boron. Studies indicate that boron, among its many benefits, helps maintain bone health and aids in the prevention of prostate cancer. Excessive supplemental boron does not lead to overproduction of anabolic hormones (as was once suggested by some bodybuilding-specific manufacturers), but taking enough boron does result in adequate production of these hormones. This is vital both for maintaining healthy bone mineral mass and also for ensuring complete recovery from high-volume training, when this mineral may be severely depleted.

During most of the year a 2.5 mg dose (obtained from one packet of Premium Insurance Caps) is an adequate daily amount and in general, most sport science nutritionists suggest that no more than 3-6 milligrams of boron per day is required, stating the body has only a micro-appetite for this hormone-enhancing mineral. However, during peak training periods, taking an additional 5 mg of boron may be quite useful because it’s during this time that boron levels may become depleted through more intense and/or higher volume training. Because boron supports adequate production of specific anabolic hormones and because these hormones are critical for ensuring optimal recovery this additional boron support goes a long way during these periods of higher volume training.

There is no RDA for boron and a safe and adequate daily intake is estimated between 1 and 10 mg. As far as toxicity/toxic effects of this mineral are concerned (the effects being manifested as loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and skin rashes) most sources suggest that doses of 100 mg daily or more (some sources cite amounts as high as 500 mg daily) are required for any toxic effects to appear. Considering that two full packets of Premium Insurance Caps provides 5 mg of boron and that an additional Boron capsule provides another 5 mg the maximum amount being taken would still fall far, far below any toxic potential amount.

So while boron may not be in the same category as our Daily Essentials products, it has a definite place in the Hammer Nutrition product line and an additional Boron capsule may be very beneficial to support enhanced recovery during peak training periods.


Xobaline


Endurance athletes need all the help they can get to enhance oxygen utilization and muscular regeneration. Even a marginal deficiency in specific nutrients can negatively affect performance and health. Stress of any type, whether it's physical or emotional, is known to deplete the body of many essential nutrients. Crucial for the endurance athletes is an adequate supply of Vitamin B-12.

Xobaline (pronounced zo-ba-lean) is the coenzyme (metabolically active) form of Vitamin B-12 and is directly involved in two of the most important body functions for endurance athletes. First is increasing oxygen uptake due to increased production of red blood cells and second is repairing and building lean muscle tissue. Xobaline is also beneficial for iron deficient athletes and those experiencing a loss of lean muscle mass as a result of protein cannibalization, commonly seen in ultra distance athletes.

Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology states, "Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for all cells in the body, and the growth of tissues in general is greatly depressed when this vitamin is lacking." Vitamin B-12 forms part of the coenzymes essential for all cells, in particular red blood cells. Vitamin B-12 is also crucial for all the cellular reactions involved in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism and is essential for cellular growth and cell function.

A 7-capsule packet of Premium Insurance Caps will provide ample amounts of B-12 for normal conditions/lighter training volume periods. During periods of high volume training, a capsule Xobaline or a dropper of Xobaline Liquid (held under the tongue for 60 seconds) can be a vital aid in supporting superior recovery.



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SPECIFIC



Anti-Fatigue Caps
Liquid Endurance
Race Day Boost (see Part Three in this series, which pertains to pre-race and race day strategies, for more information about this particular product)


Anti-Fatigue Caps


A major enemy of endurance athletes is the production and excess accumulation of ammonia. And guess what? It's compromises athletic performance big time. You see, during exercise, the body produces ammonia as a natural by-product of protein metabolism. It doesn't matter what type of exercise you do, aerobic or anaerobic, you will still produce ammonia; it's unavoidable. Problems arise however, during longer distance efforts (approximately 3-5 hours and beyond) when more ammonia is produced and accumulates. One well known expert has stated that, "ammonia is toxic to all cells, reduces the formation of glycogen, and inhibits the energy cycle." A study in particular examined the changes in blood ammonia levels in humans during exercise and determined that the higher the blood ammonia, the poorer performance will be.

One way to help prevent excess ammonia accumulation is to make sure you're using Perpetuem or Sustained Energy as your primary fuels during workouts and races that exceed 2-3 hours. The amount of protein these two products supplies your body helps prevent the "cannibalization" of your lean muscle tissue. When your body literally "feeds upon itself," metabolizing the protein from lean muscle tissue to satisfy energy requirements, a huge amount of ammonia is produced, which is a primary culprit in fatigue. So again, the primary step to preventing excess amounts of lean muscle tissue from being cannibalized, and excess amounts of ammonia being produced, is to use a fuel that contains both carbohydrates and protein; with Perpetuem or Sustained Energy you've got that covered.

During your longer workouts and races it's an excellent strategy to go beyond that first "line of defense" and provide the body with additional support for the removal of ammonia. That's where Anti-Fatigue Caps comes in. It's a one-of-a-kind product combining a potent arsenal of three known ammonia-scavenging nutrients - aspartate, l-citrulline, and OKG. Now, if all Anti-Fatigue Caps did was aid in the removal of excess ammonia it'd be completely worth it. However, these nutrients do more than just that and provide these additional benefits:

*** More consistent energy from the conversion and increased production of a key substrate, oxaloacetate

*** Support in the prevention of muscle tissue catabolism from effective, non-ammonia producing glutamine replenishment

*** Additional support for the prevention of cramping, from the aspartate component being chelated to magnesium and potassium

So while Anti-Fatigue Caps isn't a product you'd want nor need to take daily, it can be an extremely valuable ally and a terrific "secret weapon" under certain circumstances.


Liquid Endurance


In hot conditions, especially beyond a 2-hour effort, your core temperature can increase substantially, causing profuse sweating. The ensuing fluid depletion forces your heart to work harder and slows metabolic reactions necessary for efficient fuel transport. At the very least this means decreased athletic performance with the increased possibility of more serious consequences from dehydration. The glycerol component in Liquid Endurance increases blood volume and cellular/intracellular fluid storage capacity, giving you extra fluid reserves.

In addition to glycerol, Liquid Endurance contains l-carnitine, which is the essential nutrient for the utilization of fatty acids for fuel. We include it in Liquid Endurance because of the glycerol component, which increases the uptake and distribution of l-carnitine at the cellular level. In other words, l-carnitine is a vital nutrient for enhanced endurance and the presence of glycerol in blood serum will enable more of it to be available for use in the process of fats-for-fuel utilization.

Finally, Pyridoxine HCL, the coenzyme of Vitamin B-6 is included in Liquid Endurance as it is a key factor in the metabolism of all fuels including fatty acids. Without sufficient supplies of vitamin B-6 the body cannot make l-carnitine therefore it cannot access fatty acids efficiently, thus depleting the amount of glycerol produced.

With Liquid Endurance, you get so much more than a "heat tolerance" product. You'll appreciate its benefits any time, but especially during hot weather races.




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SUGGESTED DOSES



ESSENTIAL

Workout days under 1.5 hours and on days off



Premium Insurance Caps - For all athletes, regardless of size or age - suggested dose is 1 packet per day, in divided doses, with food. On non-workout days take 4 capsules with breakfast and 3 capsules with lunch. On workout days take 4 capsules after workout with food, the other 3 at another time during the day with food. Note that supplementation with this product is not necessary and not recommended prior to workouts unless at least a 3-hour window exists between consumption of the product and the beginning of the workout.


Race Caps Supreme - Athletes weighing less than 150 pounds or any athlete under the age of 20 - Suggested dose is 1 capsule twice daily with food on non-workout days. On workout days of 90 minutes or less take 1 capsule 60-120 minutes prior to exercise (with or without food) and 1 capsule after exercise with food.

Athletes weighing more than 150 pounds - Suggested dose is 1 capsule three times daily on non-workout days. On workout days of 90 minutes or less take 2 capsules 60-120 minutes prior to exercise (with or without food) and 1 capsule after exercise with food.


Mito Caps - For all athletes, regardless of size or age - suggested dose is 1 capsule three times daily, with food, on non-workout days. On workout days of 90 minutes or less take 1 capsule 30-60 minutes prior to workouts (with or without food) and 2 capsules after workouts with food. A 4th capsule may be taken with dinner on workout days that were 60-90 minutes in length.


Workout days over 1.5 hours



Premium Insurance Caps - Athletes weighing less than 150 pounds or ANY athlete under the age of 20 - Suggested dose is 4 capsules after workout, with food, the other 3 at another time during the day, with food. Note that supplementation with this product is not necessary and not recommended prior to workouts unless at least a 3-hour window exists between consumption of the product and the beginning of the workout.

Athletes weighing more than 150 pounds - Suggested dose is 2 full packets per day (total of 14 capsules) in divided doses with 1 full packet (7 capsules) taken with food after workout. The other full packet is to be split into two doses and taken at other times of the day with food. If there is a 3-hour window prior to exercise 3 capsules may be taken at that time. If there is not a 3-hour window, skip that dose and take those capsules at other times throughout the day.


Race Caps Supreme - Athletes weighing less than 150 pounds or ANY athlete under the age of 20 - Suggested dose is 1 capsule 30-90 minutes prior to exercise (with or without food). If workout exceeds two hours, 1 additional capsule may be taken every hour during the workout. Another 1 capsule after workouts, with food, is also suggested.

Athletes weighing more than 150 pounds - Suggested dose is 2 capsules 30-90 minutes prior to exercise (with or without food). If workout exceeds two hours, 1-2 additional capsules may be taken every hour during the workout. Another 1-2 capsules after workouts, with food, is also suggested.


Mito Caps - For all athletes, regardless of age - suggested dose is 2 capsules 30-60 minutes prior to exercise (with or without food), 2 capsules after exercise with food, 2 capsules with dinner. If workout exceeds two hours, 1 additional capsule may be taken every hour during the workout.


VERY IMPORTANT



Super AO - For enhanced recovery take 1 or 2 capsules with food after workouts (use the higher dose after workouts over 2-3 hours and after races). For supporting enhanced cognitive function, 1 capsule of Super AO may be taken in the morning with food. For supporting enhanced performance (via free radical neutralization, increased circulation, and enhanced cognitive function) during longer distance workouts and races, Super AO may be used at a suggested intake of 1 capsule every 2-3 hours. Super AO may be used daily all year round.


