Hammer Nutrition Blog

Capsule Carrying Made Easier!

Posted by Steve Born on 04/28/2010 in Fueling Advice | 8 Comments »

The overwhelming majority of our clients take a number of capsules during the prolonged bouts of exercise. Some take Endurolytes, Anti-Fatigue Caps, and Endurance Amino, while many take even more products, such as those outlined in the article Epic Workout/Race Supplement Suggestions.

With some of these products looking somewhat similar (Anti-Fatigue Caps and Endurance Amino come to mind), here are a couple tips on simplifying the process of carrying and consuming pills during prolonged bouts of exercise:

1) I believe that it’s important to keep Endurolytes separate from all other supplements that you may be taking during exercise. The reason is because your dose may change on an hourly basis (e.g. what you need at 2 pm may be higher than what you needed at 9 am, if only due to an increase in the temperature). Unlike the other supplements you take during exercise, where the dose remains constant every hour, you want to have the ability to alter the dose of Endurolytes on an as-needed basis. Therefore, I recommend that you keep these separate from all other supplements.

You can do this using either the Quick Coin pill holder, which holds 10-12 Endurolytes capsules, or you can use the round, plastic capsule dispenser, which holds double that amount, or slightly more (depending on the product).

Endurolytes Marked Quick Coin & Capsule Dispenser

2) If you’re using only two or three products (such as Endurolytes, Anti-Fatigue Caps, and Endurance Amino) during a medium-range-duration workout (say, 3-5 hours), keeping separate supplies in different colored Quick Coin pill holders will make things easy in terms of knowing what capsules you have in which Quick Coin pill holder. Also, taking a permanent ink marker and writing the abbreviation on the Quick Coin (“EL” for Endurolytes, “AF” for Anti-Fatigue Caps, etc), will make even easier to identify what product is in each Quick Coin pill holder.

If you’re doing a longer-duration workout, you can do the same thing—and carry more capsules at the same time—using the round, plastic capsule dispenser.

Endurolytes Anti-Fatigue & Endurance Amino Separated

3) If you’re doing a medium-to-long-duration workout or race and plan on consuming several different supplements hourly, here’s a way of making it super easy:

  • Keep your Endurolytes separate, using the Quick Coin pill holders or the round, plastic capsule dispensers to carry them in.
  • Make “X” number of bags of your other supplements, “X” being equal to the number of hours you plan on being out there. Again, unlike Endurolytes, your hourly dose of these additional supplements will not change, each bag will contain the exact same amounts of each product, so consider using the small plastic bags to carry these supplements in. Every hour, open up a bag, empty the pills into your mouth, and wash them down with some fuel and/or water. Good to go!

Endurolytes & Supplement Mixed Ziplocks

Browse the full line of Hammer Nutrition supplement organizers.

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8 Responses to “Capsule Carrying Made Easier!”

  • The above suggestions are great but are difficult to do in a winter cross-country ski event. I recently the morning of the Birkiebeiner race made up a gel flask of Choc.Hammer Gel and mixed in the contents of the capsules: Endurance Aminos, Anti Fatique Caps and Endurolytes, 2 ea./Gel serving+ some water. It was really horrible tasting but I never think of races as being culinary tours. Seemed to work fine and I had trained prior doing it.

    Posted by EJ Harpham | February 25, 2013 at 10:58 am
  • On the bottle of Endurolytes that I just purchased, its says under suggested,Take 1-3 capsules per hour during prolonged exercise in hot water. I’m not sure what means? Take them with hot water or exercising in hot water?? Can you please tell me how and when to take these. I compete in SUP races and would like to know the best way to use Endurolytes. Thank you

    Posted by Roger | June 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm
  • I purchased my endurolytes capsule several months ago. I keep them in my gear bag. Now that the weather is hot I broke them out for a distance ride. I noticed that the capsules were not snow white anymore. They have tan/dark color going thru the capsule. At first I thought is was like a mold type. When I open one, it will powder back together but will be darker than snow white. I assume they are still safe to ingest, but is the product no longer effective???? Manufactor date is 2/2012. Should it be disposed?? Thanks

