I’ve tried several nutritional products with varying levels of success, but until recently I hadn’t checked out the range that Hammer Nutrition has to offer. Now, after months of using Hammer products at the track, trails, gym, mountains and everywhere in between, here is a bullet-style breakdown of how the stuff worked for me:•HEED (High Energy Electrolyte Drink) is Hammer’s sports drink mix, and it’s designed for activity lasting up to two hours. With no artificial colors or added simple sugars, HEED has a milder taste than most sports drinks and is thus easier to sip for a sustained period of time—it almost tastes watered down, which I like. For me, HEED was magical to have in a bottle in between motos at the track and is the only sports drink that I’ve repeatedly used in a hydration pack without clogging and/or ruining the reservoir bladder. It mixes easily, with 1.5 scoops in 16–28 ounces of water being the recommended ratio for my bodyweight. The bulk of the riding I did on HEED was in mild California weather, yet even on hot days I dodged the post-ride headache. Hammer states that additional electrolyte replacement may be needed for ultra-high temperatures, but I never had a problem in that regard. This stuff runs $24.95 for a 32-serving bag.•A primary fuel source for rides lasting longer than two hours, Perpetuem is Hammer’s solution for the endurance athlete and is offered in both 16- and 32-serving containers ($24.95 and $44.95, respectively). It doesn’t mix as well as HEED and will clog up a hydration bladder more easily, yet it can also be mixed into a paste (and consumed with straight water in order to meet your body’s hydration requirements). I wasn’t super keen on the texture of Perpetuem when mixed with the recommended serving of water, and it felt like it took longer to hit my system than the other products. However, I found that when consumed an hour before a hard workout, this was a great replacement for energy bars and essentially had the same effect.•Hammer’s Recoverite focuses on rebuilding your body after a hard ride through rehydration, carbohydrates, protein and micronutrient replenishment. It costs $49.95 for 32 servings, but this stuff is legit. I got into the habit of making a Recoverite drink the second I got back to the truck after a long trail ride, and it absolutely aids in preventing soreness and minimizing fatigue, and it doesn’t taste overly sweet.•Hammer Gel is best described as “concentrated carbohydrate energy,” or that gooey stuff that you squeeze into your mouth halfway through an impossible enduro. I don’t do the caffeine thing, but the noncaffeinated Hammer Gels I tried brought incredibly fast benefits and tasted fine by my then-exhausted standards. These things run $1.25 each for 12 or more and are perfect for keeping in your fanny pack or jacket pocket.•Hammer bars aren’t as filling as your standard Clif or Tram bar, making them a poor choice when you are missing meals but a great option for a quick snack. At $2.40 apiece for 12 or more, these organic, gluten-free, nondairy, kosher (with a vegan option) bars digest incredibly easily, but they also melt and break down fairly fast in the pocket of a hydration pack.•Of everything that Hammer offers, the Electrolyte Fizz tablets are perhaps the most surprising product. Drop one of these fast-dissolving tablets into your water bottle and boom—instant deliciousness. These rule for drinking at the gym or during a quick lunchtime workout, and while they don’t carbonate your drink they do add some flavor. Performance-wise, I was surprised by how awesome these little things are. These run $6.50 for 13 tablets.Obviously, everyone’s body is different, and you’ll need to explore different options based on your performance and nutritional needs. But as far as sports products are concerned, Hammer is good stuff that can prove to be quite valuable to your personal race program. If you haven’t tried such products before, I highly suggest you see if some of the above works for you.
|Time to benefits||9/10|