Tissue Rejuvenator - 4 capsules twice daily with food during periods of injury. For prevention purposes, 1-2 capsules twice daily with food is suggested. Tissue Rejuvenator may also be used as needed during an event as a pain reliever (test it in training first!). Athletes competing in the multi-day Race Across America (where 22-hour days of non-stop cycling is common) have successfully used up to 15 capsules daily.


Phytomax - 1 to 2 capsules three times daily with food. The larger dose should be considered during peak training periods.


REM Caps - 1-3 capsules 60 minutes prior to sleep. Start with the lowest dose, as that will provide 3 mg of melatonin, which is a dose that works for most people.


IMPORTANT


ChromeMateTM - 1 capsule with post-workout recovery food


Boron - 1 capsule with post-workout recovery food.


Xobaline/Xobaline Liquid - 1 capsule after workout.


SPECIFIC



Anti-Fatigue Caps - 2 to 4 capsules one hour prior to lengthy workouts or races. 1 to 2 capsules per hour during lengthy workouts or races, beginning at the second hour.


Liquid Endurance - 1 tablespoon Liquid Endurance for each 100-lbs. bodyweight mixed in 24 fluid ounces water sipped slowly every 3 hours, 4 times daily. Do this for 3 days prior to event.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to weigh each day. If you gain 3% of your body weight before the 3-day loading is finished, it is time to stop loading. Beyond the 3% body extracellular water-weight gain is performance-ineffective. Most people gain 1-2%.


Energy Surge - 1-2 tablets dissolved under tongue as needed during exercise. For faster absorption, chew Energy Surge tablets into a paste then dissolve under the tongue.


*** PART TWO ***

Fueling Strategies- Training

The first article in this series dealt with the use of specific Hammer Nutrition supplements on a daily or "as needed" basis; now we're talking fueling - the fluids, calories, and electrolytes your body needs during and after your workouts.
Whether your workouts or races last an hour or two, or a week or two, Hammer Nutrition has the fuels your body craves. You can completely and perfectly fulfill your pre, during, and post-workout requirements from our line of fuels. However, with so many choices and combinations of choices, how do know which to choose?


This article describes our fuels in detail and tells you how to best use them. For ease of comparison and for systematically sorting out your needs, we divide our fuels into four categories: Energy Sources, Electrolytes, Protein Powders, and Recovery Drink.



Calorie/Energy Sources


We have four products in this category. The first two listed-Hammer Gel and Hammer H.E.E.D.-have carbs only as their energy source. Both are maltodextrin-based and contain no added simple sugars They are your best choices for events lasting up to two hours, especially when the pace is fast and intense (75-85% MHR). The next two on the list - Sustained Energy and Perpetuem - contain protein also and other components for fueling longer exercise sessions.

All-Carb Fuels:

Hammer Gel - Our original fuel, an athletic mainstay for over 15 years, this is our most basic, and therefore our most versatile fuel, ideal for those who desire to carefully monitor and dispense each component of their fueling separately. You can use it as all or part of a pre-race meal, to stanch hunger immediately before an event, to provide all your energy needs for workouts/races up to about two hours, to supplement the protein-based fuels in longer events, and as part of your post-workout recovery nutrition. You can use Hammer Gel in your water bottle, in the Hammer Flask, in a one-serving pouch, or to flavor other products and foods. You can keep an extra pouch or flask in your pocket in case your planned fuel outlay in a race or training event comes up a bit short. Don't leave home without it!

Hammer H.E.E.D. - H.E.E.D. is our newest fuel, designed for those who want an all-in-one energy drink option. It contains a number of extras that offer you convenience when precision is less of an issue. H.E.E.D. is ideal for those whose fueling needs do not entail the refinements or duration of our other products. Use Hammer H.E.E.D. as your one-source fuel supply for lighter or shorter workouts, to add variety during ultra-long events, and in any situation that favors simplicity over precision and completeness.



Comparing Hammer Gel and Hammer H.E.E.D.




Hammer Gel is a concentrated complex carbohydrate gel with the consistency of thick syrup. Hammer H.E.E.D. is a powdered sports drink mix.
Hammer Gel contains a small amount of the amino acids l-leucine, l-isoleucine, l-valine (known as the branched chained amino acids, or BCAAs), and l-alanine. BCAAs help prevent the cannibalizing of lean muscle tissue. L-alanine aids in carbohydrate metabolism. Hammer H.E.E.D. does not contain BCAAs or L-alanine.
Hammer H.E.E.D. contains a full spectrum, amino acid-chelated electrolyte profile; two servings equal approximately 1.5 capsules of Endurolytes. Hammer Gel contains very small amounts of sodium chloride and potassium for digestive and preservative purposes.
Hammer H.E.E.D. contains ChromeMateTM brand chromium polynicotinate for stabilizing blood glucose levels, and l-carnosine for lactic acid buffering. Hammer Gel does not have these.
Hammer H.E.E.D. comes in two flavors: lemon-lime and mandarin orange
Hammer Gel comes in eight flavors: orange, banana, chocolate, raspberry, vanilla, espresso, apple-cinnamon, and plain.

Carb/Protein Fuels:

Sustained Energy - This is our time-tested standard fuel for extended exercise. As explained in the article “Proper Caloric Intake During Endurance Events” in The Endurance Athlete’s Guide to Success, any exercise beyond about two hours requires a protein component in the fuel. Sustained Energy contains about 87% carbohydrates (almost all from maltodextrin and glucose polymers-no added simple sugars, of course), and about 13 % isolated soy protein (7:1 ratio), the ideal combination to use when rate of exercise is between 70-85% MHR in "sustained" efforts lasting anywhere from 3-12 hours.

Perpetuem - This newer product takes the concept of long-distance fueling to the max. We designed it primarily for extreme endurance events lasting about six hours to many days. Perpetuem contains 75% carbohydrates (from long-chain maltodextrins-no added simple sugars), 13% fatty acids from a specially made long-chain lyso-lecithin, and nearly 10% soy protein. A small portion of fat seems to cue your body to more liberally release its fatty acids stores, which account for up to 70% of one's energy requirements in long bouts of exercise. A little fat in the fuel also slightly slows the rate of digestion and thus promotes "caloric satisfaction," another attractive plus during primarily aerobic ultra-long distance events. Perpetuem provides maximal benefits at an aerobic pace (under 70% MHR).



Comparing Sustained Energy and Perpetuem




Sustained Energy is a neutrally flavored powder. Perpetuem has an orange-vanilla "Dreamsicle" flavor.
Perpetuem contains lyso-lecithin fat, whereas Sustained Energy does not.
Perpetuem contains tribasic sodium phosphate, which is a tremendous lactic acid buffer. Sustained Energy does not contain this nutrient.
Both fuels contain l-carnosine (an antioxidant that also buffers lactic acid) l-carnitine (to promote fatty acid utilization), and chromium polynicotinate (to stabilize blood sugar level).

Perpetuem contains the new "XT" soy protein preparation, which, along with the sodium in tribasic sodium phosphate, provides a more complete mineral profile. The mineral content in a two-scoop serving of Perpetuem may allow you cut back to one Endurolytes capsule per hour. Also, the "XT" soy protein contains higher isoflavone content, believed to have superb cardiovascular health benefits. Sustained Energy has soy protein and an excellent isoflavone content, but the strain used in Perpetuem has even more.


-- Fueling Notes --




The above fuel selection guidelines are just that; they're guidelines only, and what may be ideal for some athletes under specific conditions may not work for others in identical conditions. For example, though Perpetuem was designed for more aerobic paced, longer distance efforts, we receive positive reports daily from athletes who use Perpetuem in much shorter races.
All Hammer Nutrition fuels are completely compatible with one another, so you can use them interchangeably as desired. This is especially beneficial in ultra-endurance events as it provides a greater variety of quality fuels to choose from. For example, you can use Perpetuem and/or Sustained Energy from start to finish, or you can occasionally switch to Hammer H.E.E.D. and/or Hammer Gel to add variety. However, you should meet at least two-thirds of your fueling requirements from Perpetuem or Sustained Energy.
When you use Hammer Gel and Hammer H.E.E.D. for events longer than two hours, you do not need to start with them and then switch to Sustained Energy or Perpetuem. You can use Hammer Gel and/or Hammer H.E.E.D. at any time during your workout. An extra flask of Hammer Gel in your pocket can save the day if you have already drained your Sustained Energy or Perpetuem mix and you begin to flag with several miles still to go. It will give you a quick pick-up just when you need it, even if it's many hours into your event.


Electrolytes


Endurolytes - A full-spectrum, rapidly assimilated electrolyte supplement is as important to your fueling as the water you drink and the calories you eat. While the above four fuels provide the calories your body needs to make energy (the body's "gasoline"), electrolytes can be thought of as the "motor oil" for the body, providing it with the essential minerals it needs to maintain the optimal performance of many important functions, such as muscular contraction.

Far too many athletes forget to replenish electrolytes consistently, or they mistake sodium or salt intake for true electrolyte replenishment. Sodium chloride (salt) is indeed an important component of electrolyte replenishment, but it does not fulfill the entire requirement. A satisfactory electrolyte replenishment product needs to include sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and potassium as all these minerals play key roles in the maintenance of these important body functions. Endurolytes is that product, and you will search in vain to find another like it on the market.

Unlike calorie and fluid absorption and depletion rates, which remain fairly constant from athlete to athlete, electrolyte expenditure (and thus replenishment) varies tremendously. Body weight, level of fitness, weather conditions, acclimatization level, and biological predisposition all greatly affect electrolyte depletion and the need for replenishment. That's why the hourly Endurolytes dose can range from 1-6 capsules an hour. That being said, a good starting dose to consider is:



Lighter weight athletes: 1-2 capsules/hour
Medium weight athletes: 2-3 capsules/hour
Larger athletes: 4-6 capsules/hour

Remember though, these are only suggested starting doses and the amount you need may be different, and may vary from hour to hour.



Protein Powders


You will not use these two products during your workouts, but as part of your pre-workout meals and post-workout recovery refueling. Hammer Nutrition offers two choices, each with its own set of benefits. Both products come in pure protein form; they are made from the finest quality preparations and have no added artificial flavorings or sweeteners.

Hammer Soy - A great all-purpose, all-vegetable protein that has many health benefits. Believe it or not, most endurance athletes have woefully inadequate protein intakes from their daily diet. Soy protein, in addition to the health benefits it provides, is a concentrated protein source, which helps athletes to fulfill their daily protein requirements. Each scoop of Hammer Soy contains 25 grams of isolated soy protein and absolutely no GMO (genetically modified organism) soy protein.

