Why does Hammergel not contain electrolytes?

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Why does Hammergel not contain electrolytes?

Postby galfromdownunder » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:22 pm

I'm pretty sure you have a good answer and I'd love to hear it.

Today went on a very hot, hilly ride at a faster clip than I was expecting.
I bonked and cramped, because I neglected to use my Sustained Energy/Perpetuum etc - they said it was going to be a social ride :o)
I did scarf 4 Endurolytes, probably a bit after the fact ...

Anyway, I was saved when someone handed me a gel. Thus ensued a discussion. The performance rider, also a pulmonary surgeon, said he'd tried all the gels, that Hammer tasted the best but he used PowerGel because it had 200 mg sodium. He said he use to cramp with other gels, but it stopped when he used Powergel.

Me: You sure no other gel maker has sodium etc in them?

He: Positive

Me: But couldn't you take Hammergels plus Endurolytes/other electrolytes...?

He: It's just more convenient to have it all in one. You want to carry and have as little as possible to fiddle with. But I like the taste of the Hammergel better.

So, I appreciate your take, before I order a giant case of something or other.

PS I'm a fan of your S.E./Perpetuum thanks to Lon Haldeman who always had them out at his Desert Camp
I recently moved on from my 9-year Bike Friday evangelizing gig, so will miss that perk!

Lynette Chiang | Social Mediaclast |
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Re: Why does Hammergel not contain electrolytes?

Postby steve-born » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:07 am

Hello Lynette -

There is, on average, 40 mg of sodium and 23 mg of potassium in each serving of Hammer Gel. We intentionally did not include more sodium or a greater array of electrolytes in the product because it would fall more into the "one size fits all" category, meaning that "X" amount of sodium (and other minerals) would work for all athletes under all conditions all the time. As you know, that would be extremely convenient having an "all in one" energy gel, but that isn't practical and it won't fulfill everyone's electrolyte requirements.

Everyone's electrolyte needs are different, it really is much more of an individualized aspect of fueling as compared to fluid and calorie intake, so we believe it's necessary to have an electrolyte supplement that comes in a form (capsules) that allows the athlete to fine tune their dose, which may very well change on an hourly basis. For example, what a 120lb athlete needs is most likely going to be less than what a 180lb athlete needs, if only due to the differences in the body weight. What you need at 8 am may be a lot less than what you need at 2 pm, if only because the weather may be hotter in the afternoon. Not acclimated to the weather conditions? You're going to need more electrolytic mineral support as compared to if you were acclimated.

As you can see, there are a lot of variables that need to be addressed when it comes answering the question, "How much electrolyte support do I need?" Also, keep in mind that while sodium does play an important role in fulfilling electrolyte requirements, it's not the only mineral needed. Sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and potassium all work together to help support the optimal performance of many important bodily functions. As Dr. Bill Misner writes, “When a balance of electrolytes of cations (positively charged ions) to anions (negatively charged ions) are managed in the energy-producing cell—assuming the cell has adequate fuel and fluid—such a cell will produce energy at a higher rate than one overdosed by a single cation mixed with an irrational list of anions.” In other words, your body will perform better with a balanced intake of electrolytes, not just a dose (especially a large one) of sodium.

Bottom line: There is both sodium and potassium in Hammer Gel, make no mistake about that. However, the amounts contained in Hammer Gel are sufficient for aiding in the digestion of the complex carbohydrate component and also to act as a natural preservative. They are not really there to fulfill your electrolyte requirements; that’s where Hammer Nutrition’s Endurolytes product comes in.

The electrolyte profile of Endurolytes responsibly balances cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negatively charged ions) without emphasizing one electrolyte over others. This allows you to meet this crucial requirement of athletic fueling with much greater precision, significantly more so than a high-sodium-but-other-electrolytes-are-missing energy gel can.

I hope this helps answer your question!

Sincerely -

Steve Born
Fueling Expert
Event Sponsorship Coordinator
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Re: Why does Hammergel not contain electrolytes?

Postby galfromdownunder » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:59 am


Great reply, as I expected.

Trick would be to have a handy ready reckoner with a thermometer, hygrometer, weight reader etc etc so you knew how much to pop and when. I'm 96 lbs, so scarfing 4 endurolytes was probably like eating a giant bag of Backyard BBQ Kettle Chips, only not as calorific and tasty.
Should you ever decide to make an additional "one size fits most" version for us lesser athletes - (Tootle Nutrition?) - or for our rest days, I confess I'd buy 'em by the case.
Thank you!

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