I believe every cyclist has faced cramps, aches or even bonking at least one time in their biking life. These feelings typically stem from one thing the body needs, fuel. I know of many people that grab just an energy bar and ride. This works most of the time, but you could experience slight cramping or soreness after the ride. Having a complete fuel regimen can help correct this dilemma. To cure this, in 1995 Hammer Nutrition Endurance Fuels were created to add to Brian Frank’s E-Caps, a boutique nutritional supplement company. The main products that stemmed from this creation were the Hammer Gel, HEED sports drink and Recoverite.
Hammer Gel is your energy boost you need while out on a ride. It is suggested to consume every one to two hours, but I like to take it right after a big climb, that way I’ll be prepared for the next climb ahead. It contains no added refined, simple sugars, artificial colors or artificial sweeteners. This is good news for you because that means you are getting high quality carbohydrate energy. The flavor you taste is made from real fruit; they are Apple-Cinnamon, Banana, Chocolate, Espresso, Montana Huckleberry, Orange, Raspberry, Tropical and Vanilla. In this review, those that are bold were tested. Espresso is always the safe flavor and tasted great. The flavor that surprised me was Montana Huckleberry and Raspberry, sweet, but tasted great as if I were actually eating the berries. Apple-Cinnamon tasted good, but was a bit too sweet for me so a suggestion would be to mix it with your HEED sport drink or just water, which would soften the flavor. Hammer Gel is Gluten-free, vegan friendly, contains no MSG and is Kosher Certified. It should be noted that the Espresso flavor contains 50mg of caffeine and Tropical contains 25mg. Well priced, the single serving will cost $1.30 and more cost effective is the 26 serving bottle, to refill the Hammer Flask, at $19.95.
In the past I was one of those riders that would bring along an energy bar and figured that would take care of me on my ride. However I would cramp late in the ride and sometimes earlier depending on the difficulty. Hammer Nutrition HEED is added to your water to solve this cramping and then some. HEED comes as a fine powder that mixes and stays mixed with your water. Nothing is worse than being out on a ride; taking a sip and having chunks of your electrolyte drink go down your throat. Some riders think that a certain electrolyte drink is a good “aid”. These are filled with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. HEED contains none of this; it contains complex carbohydrates and a full spectrum of chelated minerals. What does that mean to me? It means you are getting the healthiest electrolytes to help you attack the hills, pound the pavement and sprint away from the pack. HEED goes down easy; it really tastes great as well. Flavors available are Lemon-Lime, Mandarin Orange, Melon, Strawberry and Unflavored. All except unflavored were reviewed, but I am sure unflavored tastes good, just a hunch. HEED as well is Gluten-free, vegan friendly and Kosher Certified. HEED is priced at a single serving for $1.80 and depending on your ride or length; one to two servings would be expected. You can purchase HEED as thirty two or eighty servings, costing you $24.95 and $46.95 respectively.
Have you ever returned home from your ride and found yourself to be sore or you ached? Recoverite is there to save you. If no meal is planned within about an hour after your ride, drinking Recoverite will help rebuild muscle tissue and restore muscle glycogen, which will all help you ride better the next day and allow your body to obtain all the benefits from your hard workouts. Made with natural ingredients, it a powder mix added to water and I found it to perform as stated. I didn’t ache those nights and wasn’t sore the next day. Flavors for Recoverite are Chocolate, Citrus and Strawberry. Chocolate and Citrus by far tasted the best, I wasn’t a big fan of Strawberry the taste was a bit thick and didn’t go down well, I want to try blending it with ice on my next time out. Recoverite is Gluten-Free and Kosher Dairy Certified. A single serving is well priced at $2.90 and thirty two servings is $49.95.
On each ride I used two Hammer Gels, one HEED in my water bottle and the ride was followed up with a refreshing Recoverite. The cost to follow this regimen would be $7.30 per ride and I honestly felt good during and after each ride. The Hammer Gel, HEED and Recoverite tasted great and weren’t chalky or bitter and the flavors were smooth. I would definitely recommend giving this a try for your next ride.