Note: Soy is the preferred protein for use during exercise, as it minimizes ammonia build-up. Sustained Energy and Perpetuem contain an adequate amount of soy protein for your needs during prolonged exercise. Hammer Soy is formulated for meal supplementation; it is far too concentrated for use during exercise.

Hammer Whey - The standard for promoting rapid recovery. For the rebuilding of lean muscle tissue and optimal immune system functioning between workouts and races, whey protein has no peer. It is the most bioavailable form of protein with the highest amount of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) of any protein source. One scoop of Hammer Whey provides 18 grams of whey protein isolate. Each scoop also contains a huge six grams of glutamine, providing even more muscle rebuilding and immune system enhancing benefits.



Comparing Hammer Whey and Hammer Soy




We believe you'll not find a better protein for recovery and immune system boosting than whey protein (Hammer Whey), and for cardiovascular/general health benefits it's hard to top soy protein (Hammer Soy). That doesn't mean using Hammer Soy for recovery purposes would be "wrong" or in any way harmful, or that Hammer Whey must be used solely for recovery (but we don't recommend using it in the three hours prior to workouts or races).
Whey protein is arguably the most rapidly absorbed protein source. After exercise, you want the protein to get into your system immediately so your body can receive the amino acid support it urgently needs. Rapid assimilation is but one area where whey protein shines.
Whey protein has the highest BV (Biological Value, a rating system that ranks bioavailability) of any protein source.
Whey protein's amino acid profile (particularly the high amounts of BCAAs) is superb for preventing catabolism (lean muscle tissue breakdown) and thus reducing post-workout muscular soreness. The amino acids cysteine, methionine, and glutamine, also found in abundance in whey, increase endogenous levels of glutathione, which is arguably the strongest endogenous antioxidant and provides both immune system and liver support.
Soy protein is a purely vegan source that has an amino acid profile as complete as any animal protein.
Scientific research has established many connections between soy consumption and lower rates of certain cancers, notably breast, prostate, stomach, lung and colon.
Soy has more phenylalanine than whey. This may aid in maintaining alertness during extreme ultra-distance races.
Soy has higher amounts of histidine (half of the dipeptide carnosine), which provides both antioxidant and acid buffering benefits.
Soy protein has higher levels of aspartic acid, which plays an important role in energy production via the Krebs cycle.
Soy protein's isoflavone component may impart exceptional cardiovascular benefits.


Recovery Drink


Recoverite - The delicious all-in-one recovery drink with each serving (two scoops) providing 30 grams of complex carbohydrates, 10 grams of whey protein isolate, and three grams of glutamine. While the standard 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is certainly acceptable for recovery, a 3:1 ratio may be even more beneficial for hard training athletes. Also, while some companies may use monosaccharides and disaccharides ("simple sugars") such as glucose, sucrose, or dextrose in their recovery drinks, due to their high glycemic index (GI) (and thus fast elevation of blood sugar), we use only complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin). Maltodextrin has a GI on a par with simple sugars (except fructose), so it too elevates blood sugar levels rapidly, with the added benefit of providing up to three times more calories compared to products containing simple sugars. This is vital for preventing stomach distress and also ensuring that your body quickly and efficiently obtains the full amount of calories it needs.



Basic Fueling Principles


Although the topic of how to properly fuel the body during endurance exercise is a subject that requires much more than a few paragraphs (please see The Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success for more detailed information), there are some key things that endurance athletes should know and apply, which I believe will yield tremendous benefits.

Dr. Bill Misner, the head of R&D at Hammer Nutrition states: " To suggest that fluids, sodium, and fuels-induced glycogen replenishment can happen at the same rate as it is spent during exercise is simply not true. Endurance exercise beyond 1-2 hours is a deficit spending entity, with proportionate return or replenishment always in arrears. The endurance exercise outcome is to postpone fatigue, not to replace all the fuel, fluids, and electrolytes lost during the event. It can't be done, though many of us have tried."

What this means, in regards to fluids, calories, and electrolytes/sodium, is that the body cannot be replenished at the same rate that it becomes depleted. Yes, the body needs your assistance in replenishing what it loses but that donation must be in amounts that cooperate with normal body mechanisms, not in amounts that override these crucial mechanisms.



FLUIDS


When it comes to fluid intake, experts such as Dr. Tim Noakes and Dr. Ian Rogers suggest that a fluid intake between 500-750 milliliters/hr (16.9-25.4 fluid ounces per hour) will fulfill most athlete's hydration requirements under most conditions. I like what Dr. Rogers says: "Like most things in life, balance is the key and the balance is likely to be at a fluid intake not much above 500 milliliters (16.9-25.4 fluid ounces per hour) per hour in most situations, unless predicted losses are very substantial." [Fluid and Electrolyte Balance and Endurance Exercise: What can we learn from recent research? by Ian Rogers @: http://www.wms.org/education/Hyponatremia.htm]

We at Hammer Nutrition have found that most athletes do very well, under most conditions with a fluid intake of 20-26 ounces per hour (roughly the equivalent of a small to large water bottle). Sometimes you may not need that much fluid, sometimes you might need slightly more. If more fluid intake is found to be necessary (under very hot conditions, for example) it will most likely be necessary to increase electrolyte intake as well.



CALORIES


As far as calorie replenishment is concerned, the body has a limit to what it can accept from carbohydrate donation for return to the energy cycle. Researchers such as Coleman, Noakes, and others (in carbohydrate oxidative research) agree that up to 1.0 - 1.1 grams of carbohydrate per minute can be utilized from exogenous (outside) carbohydrate donation. A 1.0 g/carb per minute donation is 240 carbohydrate calories per hour. A 1.1 g/carb per minute donation is 264 carbohydrate calories per hour. Taking into account that some of those calories - approximately 6-23% - are burned/lost during the digestive process, this suggests that for the average athlete the minimum intake is 254.4 calories to obtain 240 calories per hour (1.0 per minute with 6% lost in route) while the absolute upper maximum is 324.72 carbohydrate calories required in order to regenerate 264 carbohydrate calories (1.1 per minute with 23% lost in route).

We take a slightly more conservative side and suggest a slightly lower overall dose after finding that these higher amounts only induced gastric stress disorders and reduced performance in many athletes. This is why our common recommendation is approximately 60-70 grams of carbohydrates hourly (240-280 calories). That will, in most situations, and for most athletes, provide enough carbohydrates for energy production (the limit of what the body can metabolize) while taking into account a percentage of those calories being lost/burned during the digestive/metabolic processes.



Simple Sugars vs. Complex Carbohydrates


Another primary factor of importance to endurance athletes is the type of carbohydrate used. We believe the only type that any athlete should consume, especially during exercise, are long-chain (a.k.a. "complex") carbohydrates and never short-chain carbohydrates (a.k.a. "simple sugars"). Fuels containing simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, dextrose) must be mixed in weak 6-8% solutions in order to match body fluid osmolality and be digested with any efficiency. Unfortunately, solutions mixed and consumed at this concentration will only provide about 100 or so calories an hour, which is inadequate for maintaining energy production. However, you can't make a "double or triple strength" mixture from a simple sugar-based in the hopes of obtaining adequate amounts of calories because the concentration of that mixture will exceed 6-8%. Once that 6-8% solution concentrate is exceeded (or if a simple sugar-based fuel is consumed with or near a complex carbohydrate product) osmolality is raised and, unless more water and electrolytes are added to the mix (at which point the athlete might very well be flirting with over hydration), that concentrated simple sugar solution will not pass the gastric channels… it will literally sit in the stomach. Even more problematic is that if more fluids and electrolytes are not available the body will recruit these from other areas in the body (areas that critically need these fluids and electrolytes) and divert them to the digestive system to aid in the digestion of this too-concentrated simple sugar mix. Simply put, simple sugar-based drinks or gels have to be mixed and consumed at very dilute (and thus, calorically weak) concentrations in order to be digested with any efficiency. And again, when a simple sugar-based product is used it at properly mixed proportions it cannot provide adequate amounts of calories for energy production.

Complex carbohydrates, however, will match body fluid osmolality, not at a 6-8% solution, but a more concentrated 15-20% solution. Even at this seemingly too-high concentration complex carbohydrates (such as maltodextrins/glucose polymers) will empty the stomach at the same efficient rate as normal body fluids and provide substantially more calories (up to three times more) than simple sugar mixtures will.

To sum up, if the athlete consumes a simple sugar fuel the body will only permit 6-8% of it in solution into circulating serum for fuel replacement. On the other hand, complex carbohydrate fuels are easily and more-rapidly absorbed in a 15-20% solution. More calories are absorbed faster, and are available for energy production, from complex carbohydrates than simple sugar. The higher the simple sugar content, the higher the solution osmolality, the less of it is absorbed immediately. The longer the chain of sugars linked together as a complex carbohydrate the more of it is absorbed in higher solution because its osmolality is closer to that of body fluids. Therefore, the ideal carbohydrate source for athletes is long-chain complex carbohydrates.



The Need For Protein


When exercise goes into the second hour and beyond, supplemental protein will fulfill the 5-15% energy requirements of the body while also preventing the cannibalization of lean muscle tissue (which, among other things, produces excess amounts of performance-robbing ammonia). Therefore, it makes sense during long exercise sessions or races, to include some protein in the fuel mix. A donation in the range of 3-10 grams of protein (12-40 calories) will satisfy this 5-15% protein requirement. We believe that soy protein, with its specific amino acid profile and naturally occurring isoflavones, is an ideal protein source for use during exercise.



ELECTROLYTES


Electrolyte replenishment is as important a component of proper fueling as the fluids you drink and the calories you consume because they are crucial for maintaining the optimal performance of many of the body's functions such as proper muscular contraction. Far too many athletes forget to replenish electrolytes consistently or mistake "electrolyte replenishment" for "sodium or salt replenishment." Sodium chloride (a.k.a. "salt") is indeed an important component of electrolyte replenishment but it does not fulfill the entire requirements. A satisfactory electrolyte replenishment product needs to include sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and potassium as all these minerals play a key role in the maintenance of these important body functions.