    Posted by Edwin Soto | June 23, 2013 at 9:11 am
  • Please forward to Steve …
    Hi Steve,
    I don’t know if you remember me from the RAAM days but would love to get your take on preventing heat exhaustion. I had my first DNF in 30 years with the Sherman Pass Super Century a few weeks back (125 miles / 15k climbing); the 115-120 temps didn’t help! I generally don’t like supplements, sports drinks for most of the riding I do these days (70-100 max) – I’ve been ok/happy eating ‘real’ food and drinking water. But the Sherman Pass ride (where I ended up with severe all-body cramps, and nauseous) changed my mind for extreme events/conditions. In a couple of weeks I’m doing Super Tour (12 days with LOTS of climbing/miles) in the Sierras. I want/need back-up products to help with potential heat issues. I obviously could have used some ‘heat’ products with salt/magnesium @ Sherman Pass – not sure if that would have prevented the DNF, but it sure couldn’t have hurt! Any suggetions/ideas with your stuff that might help? (A friend also recommended Osmo, and I don’t know how that compares).

    Posted by Rob Templin | June 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm
  • The weekly pill box from a pharmacy works great on rides. I carry two of them on long rides.

    Posted by A Rane | July 15, 2013 at 8:12 pm
  • Hey Rob -

    It’s good to hear from you, though I would have preferred that it not be because you had heat exhaustion. Still, I think I can help.

    First, when the temperatures are THAT hot (115F – 120F), there’s not a lot a person can do to really enjoy optimal performance… it’s basically “survival mode” time; it can’t be “business as usual.” Seriously, when it’s that hot outside (and you know it’s hotter on the road, with the heat rising towards the body), even athletes who are acclimated to hot-weather conditions will almost always have issues if they try to ride anywhere near the same tempo/pace/intensity that they’re accustomed to. So the first key is to slow the pace down in deference to the weather.

    The second key is fluid intake. In general, we suggest a fluid intake of 20-25 ounces per hour. Lighter weight athletes, and those exercising in cooler conditions, may only need 16-18 ounces an hour, sometimes a few ounces less. Larger athletes, and/or if the weather gets hot (and especially if you’re not acclimated to it), will merit a fluid intake of 28-30 ounces an hour, perhaps slightly more. The thing to be cautious of is that too much fluid will overly dilute electrolytic mineral levels in the blood, increasing the potential for dilutional hyponatremia, which is a medical emergency. Bottom line is that while athletes need more fluid in hot weather, there are limits as to how much the body can tolerate. Start at 20-25 ounces an hour. If the weather gets hot you can increase, but be really cautious about going above 30-33 ounces/hour… nearly all of the cases of dilutional hyponatremia occurred when athletes were consuming over 33 ounces an hour.

    That leads to the third key, which is electrolyte replenishment. This is a very crucial component of fueling, just as important as the calories you’re eating to convert to energy, and the fluids you’re drinking to satisfy hydration requirements. I wrote an article about this topic alone – “Electrolyte Replenishment – Why It’s So Important and How to Do It Right” (http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/electrolyte-replenishment-why-it-146-s-so-important-and-how-to-do-it-right.1274.html), and I think that the information in this article will be very helpful to you.

    If I were doing a long tour, such as the one you’re doing, I would be using Perpetuem (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/perpetuem.pp.html) as my primary fuel (it’s kind of like the old Ultra Energy product… a “meal in a bottle” kind of drink), I would use either HEED (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/heed-sports-drink.he.html) or Hammer Gel (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/hammer-gel.hg.html) + water when the weather was hot, and I would be using one of the Endurolytes products (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/endurolytes.elt.html or (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/endurolytes-fizz.elf.html) to fulfill electrolyte requirements. I personally prefer the encapsulated form of Endurolytes over the Endurolytes Fizz, which is an effervescent tablet that you drop into your water bottle, but either product will work to help replenish depleted electrolytes and help prevent cramping from happening. Our suggested “starting dose” is 1 capsule of Endurolytes capsules or 1/2 tablet of Endurolytes Fizz for every 50-60 lbs of body weight per hour, with the understanding that you can and should increase the dose whenever needed (such as when the temperatures are high). On a normal-weather day, I will take 3 Endurolytes an hour (I weigh 188 lbs). When the weather gets hotter I may need up to 6 capsules an hour (though it’s rare that I need that many an hour). A handful of athletes I know – courtesy of their biological predisposition (they’re “heavy sweaters”) – may need to take 7-8 capsules an hour on occasions. That’s really rare, however; the “starting dose” suggestion that I gave earlier works for most athletes, under most conditions, most of the time.

