Hammer Nutrition Blog

Electrolyte replenishment: It’s crucially important, and not just for helping prevent cramping

October 6, 2010

Hammer Highline staying hydrated while riding the highline

Author: Steve Born

There are many theories as to why athletes suffer muscle cramps, though the usual culprits are improper hydration and/or improper electrolyte replenishment. If don’t consume enough fluid, one of the unpleasant outcomes you can expect is cramping. Ditto if you consume too much fluid (See the article Hydration – What You Need to Know for more information on this important topic). Additionally, if you don’t replenish electrolytes consistently during exercise, especially during hot-weather workouts and races, cramping is almost guaranteed to happen – and if you’ve ever suffered from mild-to-debilitating cramping, that’s a bridge you want to hopefully cross one time only.

Needless to say, as important as the calories you consume and the fluid you drink during exercise is a consistent replenishment of electrolytes, and not just to help prevent cramping. A number of important bodily functions, including muscular performance, are severely compromised if adequate levels of electrolytes are not present. Even if you’ve got your fuel and hydration plan dialed in, without adequate, balanced levels of electrolytes, you’re missing a crucial component of the athletic performance “puzzle.”

So even if you’ve never had a cramping issue in your life, but most certainly if you have, we encourage you to thoroughly read Electrolyte Replenishment – Why It’s So Important and How to Do It Right. In the article we’ll look closely at this vital, but often neglected and misunderstood, aspect of fueling.

Take a “less is best” approach to caloric intake during exercise

September 10, 2010

Practice of proper Hammer Nutrition fueling
Your workout or race can go down the drain fast if you follow the “calories out, calories in” protocol that many “experts” recommend. Athletes who attempt to replace all the calories they lose will end up with bloating, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea . . . definitely unpleasant and performance-inhibiting scenarios.

If you want to achieve your best performance, replenish calories in “body cooperative” amounts, allowing your fat stores to make up the difference, which they will easily do. While 240-280 calorie per hour is a theoretical hourly maximum based on the liver converting 1 gram of carbohydrates (4 calories) per minute into glycogen, almost all athletes report success with far lower hourly caloric intake. Continue Reading »

Tips for a Successful Half or Full Iron Distance Triathlon

August 25, 2010

Marni Sumbal races in Coliseum Rock 'N RollMan Half

Author: Steve Born

DAYS LEADING UP TO THE RACE

  • Avoid the temptation to train too much and/or too close to race day! – You will not be able to positively influence your fitness level in the days leading up to the race; however, you can negatively impact your race by training during that time (training meaning anything of significant duration or intensity). As well-known coach Jeff Cuddeback (pictured right) states, “The week of any event of this duration should be all about resting up and topping off your energy stores. Training is done to keep the engine lubed and tuned up, nothing more. If you think you’re going to further your fitness through training the week of your key race, you’re sadly mistaken. If you are the type to train right up to the event, you will almost certainly under perform.”
    Continue Reading »

Post-Workout Refueling – A Necessity, Not an Option

August 23, 2010

Recoverite for all your post workout, recovery needs

Author: Steve Born

Athletes tend to focus on training and neglect recovery, specifically the critical step of refueling as soon as possible after each workout. We tend to think that a hard workout deserves a nice reward. Do you usually first go for a shower or relaxation after a hard workout? Are beer and pretzels your favored post–workout snack? If so, remember that a hard workout has left your body in a state of utter depletion and physiological vulnerability. However, it’s also in a state of prime receptivity, ready to absorb nutrients. Taking those few extra minutes to properly refuel is one of the most important things that you can do to improve your race day results. In fact, properly refueling your body immediately after your training session is as important as anything you did in the actual workout. When you give your body what it needs as soon as possible after exercise, it will respond wonderfully in the following ways: Continue Reading »

The “Gray Area” of Fueling

August 11, 2010

Hammer staffer, Phil Grove, fueling right with HEED

Author: Steve Born

When exercise goes beyond two hours, we generally recommend that athletes use a “carb + protein” fuel (Sustained Energy or Perpetuem), either as their sole fuel from beginning to end, or as their primary fuel (roughly 2/3 – 3/4 of the time). The reason for this recommendation is that once you hit that second hour and beyond, a small percentage (roughly 5–15%) of their energy requirements will be fulfilled from protein. If you don’t provide some in the fuel mix, at least part of the time, your body has to cannibalize the lean muscle tissue to obtain the amino acids it needs to fulfill that small percentage of its energy requirements. Continue Reading »

Capsule Carrying Made Easier!

April 28, 2010

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: Continue Reading »

Mixing Strawberry & Chocolate Recoverite – A Great-Tasting Recovery Drink Combination!

April 19, 2010

Recoverite Strawberry and Chocolate Recovery Drink

One of our clients and Endurance List members recently suggested a recovery drink combination of both chocolate and strawberry flavors of Recoverite. We’ve already received some positive comments on this combination, including this one: Continue Reading »

Race Day Boost Loading Dose Protocol

April 2, 2010

Race Day Boost Performance SupplementNow that the racing season is coming up soon (or is already here for some), it’s time to test Race Day Boost (RDB) in your training, then incorporate this amazing product into your taper days prior to your key races. Continue Reading »

Updated Dosage Recommendations For Hammer Fuels

February 18, 2010

Updated Dosage Recommenations for Hammer FuelsSeveral years ago, I was asked to put together some dosage suggestions for the various Hammer Nutrition fuels based on body weight. In formulating what were the original recommendations, I based them on two primary factors: Continue Reading »

Supplement Suggestions for Your Epic Workouts!

February 16, 2010

Supplement Suggestions for Your Epic WorkoutsWhen you’ve got long, tough workouts planned, you need the best supplement support possible to help you get the most out of every minute you put into these arduous training sessions. That’s precisely when and where these specific Hammer Nutrition products excel! This time of the year, when training volume & intensity increases, is the perfect opportunity to put these products to work for you. Below is a protocol I put together for athletes prior to the 2009 Highline Hammer in response to the question, “What supplements do you personally take before, during, and after a long, hard ride, an ‘epic’ ride?” Continue Reading »