In terms of sodium replenishment, far too many athletes "over salt" their bodies during exercise, with bloating, water retention (edema-like symptoms), and stomach distress being the usual outcome. We want our body to re-circulate adequate amounts of sodium for supporting systemic balance of osmolality, carbohydrate transit across gastric membranes, and nerve transmission for muscle contractions. Too much of a sodium donation neutralizes this re-circulation process and again, may contribute towards those aforementioned, performance-inhibiting problems. The key for electrolyte replenishment, as it is with calories and fluids, is to provide an adequate dose to support bodily functions without overwhelming the body with too much, which will override and neutralize those body functions. Therefore, to satisfy the body's crucial electrolyte requirements, we suggest consistent/hourly replenishment from a balance of electrolytes, which would include a donation of up to 300-600 mg sodium chloride (a.k.a. "salt").




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Pre-Workout Fueling




First, let's talk about pre-workout food consumption. There are two ideal choices available in terms of pre-workout food consumption:
Complete food consumption (200-400 calories is all that is necessary) three hours prior to the workout. This will prevent the too-rapid depletion of muscle glycogen stores, which is a hard-earned, premium fuel, the first your body will use when exercise begins.
If completing food consumption three hours prior to the beginning of a workout is not possible (if your workout begins first thing in the morning, for example) you can accomplish the same "muscle glycogen preservation" goal by either consuming a small amount of fuel (approximately 100-275 calories) 5-10 minutes prior to the workout or eating nothing at all prior to the workout; simply begin refueling the body shortly after it begins.

For more detailed information about this particular subject, please read "The Pre-Race Meal Simplified" in the fueling handbook The Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success.


Using the suggested dosages suggested in the Supplement Strategy article, remember to take your pre-workout dose of Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps, and, prior to longer workouts, Anti-Fatigue Caps.
Take 1-3 Endurolytes with your other pre-workout supplements. Consider this dose as a "pre-emptive" strike of sorts, having these minerals in your body prior to the workout will take care of your electrolyte requirements during the first portion of your workout.



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During Workout Fueling

--- Workouts of 1-2 Hours ---


Calories - Suggested Doses*:



Up to 120 pounds: Hammer Gel - 2 servings/hour or
Hammer H.E.E.D. - 1 to 1.5 scoops/hour


120-155 pounds: Hammer Gel - 2.5 servings/hour or
Hammer H.E.E.D. - 2 to 2.5 scoops/hour


155-190 pounds: Hammer Gel - 3 servings/hour or
Hammer H.E.E.D. - 2.5 to 2.75 scoops/hour


190+ pounds: Hammer Gel - 3 to 3.5 servings/hour or
Hammer H.E.E.D. - 3 scoops/hour


* These are estimated doses. Each athlete should determine in training, under a variety of conditions, their personal optimum.

If you've consumed some fuel just prior to your workout (in the 5-10 minute window) that may very well satisfy energy requirements for workouts up to 2 hours in length. However, it still is a good idea to carry additional calories in the event additional fuel becomes necessary (the "it's better to be looking at it than looking for it" train of thought). If no calories are consumed just prior to the workout you'll definitely need to refuel your body during your workout, especially if it goes beyond an hour. Hammer Gel or Hammer H.E.E.D. will be ideal fuels to use during workouts of 1-2 hours, when carbohydrates + muscle glycogen stores will fulfill energy needs.

Electrolytes - Suggested Dose:

1-6 Endurolytes per hour

As was discussed earlier, electrolyte expenditure (and thus replenishment) varies tremendously from athlete to athlete and that many variables are involved in determining what constitutes sufficient electrolyte replenishment for you. That’s why the hourly replenishment dose of Endurolytes can be anywhere from 1-6 capsules an hour. With that being said, here are some dosage suggestions to consider starting with:

For lighter weight athletes - 1-2 capsules an hour
For medium weight athletes - 2-3 capsules an hour
For larger athletes - 4-6 capsules an hour

Remember though, these are suggested starting doses and the amount you need may be different, and may vary from hour to hour. If you’ve consumed Endurolytes prior to your workout that may completely fulfill most, if not all, your electrolyte requirements during one-hour training sessions.

NOTE: Each 2-scoop serving of Hammer H.E.E.D. contains the equivalent of about 1.5 capsules of Endurolytes; for some, that may completely fulfill an hour’s worth of electrolyte requirements. For others it’s a good base from which to add a few Endurolytes capsules.



--- Workouts 2-3 Hours or longer ---


Calories - Suggested Doses*:

Up to 120 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 1.5 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 1 scoop/hour


120-155 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 1.75 - 2 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 1 - 1.5 scoops/hour


155-190 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 2.25 - 2.5 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 2 scoops/hour


190+ pounds:
Sustained Energy - 2.5 - 3 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 2.25 - 2.5 scoops/hour

*These are estimated doses. Each athlete should determine in training, under a variety of conditions, their personal optimum.

Sustained Energy/Perpetuem Mixing Options

You can mix and consume Sustained Energy or Perpetuem three different ways depending on individual preference and logistical concerns. Please experiment with the following options to determine which works best for you.



The One-Hour Bottle: This method works best in training or racing situations where you have a support crew and vehicle with you at all times. Because you have a crew going along with you, they can keep your mixed bottles chilled, mixing up fresh bottles of fuel along the way. If you're without a support crew but want to use this option for mixing, keep in mind that because both hydration and caloric requirements are essentially trying to be satisfied from one source, this limits your ability to adjust your fluid intake without affecting your caloric intake and vice versa. To use this method, simply mix the suggested amount of scoops of Sustained Energy or Perpetuem for your bodyweight in a water bottle, small (20 ounces) or large (24-28 ounces). Consume one bottle hourly.


The Multi-Hour Bottle: This is by far the most convenient method of fueling because it allows you to be self contained for many hours, requiring only additional plain water along the way. The only limitation is how many scoops you can fit into a bottle. Determine your proper hourly intake in scoops by experimenting with the numbers from the dosage chart above. For example, let's say you've determined through testing that 1.5 scoops of Perpetuem per hour is your ideal caloric intake. You need a 6-hour fuel supply. Simply mix 9 scoops (1.5 x 6) in a large bottle with as much water as will fit in. You may need to add a few scoops with some water and shake thoroughly before adding the remainder of the desired total number of scoops to get all of them to fit into the bottle. You then "nurse" this bottle taking small sips every 15-20 minutes. In this concentration, the water in the mixed bottle does not contribute more than a couple of ounces to your hourly fluid intake needs. To meet your fluid requirements, you carry a second and possibly even a third bottle of plain water (or use one of the many hydration packs/systems available). Drink from them according to the temperatures so that you are consuming a total of 16-24 ounces of plain water per hour, depending on the severity of the heat stress.


Gel or Paste: If you want to carry the highest volume of calories in the least amount of space, this is your best option. Sustained Energy or Perpetuem can be made into a super-concentrated, near-paste like consistency and dispensed from a Hammer Gel flask. Using a blender or bowl and spoon, mix scoops of with a small amount of water, gradually adding water as necessary to create the consistency desired. Remember that the heavier, more concentrated Perpetuem is mixed, the sweeter and stronger the flavor will become. Depending on how many scoops per hour you have determined you require, and based on how concentrated the mix is, each flask of Sustained Energy or Perpetuem can supply you with 2-4 hours of fuel. As with the multi-hour bottle, to meet your fluid requirements, you carry additional bottles of plain water or use a hydration pack. Drink from them according to the temperatures so that you are consuming a total of 16-24 ounces of plain water per hour, depending on the severity of the heat stress.


A Note Regarding Solid Food


Liquid fuels, such as Sustained Energy and Perpetuem, exist because, more times than not, they can provide the body with a much more precise amount/ratio of carbohydrates and protein (and fat, in the case of Perpetuem) than solid food can. In addition, liquid fuels are much easier to digest and assimilate, a definite benefit when you’re putting the wood to yourself in a workout session or race. Solid food, no matter how high in quality it may be, always takes more time, fluid, electrolytes, and bodily energy to break down and assimilate. That can oftentimes slow you down.

So does that make the use of solid food wrong? Not at all, though it’s conceivable that you’ll achieve better results, with less potential for stomach distress, if you utilize a liquid fuel in your training and racing. Still, I know, having done multi-day races, how important it is during really long workouts or races (12 hours-plus is my gauge) to have some solid food on occasion, if only to satisfy the need to chew on and consume “real food.” That being said, my two keys for using solid food are:



Make wise choices. That sugary, fat-laden pastry may look tempting but we both know it’s not going to help your performance and may in fact ruin it. Remember the rule: Garbage in, garbage out. If you’re going to eat solid food remember that what you put in your body greatly determines the quality of energy you’ll get out of it. Therefore, choose wisely and stick to solid food choices that don’t rely on refined sugar as their primary (if not altogether sole) carbohydrate source. Avoid the saturated fats as well; they’ll take a long, long time to digest and that’ll only slow you down.


Use it sparingly. I’ve noted from my own experiences as well as my observations of other athletes that relying too heavily on solid food tends to leave one feeling lethargic, almost sleepy at times. I attribute this to the amount of energy the body requires to break down and assimilate solid food and the fact that fluids and electrolytes are being diverted away from the muscles to the digestive tract to aid in the breakdown process. The last thing I’d want to do, especially in an ultra race, is feel lethargic and sleepy; that’s already going to be something to contend with anyway (it’s an ultra, remember?) so why make things even tougher in that regard? Therefore, while I think solid food can be a well-earned and mega-appreciated diversion from an all-liquid diet, I also think it should be used sparingly, as an incentive or reward (“I’ll have a bagel/sandwich/quality food-of-choice when I get to the next checkpoint”). Make solid food “the exception, not the rule” in your fueling protocol and I believe you’ll achieve better results.

Athletes are inundated with dozens upon dozens of energy bar choices and they do come in handy, providing a compact, concentrated source of calories. If you do want to use an energy bar, I’d suggest using one that contains less than 25% of its total carbohydrate content as sugar. The less sugar (meaning simple sugar) the better. One bar that I discovered in the summer of 2002 is the Organic Vegan Food Bar. In my opinion, this is not only the best tasting energy bar I’ve ever used, it is also, by far, the highest quality one in terms of ingredients. In fact, I think it’s kind of a shame to call it an energy bar because it’s really an outstanding food source that simply comes in bar form. I used the Organic Vegan Food Bar in my longer training sessions that summer and as my primary solid food during my Double Furnace Creek 508 record in October 2002, an effort that saw me on the bike for a bit over 75 hours. It provided my body with high quality calories, it was easy to consume (it didn’t melt either!), it tasted great, and it was very satisfying. It worked really, really well during that grueling effort and I have been using it ever since. Though it is not a Hammer Nutrition fuel, I highly recommend this product.

