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Triathletes Fueling P2 : Supplement/Fueling Strategies - By Steve Born

Supplement/Fueling Strategies For Triathletes - Part 2
By Steve Born

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*** PART TWO ***


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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 HEED – 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 events 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!

HEED – HEED (High Energy Electrolyte Drink) 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. HEED is ideal for those whose fueling needs do not entail the refinements or duration of our other products. Use HEED 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 HEED


Hammer Gel is a concentrated complex carbohydrate gel with the consistency of thick syrup. HEED 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. HEED does not contain BCAAs or L-alanine.

HEED contains a full spectrum, amino acid-chelated electrolyte profile; two servings equal approximately 1.25 capsules of Endurolytes. Hammer Gel contains very small amounts of sodium chloride and potassium for digestive and preservative purposes.

HEED contains ChromeMate™ brand chromium polynicotinate for stabilizing blood glucose levels, and l-carnosine for lactic acid buffering. Hammer Gel does not have these.

HEED comes in two subtle citrus 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 other articles in this handbook, 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). 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.

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

Important 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 HEED 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 HEED 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 HEED 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.


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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 20-25 ounces per hour. Sometimes you may not need that much fluid (15-16 ounces per hour may be quite acceptable) sometimes you might need somewhat more, perhaps up to 28 ounces. Our position, however, is that the risk of dilutional hyponatremia increases substantially when an athlete repeatedly consumes more than 30 fluid ounces per hour. If more fluid intake is found to be necessary (under very hot conditions, for example) proceed cautiously and remember to increase electrolyte intake as well to match your increased fluid intake. You can easily accomplish this by consuming a few additional Endurolytes capsules.

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
HEED - 1 to 1.5 scoops/hour

120-155 pounds:
Hammer Gel - 2.5 servings/hour or
HEED - 2 to 2.5 scoops/hour

155-190 pounds:
Hammer Gel - 3 servings/hour or
HEED - 2.5 to 2.75 scoops/hour

190+ pounds:
Hammer Gel - 3 to 3.5 servings/hour or
HEED - 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 HEED 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

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 hence, the need for replenishment. That’s why the hourly replenishment dose of Endurolytes can be anywhere from 1-6 capsules an hour. That being said, here’s a good “starting dose” to consider:

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 HEED contains the equivalent of about 1.25 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.

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 HEED occasionally during the workout to provide a little variety in your menu (remember to keep Sustained Energy or Perpetuem as their primary source of fuel).

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

If you're using Hammer Nutrition supplements, don't forget to take your hourly doses of them, as suggested in the " Supplement Strategies For Triathletes" article (Part One in this series).



Electrolytes - Suggested Dose:

1-6 Endurolytes per hour

Remember, electrolyte expenditure (and thus replenishment) varies tremendously due to many variables such as body weight, level of fitness, weather conditions, acclimatization level, and biological predisposition. That being said, here’s a good “starting dose” to consider:

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.

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. 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. Let’s say you’ve determined through testing that 2 scoops of Perpetuem per hour is your ideal caloric intake. You need a 4-hour fuel supply. Mix eight scoops (2 scoops x 4 hours) in a large bottle with as much water as will fit in. You may need to add a few scoops at a time to get it all to mix well. 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 a hydration system, or know where you can refill along your route. Drink according to the temperature/humidity and your exertion level so that you consume in the range of 20-25 ounces of plain water per hour. This way, as long as you can obtain water along the way, you’re set for hours of hard training.

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 powder with a small amount of water, gradually adding water as necessary to create the consistency desired. Remember that the heavier and 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, you must carry additional bottles of plain water or use a hydration system to meet your fluid requirements. Drink from them according to the temperature so that you are consuming amounts in the range of 20-25 ounces of plain water per hour, depending on the severity of the heat. As with the multi-hour bottle, as long as you can obtain water along the way, you’re set for hours of hard training.


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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 For Triathletes" article. 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).


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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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