    HEED is our sports drink and its calories come from complex carbohydrates only (Perpetuem contains complex carbs, protein, and some healthy fat… hence, the “meal in a bottle” tag). HEED is similar to the drink mix that you mention in your email, but without the short-chain carbohydrates (aka “simple sugars”). In the article “Caloric Intake – Proper amounts during endurance exercise” (http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/caloric-intake-proper-amounts-during-endurance-exercise.1275.html) I discuss the issues associated with simple sugars as compared to complex carbohydrates (maltodextrins or glucose polymers), which is what the Hammer Nutrition fuels contain.

    I am also not a fan of drink mixes that contain citric acid. While citric acid does play a role in the complex process of energy production, it is but one of many substances involved in the process. Its primary purpose is (as per Wikipedia) “to add an acidic, or sour, taste to foods and soft drinks.” It also serves as a preservative. During exercise, athletes are already acid-producing “machines,” so in my opinion there is no reason to add to that acid “burden” by including another citric acid in a sports drink. Additionally, citric acid is one of tooth enamel’s worst enemies. When teeth are regularly bathed in a citric acid solution, whether it’s added to stimulate saliva production and provide a tart taste, or chelated to a mineral (e.g. calcium citrate), permanent damage usually results.

    I know that this is a lot of information to digest (no pun intended), but I hope you’ll find it helpful, Rob. If you need more assistance or have any other questions, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

    Sincerely-

    Steve

    Posted by Myke Hermsmeyer | July 16, 2013 at 12:19 pm
  • Hi Roger – My apologies for the VERY tardy reply to your blog post and questions! In your post you wrote:

    “On the bottle of Endurolytes that I just purchased, its says under suggested,Take 1-3 capsules per hour during prolonged exercise in hot water. I’m not sure what means? Take them with hot water or exercising in hot water?? Can you please tell me how and when to take these. I compete in SUP races and would like to know the best way to use Endurolytes. Thank you”

    Here are the answers to your questions:

    1) The dosage suggestions on the label of Endurolytes (and basically all of the Hammer Nutrition supplements) is pretty generic, which is simply due to space limitations. For more detailed usage suggestions/instructions, please refer to the Hammer Nutrition Product Usage Manual (aka “the little red book”), found at http://www.hammernutrition.com/downloads/PUM.pdf

    For Endurolytes, our basic dosage suggestion is 1 capsule for every 50-60 lbs of body weight per hour, with the understanding that you may need to increase the dose if the weather gets hotter, and especially if you’re not acclimated to it.

    2) Recheck the label on your bottle of Endurolytes. I’m looking at a label of the product right now and it says, “Take 1-3 capsules per hour during prolonged exercise in hot weather.” The should should NOT say “hot water” but rather “hot weather.” If the label on your bottle of Endurolytes does in fact say “hot water” I’d be truly surprised. Bottom line is that you don’t want to consume the product with hot water nor do you necessarily want to use it when you’re exercising in hot water.

    I hope that this answers your questions.

    Sincerely –

    Steve

    Posted by Steve Born | July 17, 2013 at 9:36 am
  • Hi Edwin –

    I apologize for being so tardy in replying to your question. Based on your description of the capsule contents, it appears that they have become degraded by exposure to air, moisture, or heat, or a combination of any of those three things. At the very least, I would suggest that the product has lost some of its potency.

    While the product is most likely safe to consume, if it were me I would err on the cautious/conservative sideand get a new bottle ofEndurolytes. In doing so, I know for sure that the product I am taking is at full potency, while also eliminating the possibility for stomach issues that may occur from consuming a product that has been degraded (at least somewhat) due to exposure to the three aforementioned things.

    I hope this helps!

    Sincerely –

    Steve

    Posted by Steve Born | July 17, 2013 at 9:53 am

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