Electrolytes - Suggested Dose:



1-6 Endurolytes per hour

As was discussed earlier, electrolyte expenditure (and thus replenishment) varies tremendously from athlete to athlete and that many variables are involved in determining what constitutes sufficient electrolyte replenishment for you. That’s why the hourly replenishment dose of Endurolytes can be anywhere from 1-6 capsules an hour. With that being said, here are some dosage suggestions to consider starting with:



For lighter weight athletes - 1-2 capsules an hour
For medium weight athletes - 2-3 capsules an hour
For larger athletes - 4-6 capsules an hour

Remember though, these are suggested starting doses and the amount you need may be different, and may vary from hour to hour. If you’ve consumed Endurolytes prior to your workout that should take care of the first hour’s electrolyte requirements. Remember to take Endurolytes every 30-60 minutes during your workout.



To achieve best results during longer workouts, remember:




Sustained Energy or Perpetuem should be your primary source of fuel (approximately two-thirds to, ideally, three-quarters of the time).


You can use Sustained Energy or Perpetuem as your sole calorie source every hour from beginning to end or you can use Hammer Gel and/or Hammer H.E.E.D. occasionally during the workout to provide a little variety in your menu (remember to keep Sustained Energy or Perpetuem as your primary source of fuel).


You do not need to start with Hammer Gel or Hammer H.E.E.D. the first two hours, then switch to Sustained Energy or Perpetuem.


Don’t forget to take Endurolytes consistently throughout your workouts. Even though this product comes in capsule form and may not really look like a fuel, it is and is as important a component of your fueling, as is anything you’re eating or drinking.


If solid food is desired, make wise choices (low or no simple sugars and saturated fats) and use it sparingly.


If you're using Hammer Nutrition supplements, don't forget to take your hourly doses of them, as suggested in the Supplement Strategies article.



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Post-Workout Fueling


Recovery begins as soon as the workout ends and the sooner you "re-fill" the tank, the quicker your recovery will be and the better prepped your body will be for the next workout. In other words, how well you recover today greatly determines how well you perform tomorrow. To put the "finishing touches" on your workouts, and to get the full value out of every minute you've put into them, make sure you consume adequate amounts of high quality and easily digested carbohydrates and protein as soon as possible after each of your training sessions. Now is also a good time to take the post-workout supplements as suggested in the "Supplement Strategies” article, the first one in this series. For more detailed information on the importance of post-workout fueling, please refer to the article "Superior Recovery" in The Endurance Athlete's Guide To Success.

Suggested Recovery Formulas*:



1 - 3 servings (2-6 scoops) Recoverite in 8 - 16 ounces (or more, if desired) of cold water is the most convenient way to refuel, providing 30-90 grams of complex carbohydrates, 10-30 grams of whey protein isolate, plus ample amounts of glutamine.


1 - 1.5 scoops Hammer Whey + 3-4 servings of your favorite flavor of Hammer Gel in 6-8 ounces cold water. You can of course use more water than the 6-8 ounces suggested. However, both the Hammer Whey and Hammer Gel components will all mix quite easily in very little water, which may be desirable if you don't want to eat or drink much after a hard workout.


1 - 1.5 scoops Hammer Whey + 2-3 scoops of Sustained Energy in 12-24 ounces orange juice.

* Experiment! The amount you use can be determined by your body size (lighter weight athletes may use the lower amounts, heavier athletes the higher amounts) or by length/intensity of the workout (you can use the lower suggested amounts after shorter workouts, the higher amount after longer or harder workouts).


*** PART THREE ***

Supplement/Fueling Strategies - Race Day

In the previous articles, I suggested a supplement and fueling protocol for use during training. This article covers supplement and fueling requirements prior to and during your races. Hopefully, you're already using your chosen Hammer Nutrition supplements and Hammer Nutrition fuels in training. As is the case in any sport, you experiment with all aspects of your sport in training well in advance of the actual race and race day is not the time to test any supplement or fuel. Use the guidelines I've provided in the previous articles in your training, adapting according to your personal needs, and keep a written record of your intake, weather, workout intensity, and results. Come race time you'll be dialed in - supplement and fueling-wise - which means you can race with confidence.

All adventure racers would most likely benefit from taking Race Day Boost in the four days prior to the event (make sure you test it in training first). However, I think this particular product is of special interest for those adventure racers doing shorter races, say those in the 6-8 hour range or shorter. The product information is below. After that, I'll discuss the pre-race meal, the information of which is applicable for all adventure racers, followed by specific supplement and fueling suggestions for single day adventure races and multi-day adventure races. I’ll close the article with post-workout recovery suggestions.


Four Days Prior To the Race


Race Day Boost - Take one (1) teaspoon in 4-6 ounces of a carbohydrate beverage 4x/day for four days prior to the event. For example, if your race starts on Saturday you would begin the loading dose on Tuesday). This protocol MUST be tested during training.

If you found a supplement that enhanced the functions and performance of your body's three energy production pathways, and also effectively buffered lactic acid, you'd take it, wouldn't you? Race Day Boost is that product-and yes, it's safe and legal! To tell you how Race Day Boost can help you to a triathlon PR, let's review a few basics of molecular-level energy production.

Our muscles rely on three different energy systems, or metabolic pathways, to produce ATP, the molecule directly responsible for muscle function. We have the ATP-CP system, the lactic acid system, and the oxygen, or aerobic, system. Every muscle fiber has all three of these systems available, utilizing each depending on the length and intensity of exercise.

The first energy system is the ATP-CP (adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate) system. ATP is the immediate source of energy for muscle contraction, breaking down to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) as it releases the energy to fire a muscle fiber contraction. This system releases energy very rapidly, but also depletes very rapidly, in just a few seconds of continued effort. It is the energy source used in brief, intense activities such as weightlifting or sprinting. Creatine phosphate, another high-energy compound naturally occurring in all muscle cells, also breaks down, releasing energy as it loses its phosphate group, but unlike ATP, it does not cause muscle contraction. Instead, the phosphate goes to an ADP, converting it back into ATP, thus replenishing the system. The sodium tribasic phosphate in Race Day Boost supplies phosphate groups used in the re-synthesis of CP and ATP, thus improving the performance of this short-term energy system.

The second energy system is the lactic acid system. A key feature of this system is its relationship with blood pH. Normal blood maintains a slightly alkaline pH of 7.3 to 7.4, optimal for the enzymes that produce energy via the lactic acid energy system. This system uses carbohydrates as fuel, primarily in the form of glycogen stored in the muscles. Our bodies break down muscle glycogen (a process known as glycogenolysis) into glucose, which then undergoes further breakdown via glycolysis. Glycolysis converts sugar to pyruvic acid, releasing energy and creating ATP. Glycolysis occurs with or without the presence of oxygen. At rest, glycolysis occurs at a slower rate sustained by the oxygen you take in (aerobic glycolysis). As you begin to exercise, the rate of aerobic glycolysis increases. As intensity of exercise increases, aerobic glycolysis becomes inadequate to support energy production and the system switches to anaerobic glycolysis. Through a series of chemical reactions in muscle cells, the formation of lactic acid allows anaerobic glycolysis to continue. However, excess lactic acid accumulates during high intensity efforts, increasing the hydrogen ion concentration within the muscle cells and disrupting the ideal alkaline blood pH. This results in that all-too-familiar "burn" we all hate. Race Day Boost's phosphate salt buffers blood acidity and helps maintain this acid-alkaline balance by neutralizing excess hydrogen ions within the muscle cell. Effectively buffering excess lactic acid allows the lactic acid system to provide energy for a longer time.

Phosphates also aid in improving the third energy system in the body, the oxygen energy system. This system uses primarily carbohydrates and fats to produce ATP, but after 90-120 minutes of sustained exercise, this system starts to chew on protein, with about 5 - 15% of the energy coming from amino acids. The oxygen system can't produce ATP as rapidly as the other two systems, but it does produce greater quantities of ATP. It serves as the primary energy system of aerobic, or "conversational level," athletics. In other words, if you're breathing easily enough that you can talk while you're running or cycling, you're still in the aerobic mode. Even though it seems that you're always going anaerobic in a race, or at least going back and forth between all the energy systems, once you settle into a rhythm during the race, your body relies mostly on the oxygen energy system. Phosphates form part of a compound found in red blood cells known as 2,3 diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG). This molecule helps release oxygen from hemoglobin into the muscle cells. An increase in 2,3-DPG will improve the availability of oxygen to working muscles for the process of creating ATP. The dose of sodium tribasic phosphate used in Race Day Boost exactly matches the dose used in all studies done with this nutrient, including one that showed an 8% improvement in performance in a 40k time-trial. Sodium tribasic phosphate improves all of the body's three energy systems, making it a superb ergogenic aid. In addition, we have added 500 mg of glutamine per serving. A full dose of four servings per day (2000 mg glutamine) enhances muscle and liver glycogen storage. During exercise, your body uses muscle glycogen stores more effectively than ingested carbohydrates, as the latter must first reach the bloodstream, and then go through chemical conversion before becoming available for energy. Improved glycogen storage capacity means improved endurance performance.


The Pre-Race Meal - For All Adventure Racers


If a pre-race meal is desired, you must complete the meal at least three hours prior to the start of the race or you will increase the rate of glycogen depletion and decrease your fat burning capabilities once the race begins. However, do not sacrifice sleep just to get up early to eat; it's neither crucial nor necessary. Muscle glycogen stores, the fuel your body will use first and foremost when the race begins, remain unaffected even after a nightlong fast. If you have been consistent in replenishing adequate amounts of carbohydrates immediately after all your workouts, you will have stored in your muscles and liver enough glycogen to propel you through about 90 minutes of strenuous exercise. Remember, if you eat too close to the start of the race, muscle glycogen stores will be depleted much more rapidly, an obvious disadvantage. So, it's more important to refrain from eating too close to the start than to load up three hours before the gun goes off. Refer to the article "The Pre-Race Meal Simplified" in The Endurance Athlete's Guide To Success for detailed information.

If a pre-race meal is consumed I suggest a total of 200-400 calories primarily from complex carbohydrates (some soy protein is also acceptable) with no simple sugars and a minimal amount of fiber and fat. A two to three-scoop serving of Sustained Energy, a readily digestible source of carbohydrates and protein, provides approximately 49-73 grams of complex carbohydrates, 7-10.5 grams of soy protein, a minimal amount of fat, and a total of approximately 229-343 calories. It's a perfect pre-race meal.

If you just have to eat prior to your race here's a better strategy than eating from one to three hours before start time: sip two or three servings of Hammer Gel approximately 5-10 minutes prior to the start of the race. By the time these calories are digested and blood sugar levels elevated, you'll be well into your race and the problem with elevated muscle glycogen depletion is no longer a physiologically an issue.



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SINGLE DAY ADVENTURE RACES


Like triathletes, but perhaps even more so, adventure racers face the unique challenge of having to conquer several different athletic disciplines in one event. As a result, you’ll be utilizing a lot of different muscle fibers, arguably more than any other sport requires, during your race. Protecting energy levels and lean muscle tissue, by making sure your calorie intake is sufficient, will be crucial to just finishing the race, let alone being successful. That’s where this suggested protocol comes in. It provides supplement suggestions to support enhanced energy output while also protecting the body from the damage caused by free radical production. Additionally, this protocol provides fueling suggestions that I believe will provide maximal benefits while keeping the actual product (and its weight) to a minimum, which I know all adventure racers will appreciate. After this reading and reviewing this material jump down to the post-race recovery section.


Pre-Race Supplements


Race Caps Supreme - For athletes weighing less than 150 pounds or ANY athlete under the age of 20 the suggested dose is 2 capsules (with or without food) one to three hours prior to the start of the race. Athletes weighing more than 150 pounds should take 3 capsules. The primary nutrients in Race Caps Supreme are the "spark plugs" your body needs to convert food and oxygen into energy. This dose gives your body the raw materials it needs to ensure efficient and consistent energy production.

Mito Caps - The perfect companion to Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps significantly amplifies that product's benefits and supports optimal functioning of the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles in the cells, which enhances efficient energy production. In addition, the nutrients in Mito Caps protect mitochondrial DNA from free radical damage, which occurs naturally, but in even higher volumes during exercise. Suggested dose is 2 capsules one to three hours prior to the start of the race.

Endurolytes - Take 1-6 capsules one to three hours prior to the race start to ensure proper electrolyte levels for the race. The amount you take is of course determined by what you've been using in training, while also taking into account the race day weather.

Premium Insurance Caps - If you consume a pre-race meal, you can include 2 or 3 capsules of Premium Insurance Caps. This will provide antioxidant and B vitamin support. However, niacin (vitamin B3) has a tendency to inhibit fat utilization, so you need to maintain the three-hour pre-race meal gap. If you don't take a pre-race meal, skip the dose of Premium Insurance Caps.


Fueling During the Race


Your supplement and fuel selection will of course be largely dependent on how long the race is time-wise. For instance, athletes (all athletes, not necessarily just adventure racers) competing in 2-3 hour races (sometimes even longer) can get by perfectly on their pre-race dose of supplements along with Hammer Gel and/or HEED, Endurolytes, and water during the race. If the race is longer than 2-3 hours you’ll want to make sure you use Sustained Energy or Perpetuem as your primary-to-sole fuel. You can also use Hammer Gel and HEED during the race - these two products are perfectly compatible with our longer distance fuels - and they provide you with a little variety in your fueling menu. Again though, if your race is goes beyond three hours you should use Perpetuem and/or Sustained Energy as your primary, if not sole, fuels. Here are suggested doses for those two products, based on body weight:

Up to 120 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 1.5 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 1 scoop/hour

120-155 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 1.75 - 2 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 1 - 1.5 scoops/hour

155-190 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 2.25 - 2.5 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 2 scoops/hour

190+ pounds:
Sustained Energy - 2.5 - 3 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 2.25 - 2.5 scoops/hour

I think that of the many ways to mix and consume Sustained Energy or Perpetuem the multi-hour bottle deserves top consideration. This is by far the most convenient method of fueling because it allows you to be self contained for many hours, requiring only additional plain water from a separate source to satisfy hydration requirements. You can easily accomplish this by using other water bottles or a hydration pack filled with plain water. The only limitation with making multi-hour bottles of fuel is how many scoops you can fit into a bottle. First, determine your proper hourly intake in scoops by experimenting with the numbers from the dosage chart above. For example, let's say you've determined through testing that 2 scoops of Perpetuem per hour is your ideal caloric intake and that you need a 6-hour fuel supply. Mix 12 scoops (2 x 6) in a large bottle (perhaps a larger, Nalgene type of bottle would be ideal) with as much water as will fit in. To make this process go smoother start with just a few scoops and some water. Close the lid and shake thoroughly. Repeat. Continue this process until the desired total number of scoops are thoroughly mixed. Voila! You now have several hours of fuel in one bottle. During the race you "nurse" this bottle over the course of several hours, taking small sips every 15-20 minutes. Remember, in this concentration the water in the mixed bottle of fuel does not contribute more than a couple of ounces to your hourly fluid intake needs. In other words, the amount of actual fluid contained in this multi-hour bottle of fuel is minimal and inconsequential, especially over the course of several hours, and won’t factor in your overall hydration requirements. Again, to meet your fluid requirements, carry a second and possibly even a third bottle of plain water or use one of the many hydration packs/systems available. Drink from them according to the temperatures so that you are consuming a total of 16-24 ounces of plain water per hour, depending on the severity of the heat stress. Take Endurolytes every hour to fulfill electrolyte requirements and you’re fueling needs are dialed in… simple!

Remember, if you want to use Hammer Gel or HEED on occasion that’s perfectly acceptable. I personally think Hammer Gel would be ideal, if only due to the ease of carrying and consumption. A flask of Hammer Gel contains 5 servings (the equivalent of five single serving pouches), which, for most athletes, will provide 1.5 - 2 hours worth of fuel. The flask is convenient, mess-free, and easy to consume Hammer Gel from. Another possibility, and this would be especially appropriate in longer races, is to carry a full jug of Hammer Gel. The jug contains 26 servings of Hammer Gel, which will fulfill anywhere from 8-13 or more hours worth of fueling, depending on your body weight and what you’ve found has worked for you in your training. The great thing about this suggestion is that you’ve got several hours of fuel in a very compact unit, and the more you consume Hammer Gel from the jug the lighter it gets. In addition, once the majority of gel is consumed the jug can be used as a water bottle if needed. Here are some suggested doses for Hammer Gel:

Up to 120 pounds:
2 servings/hour (or 2 pouches)

120-155 pounds:
2.5 servings/hour (or 2 pouches)

155-190 pounds:
3 servings/hour (or 3 pouches)

190+ pounds:
3 to 3.5 servings/hour (or 3 pouches)

If you wanted to use HEED to fulfill a portion of your caloric needs while also helping fulfill hydration requirements that’s totally acceptable. You might consider using 1 - 1.5 scoops of HEED (100 - 150 calories) for every 16-24 ounces of water in your hydration pack. Remember, you’ll be consuming calories along with fluids so take that into consideration for your overall caloric requirements.

Recall the section in the previous article about solid food consumption. Yes, consuming solid food during a lengthy race is a welcome diversion from hourly liquid fuel consumption; it’s certainly acceptable, especially if you heed the following suggestions, which I’m repeating from the previous article:


Make wise choices. That sugary, fat-laden pastry may look tempting but we both know it’s not going to help your performance and may in fact ruin it. Remember the rule: Garbage in, garbage out. If you’re going to eat solid food remember that what you put in your body greatly determines the quality of energy you’ll get out of it. Therefore, choose wisely and stick to solid food choices that don’t rely on refined sugar as their primary (if not altogether sole) carbohydrate source. Avoid the saturated fats as well; they’ll take a long, long time to digest and that’ll only slow you down.
Use it sparingly. I’ve noted from my own experiences as well as my observations of other athletes that relying too heavily on solid food tends to leave one feeling lethargic, almost sleepy at times. I attribute this to the amount of energy the body requires to break down and assimilate solid food and the fact that fluids and electrolytes are being diverted away from the muscles to the digestive tract to aid in the breakdown process. The last thing I’d want to do, especially in an ultra race, is feel lethargic and sleepy; that’s already going to be something to contend with anyway (it’s an ultra, remember?) so why make things even tougher in that regard? Therefore, while I think solid food can be a well-earned and mega-appreciated diversion from an all-liquid diet, I also think it should be used sparingly, as an incentive or reward ("I’ll have a bagel/sandwich/quality food-of-choice when I get to the next checkpoint"). Make solid food "the exception, not the rule" in your fueling protocol and I believe you’ll achieve better results.

For a super high quality, convenient, and delicious fuel consider using the Organic Vegan Food Bar. In my opinion you won’t find a healthier, more satisfying energy bar; it’d be a great solid food choice during a lengthy race. Check out the nutrition facts about this extraordinary product on the Hammer Nutrition web site and I think you’ll agree that you’d be hard pressed to find a higher quality energy bar.


Supplements During the Race


If your race will be longer than 3-4 hours I suggest taking 1-2 Race Caps Supreme, 1-2 Mito Caps, and 1-2 Anti-Fatigue Caps every hour, starting at the two-hour mark. Replenishing with Race Caps Supreme and Mito Caps will ensure your body maintains adequate levels of these critical energy-producing nutrients. Even moderate exercise exhausts your body’s supply of these nutrients in these supplements; replenishing them during a strenuous adventure race becomes critical for top performance. Once these nutrients are depleted you can only expect compromised performance and a very long day. The Anti-Fatigue Caps will help clear out any excess ammonia, which is a primary culprit in fatigue. Supplementing with Anti-Fatigue Caps is a small strategy that can have significant benefits, especially as the race progresses and the potential for more ammonia production/accumulation increases.

There are obviously many ways to carry supplements but one possibility that deserves strong consideration is to make hourly bags of supplements using mini zip-lock type bags. For instance, if your race is expected to take eight hours you’ll make six bags worth of supplements (remember, you’ll be taking your first dose at the two-hour mark). Since each bag of supplements will be identical you can pre-make however many bags you need, depending on how many hours you plan on being out there.

Don't forget to take another dose of Endurolytes after the first hour is completed and continue to take that product continuously throughout the race. I suggest keeping Endurolytes separate from your hourly bags of supplements (the "quick coin" pill holders are a good storage possibility). The reason for this is because while your hourly doses of the three Hammer Nutrition supplements will remain constant throughout the race the amount of Endurolytes you take hourly may change frequently throughout the race (if the weather gets hotter for instance).

Some athletes find the need to supplement with a pain reliever on occasion during a lengthy race. Be careful of what type of pain reliever you choose though. Dr. Bill Misner writes, "Ibuprofen has been known to adversely reduce kidney response to hyperthermic conditions and contribute to kidney failure in predisposed athletes during heat conditions. Beware also, aspirin dose should be enteric-coated for a 500 mg. or any dose may create gastric stress..."

"Safe dose use is individual and nearly impossible to specifically determine. For sure, I will not recommend either [NSAIDS or aspirin] for prolonged or high dose application to resolve pain above the manufacturers dose directions, especially in athletes enduring hyperthermic stress in a 10-12 hour event. I know of athletes who pop the NSAIDS like candy, but I also know that a few of them end up in the hospital with kidney shutdown, dehydration, and hyponatremia."

For pain relief, one supplement you should to consider, as an alternative to NSAID-type products (and the potential side effects that may result from the use of those products), is Tissue Rejuvenator. This is a great product that supplies the body with specific joint-health nutrients such as glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. In addition - and I think this is what makes Tissue Rejuvenator such a uniquely great product - are the wealth of natural anti-inflammatory nutrients in the product. Several ultra endurance athletes, such as those competing in the Race Across America, have successfully used Tissue Rejuvenator as a pain reliever. A suggested dose to consider would be 1-2 capsules every 2-3 hours.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MULTI-DAY ADVENTURE RACES


As a long time ultra marathon cyclist, having done the Race Across America (RAAM) several times, I can appreciate the specific challenges of a multi-day event. Multi-day adventure races are especially challenging. Day after day, night after night, in addition to taking care of the job at hand (whatever discipline is currently being required), as an adventure racer you still have to make sure your fueling needs are taken care of. Unlike my sport, ultra marathon road cycling, where the athlete has a support crew with them full-time, attending to all the athlete’s needs (I know, we’re spoiled), most adventure races require the athlete to be self-sufficient the majority of the time. This means that you have to deal with the logistics of carrying enough food without being unnecessarily weighed down and potentially hindering overall performance. As with the single day adventure race supplement/fueling suggestions, one of the goals in this protocol is to offer suggestions that allow for sufficient calorie consumption while keeping the actual product (and its weight) to a minimum.

Being engaged in several different athletic disciplines during the race means you’ll be utilizing a lot of different muscle fibers during the race. Protecting energy levels and lean muscle tissue, by making sure your calorie intake is sufficient, will be crucial to just finishing the race, let alone being successful. Another goal you want to achieve is preventing the damage that free radicals can wreak on your body’s energy producing and immune systems. The extreme amount of energy output and oxygen volume intake guarantees that your body will be producing millions of free radicals. Neutralizing their damaging effects will protect your cells from damage, which, among other benefits, translates into less muscle soreness and a stronger immune system. I think we can all agree those are two desirable things. Let’s start with pre-race supplementation, followed by during-race supplementation, and finish up with race fueling. After you’ve had a chance to read and review this material please go to the post-race supplementation/fueling section.


Pre-Race Supplements


Race Caps Supreme - For athletes weighing less than 150 pounds or ANY athlete under the age of 20 the suggested dose is 2 capsules (with or without food) one to three hours prior to the start of the race. Athletes weighing more than 150 pounds should take 3 capsules. The primary nutrients in Race Caps Supreme are the "spark plugs" your body needs to convert food and oxygen into energy. This dose gives your body the raw materials it needs to ensure efficient and consistent energy production.

Mito Caps - The perfect companion to Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps significantly amplifies that product's benefits and supports optimal functioning of the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles in the cells, which enhances efficient energy production. In addition, the nutrients in Mito Caps protect mitochondrial DNA from free radical damage, which occurs naturally, but in even higher volumes during exercise. Suggested dose is 2 capsules one to three hours prior to the start of the race.

Endurolytes - Take 1-6 capsules one to three hours prior to the race start to ensure proper electrolyte levels for the race. The amount you take is of course determined by what you've been using in training, while also taking into account the race day weather.

Premium Insurance Caps - If you consume a pre-race meal, you can include 2 or 3 capsules of Premium Insurance Caps. This will provide antioxidant and B vitamin support. However, niacin (vitamin B3) has a tendency to inhibit fat utilization, so you need to maintain the three-hour pre-race meal gap. If you don't take a pre-race meal, skip the dose of Premium Insurance Caps.


During-Race Supplements


I suggest taking 1-2 Race Caps Supreme, 1-2 Mito Caps, and 1-2 Anti-Fatigue Caps every hour, starting at the two-hour mark. Replenishing with Race Caps Supreme and Mito Caps will ensure your body maintains adequate levels of these critical energy-producing nutrients. Even moderate exercise exhausts your body’s supply of these nutrients in these supplements; replenishing them during a strenuous adventure race becomes critical for top performance. Once these nutrients are depleted you can only expect compromised performance and a very long day. The Anti-Fatigue Caps will help clear out any excess ammonia, which is a primary culprit in fatigue. Supplementing with Anti-Fatigue Caps is a small strategy that can have significant benefits, especially as the race progresses and the potential for more ammonia production/accumulation increases.

There are obviously many ways to carry supplements but one possibility that deserves strong consideration is to make hourly bags of supplements using mini zip-lock type bags. For instance, if your race is expected to take eight hours you’ll make six bags worth of supplements (remember, you’ll be taking your first dose at the two-hour mark). Since each bag of supplements will be identical you can pre-make however many bags you need, depending on how many hours you plan on being out there.

Another supplement you might want to bring with you is Super AO and there are several reasons for this recommendation. First, you’ll be providing your body with additional anti-oxidant support, which your body will greatly appreciate. Secondly, you’ll be providing your body with two nutrients - gingko biloba and vinpocetine - that support enhanced circulation and cognitive function, both desirable benefits during an ultra endurance race (enhanced cognitive function comes in very handy during those late night/early morning hours). A suggested dose is one capsule every 3-4 hours and, as with all supplements and fuels, you’ll want to train with Super AO before using it in a race.

Some athletes find the need to supplement with a pain reliever on occasion during a lengthy race. Be careful of what type of pain reliever you choose though. Dr. Bill Misner writes, "Ibuprofen has been known to adversely reduce kidney response to hyperthermic conditions and contribute to kidney failure in predisposed athletes during heat conditions. Beware also, aspirin dose should be enteric-coated for a 500 mg. or any dose may create gastric stress..."

"Safe dose use is individual and nearly impossible to specifically determine. For sure, I will not recommend either [NSAIDS or aspirin] for prolonged or high dose application to resolve pain above the manufacturers dose directions, especially in athletes enduring hyperthermic stress in a 10-12 hour event. I know of athletes who pop the NSAIDS like candy, but I also know that a few of them end up in the hospital with kidney shutdown, dehydration, and hyponatremia."

For pain relief, one supplement you should to consider, as an alternative to NSAID-type products (and the potential side effects that may result from the use of those products), is Tissue Rejuvenator. This is a great product that supplies the body with specific joint-health nutrients such as glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. In addition - and I think this is what makes Tissue Rejuvenator such a uniquely great product - are the wealth of natural anti-inflammatory nutrients in the product. Several ultra endurance athletes, such as those competing in the Race Across America, have successfully used Tissue Rejuvenator as a pain reliever. A suggested dose to consider would be 1-2 capsules every 2-3 hours.

Like it is in the Race Across America, doing multi-day adventure races means sleep deprivation. Over the years I’ve found that a big component of being successful in multi-day events means finding that perfect balance between staying on the course and moving closer to the finish line and obtaining enough sleep to ensure that your progress is of value. You don’t want to be out there barely awake and struggling to make progress but, on the other hand, you don’t want to lose unnecessary time to your opponents by sleeping too much. Still, everyone needs to sleep eventually and you can maximize your recovery during that short (and oh so blissful) time by taking in specific nutrients. Obviously, logistics will play a key role in how well you can pull this off but if possible, before going down for sleep, I suggest taking your usual "during race" dose of Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps, and Super AO one to one and a half hours prior to your planned stopping point. Along with these supplements I also suggest taking 4 capsules of Premium Insurance Caps (7 capsules per packet) at this time. Repeat this entire supplement intake (taking the remaining Premium Insurance Caps) when you do stop. Notice that I don’t suggest using Premium Insurance Caps during the majority of time you’re out there racing, just in the hour or so prior to stopping for sleep and again when you do stop. The reason for this is due to the niacin component in Premium Insurance Caps, which, when taken just prior to or during exercise, reduces efficient fat mobilization. You’ll be supplying your body with plenty of antioxidants during the time you’re racing by taking Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps, and Super AO so you’ll be in good shape there. So even though taking Premium Insurance Caps hourly during the race wouldn’t necessarily be "wrong" (though you would be inhibiting your body’s "fats as fuels" process somewhat), I believe the benefits of this product would be best realized in the short period prior to taking a sleep break.

Also, when you stop would be a PERFECT time to have a serving of Recoverite. The complex carbs, whey protein isolate, and glutamine in this product will be EXACTLY what your body wants and it will definitely help prep your body during the short recuperative phase you’re providing it.


Fueling During the Race


Let’s be straight and agree on one thing right off the bat: Most of us will get tired of drinking our food after a couple of days (if not sooner). That’s just human nature; we want to eat! But the reason liquid fuels exist is to supply your body with a precise amount of fuel (carbohydrates, calories, and sometimes, fat) and in a form that is easier on the body to process and assimilate. Remember that when the temptation to chow down on junk food hits during the race. Don’t forget, this is THE race, it’s not the "dress rehearsal," so you don’t want to flirt with the potential for ruining your race by eating just anything during it. The phrase "garbage in, garbage out" most definitely applies to athletic fueling - what you put in your body greatly determines what kind of energy (if any) you’ll get out of it - and it’s something you may need to remind yourself of several times during the race. It’s OK to eat solid food on occasion during the race (and I discuss this later) but for the most part I believe you’ll achieve better results using a liquid diet to fuel the majority of your effort.

During ultra marathon cycling events I have found Perpetuem to be the most effective fuel I’ve ever used, so I make it my primary fuel during my long races. However, even as much as I like that product (and that includes the taste), I grow weary of drinking the same thing hour after hour. That’s why I have all the Hammer Nutrition fuels in my fueling "arsenal." They’re all completely compatible with each other and, with Hammer Gel, HEED, Sustained Energy, and Perpetuem, you have a lot of variety on the menu. After consuming flavored fuels for several hours I especially like to use Sustained Energy every few hours due to its very subtle "non-taste" flavor. So definitely consider bringing all of the Hammer Nutrition fuels with you (make sure you’ve trained with them first) so that you can race with confidence and with some variety in what you’re consuming. Here are some suggested doses for both Sustained Energy and Perpetuem:

Up to 120 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 1.5 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 1 scoop/hour

120-155 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 1.75 - 2 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 1 - 1.5 scoops/hour

155-190 pounds:
Sustained Energy - 2.25 - 2.5 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 2 scoops/hour

190+ pounds:
Sustained Energy - 2.5 - 3 scoops/hour or
Perpetuem - 2.25 - 2.5 scoops/hour

As I mentioned in the section for shorter adventure races (and I’m repeating it here), I think that of the many ways to mix and consume Sustained Energy or Perpetuem the multi-hour bottle deserves top consideration. This is by far the most convenient method of fueling because it allows you to be self contained for many hours, requiring only additional plain water from a separate source to satisfy hydration requirements. You can easily accomplish this by using other water bottles or a hydration pack filled with plain water. The only limitation with making multi-hour bottles of fuel is how many scoops you can fit into a bottle. First, determine your proper hourly intake in scoops by experimenting with the numbers from the dosage chart above. For example, let's say you've determined through testing that 2 scoops of Perpetuem per hour is your ideal caloric intake and that you need a 6-hour fuel supply. Mix 12 scoops (2 x 6) in a large bottle (perhaps a larger, Nalgene type of bottle would be ideal) with as much water as will fit in. To make this process go smoother start with just a few scoops and some water. Close the lid and shake thoroughly. Repeat. Continue this process until the desired total number of scoops are thoroughly mixed. Voila! You now have several hours of fuel in one bottle. During the race you "nurse" this bottle over the course of several hours, taking small sips every 15-20 minutes. Remember, in this concentration the water in the mixed bottle of fuel does not contribute more than a couple of ounces to your hourly fluid intake needs. In other words, the amount of actual fluid contained in this multi-hour bottle of fuel is minimal and inconsequential, especially over the course of several hours, and won’t factor in your overall hydration requirements. Again, to meet your fluid requirements, carry a second and possibly even a third bottle of plain water or use one of the many hydration packs/systems available. Drink from them according to the temperatures so that you are consuming a total of 16-24 ounces of plain water per hour, depending on the severity of the heat stress. Take Endurolytes every hour to fulfill electrolyte requirements and you’re fueling needs are dialed in… simple!

Remember, if you want to use Hammer Gel or HEED on occasion that’s perfectly acceptable. I personally think Hammer Gel would be ideal, if only due to the ease of carrying and consumption. A flask of Hammer Gel contains 5 servings (the equivalent of five single serving pouches), which, for most athletes, will provide 1.5 - 2 hours worth of fuel. The flask is convenient, mess-free, and easy to consume Hammer Gel from. Another possibility, and this would be especially appropriate in longer races, is to carry a full jug of Hammer Gel. The jug contains 26 servings of Hammer Gel, which will fulfill anywhere from 8-13 or more hours worth of fueling, depending on your body weight and what you’ve found has worked for you in your training. The great thing about this suggestion is that you’ve got several hours of fuel in a very compact unit, and the more you consume Hammer Gel from the jug the lighter it gets. In addition, once the majority of gel is consumed the jug can be used as a water bottle if needed. Here are some suggested doses for Hammer Gel:

Up to 120 pounds:
2 servings/hour (or 2 pouches)

120-155 pounds:
2.5 servings/hour (or 2 pouches)

155-190 pounds:
3 servings/hour (or 3 pouches)

190+ pounds:
3 to 3.5 servings/hour (or 3 pouches)

If you wanted to use HEED to fulfill a portion of your caloric needs while also helping fulfill hydration requirements that’s totally acceptable. You might consider using 1 - 1.5 scoops of HEED (100 - 150 calories) for every 16-24 ounces of water in your hydration pack. Remember, you’ll be consuming calories along with fluids so take that into consideration for your overall caloric requirements.

Recall the section in the previous article about solid food consumption. Yes, consuming solid food during a lengthy race is a welcome diversion from hourly liquid fuel consumption; it’s certainly acceptable, especially if you heed the following suggestions, which I’m repeating from the previous article:


Make wise choices. That sugary, fat-laden pastry may look tempting but we both know it’s not going to help your performance and may in fact ruin it. Remember the rule: Garbage in, garbage out. If you’re going to eat solid food remember that what you put in your body greatly determines the quality of energy you’ll get out of it. Therefore, choose wisely and stick to solid food choices that don’t rely on refined sugar as their primary (if not altogether sole) carbohydrate source. Avoid the saturated fats as well; they’ll take a long, long time to digest and that’ll only slow you down.
Use it sparingly. I’ve noted from my own experiences as well as my observations of other athletes that relying too heavily on solid food tends to leave one feeling lethargic, almost sleepy at times. I attribute this to the amount of energy the body requires to break down and assimilate solid food and the fact that fluids and electrolytes are being diverted away from the muscles to the digestive tract to aid in the breakdown process. The last thing I’d want to do, especially in an ultra race, is feel lethargic and sleepy; that’s already going to be something to contend with anyway (it’s an ultra, remember?) so why make things even tougher in that regard? Therefore, while I think solid food can be a well-earned and mega-appreciated diversion from an all-liquid diet, I also think it should be used sparingly, as an incentive or reward ("I’ll have a bagel/sandwich/quality food-of-choice when I get to the next checkpoint"). Make solid food "the exception, not the rule" in your fueling protocol and I believe you’ll achieve better results.

For a super high quality, convenient, and delicious fuel consider using the Organic Vegan Food Bar. In my opinion you won’t find a healthier, more satisfying energy bar; it’d be a great solid food choice during a lengthy race. Check out the nutrition facts about this extraordinary product on the Hammer Nutrition web site and I think you’ll agree that you’d be hard pressed to find a higher quality energy bar.


Post Race Nutrition and Supplements For All Adventure Racers


Recovery begins when the race ends. As soon as possible after you complete your race it's time to replenish your body with high quality, easily digested carbohydrates and protein. The following are three superb recovery drink possibilities:


1 - 3 servings (2-6 scoops) Recoverite in 16-24 ounces cold water. Recoverite is Hammer Nutrition's all-in-one, 3:1 ratio of carbs and protein recovery drink. Also provided in each serving of Recoverite are a full electrolyte profile and additional recovery-specific nutrients, including a huge 3-gram dose of l-glutamine, a vital recovery amino acid. Recoverite is convenient, easy to make, delicious, and absolutely perfect for enhancing recovery.


1 - 1.5 scoops Hammer Whey + 3-4 servings of your favorite flavor of Hammer Gel in 6-8 ounces cold water. You can of course use more water than the 6-8 ounces suggested. However, both the Hammer Whey and Hammer Gel components will all mix quite easily in very little water, which may be desirable if you don't want to eat or drink much after a hard race.


1 - 1.5 scoops Hammer Whey + 2-3 scoops of Sustained Energy in 12-24 ounces orange juice.

In addition to "re-filling the tank" with calories, it's essential to supply your body with key nutrients for enhancing recovery and supporting optimal immune system function. For that I recommend the following supplements and doses, part of which you can take with your post-workout fuel, and part over the next one to two hours.

Premium Insurance Caps - One full packet (seven capsules) will replenish the body's stores of essential vitamins and minerals including vital antioxidants.

Super AO - Two capsules will perfectly complement Premium Insurance Caps by providing additional antioxidant benefits while also enhancing circulation to help accelerate recovery.

Race Caps Supreme - 1 to 2 capsules provides excellent amounts of CoQ10 and Idebenone, both powerful antioxidants

Mito Caps - 1 to 2 capsules provides several different antioxidants, including the mitochondrial-protecting nutrients acetyl l-carnitine and r-alpha lipoic acid.


SUMMARY


Yes, there is a lot of information to digest (no pun intended) in this and the other two articles in the series. But I believe this information is vital because it represents a big "piece of the puzzle" that is far too often missing in adventure racer’s training and racing endeavors. To elaborate and to emphasis my point, I’d like to repeat something I wrote in The Endurance Athlete’s Guide to Success…

"Now, maybe you’ve never given consideration to supplementation or fueling in your athletic endeavors. If that’s the case, stop for a moment and consider how expensive it is to be an endurance athlete. Equipment costs a fortune, getting to and from races is pricey, and what about the time and energy involved in training? That certainly could be considered an expense as well. No doubt about it, being an endurance athlete is expensive! But let me ask you this: Are you sure you’re getting the full value out of all the time, money, and energy you spend in training and racing, and on equipment?’

"I’ll be bold and suggest that if you haven’t addressed and resolved the essentials regarding proper nutrition and fueling, then sadly, those things will probably never realize their full benefits and you will most likely never achieve your full potential as an athlete."

Strong statements? Perhaps. But I stand by them completely, having personally experienced what a huge difference an intelligent and consistent supplement and fueling program can make. And it’s not just me. Thousands of athletes can also testify to the effectiveness of a solid supplement and fueling plan. It does make a difference - both for your athletic performance AND your overall health - so even though this was a lot of information to wade through, I know the time you spent reading it will prove to be worthwhile many times over.

Good luck in your training and racing!


Steve Born is a technical advisor for Hammer Nutrition with over a decade of involvement in the health food industry. He has worked with hundreds of athletes - ranging from the recreational athlete to world-class professional athlete - regarding their supplement/fueling program. Steve is a three-time RAAM finisher, the 1994 Furnace Creek 508 Champion, 1999 runner-up, the only cyclist in history to complete a Double Furnace Creek 508, and is the holder of two Ultra Marathon Cycling records. In February 2004 Steve was inducted into the Ultra Marathon Cycling Hall of Fame.

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