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Hammer Gel vs Heed

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Hammer Gel vs Heed

Postby Claudia13 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:24 pm

Hammer Gel vs Heed? :?
Opinions? I've been using the gel forever and really have only tried Heed once.
But now, after reading all the lit on this site I'm wondering if Heed is better...I don't want to be carrying both when I run.
Am i over thinking this?

little info on me: 40, female, 115 who does marathons, recently caught the ultramarathon bug...& sometimes a sprint tri or 2
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Re: Hammer Gel vs Heed

Postby jrawlins » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:42 am

The obvious difference is that you can take Hammergel without drinking. Let's say you're nearing the end of a hard race and you sense you're close to bonking from hunger. You can't just slam down two bottles of water laced with HEED, but you can slam down a lot of gel. I always carry Hammergel, whatever I have in my bottles, so I can force carbs without having to force water.

JR
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Re: Hammer Gel vs Heed

Postby steve-born » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:05 pm

Hello Claudia -

The applications for Hammer Gel and HEED are similar; generally speaking, you can use them for workouts and races in the two-hour range, sometimes up to three-or-more hours (see the section "The Gray Area of Fueling" in the article Proper Caloric Intake During Endurance Exercise - http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledg ... .1275.html for more details about that).

In the article The Hammer Nutrition Fuels - What They Are and How to Use Them (http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledg ... .1252.html) there is a section entitled "Comparing Hammer Gel and HEED." I've cut and pasted this information for you here:

* Hammer Gel is a concentrated complex carbohydrate gel with the consistency of syrup. HEED is a powdered sports drink mix.

* Hammer Gel contains a small amount of the amino acids l–leucine, l–isoleucine, l–valine (known as branched chained amino acids, or BCAAs), and l–alanine. BCAAs help prevent the cannibalizing of lean muscle tissue. L–alanine aids in carbohydrate metabolism. HEED does not contain any BCAAs or l–alanine.

* HEED contains a full spectrum amino acid–chelated electrolyte profile; two servings (scoops) equal approximately 1.25 capsules of Endurolytes. Hammer Gel contains negligible amounts of sodium chloride and potassium for digestive and preservative purposes.

* HEED contains ChromeMate™ brand chromium polynicotinate for stabilizing blood glucose levels, and l–carnosine for lactic acid buffering. Hammer Gel does not have these.

* HEED is currently available in four refreshing and pleasant tasting flavors—lemon lime, mandarin orange, subtle berry, and mild melon (all naturally flavored, of course)—and in an unflavored version as well. Hammer Gel currently comes in nine flavors: orange, banana, raspberry, apple cinnamon, Montana huckleberry, chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and tropical. The latter two are the only caffeinated flavors; espresso contains 50 mg of caffeine per serving, tropical contains 25 mg of caffeine per serving.

--- END ---

So which one do you use? Well, that depends on a few factors, two of which I've listed here:

1) Do you prefer a sports drink or a gel? With a sports drink you have the convenience of covering most-to-all of your hydration and calorie needs from one source, whereas with the gel you will need to consume water to fulfill hydration requirements.

2) The logistics. Will it be easier to carry a bottle of HEED or packets/flasks of gel?

I use both products frequently, though oftentimes I lean more towards Hammer Gel. The main reason is because I prefer to get my calories in as concentrated a form as possible; I prefer to drink water to take care of my hydration needs. Other people do not care for the consistency of energy gels, which is one reason why HEED is a better option for them.

So there are a number of reasons for choosing one over the other. Just remember that the applications of both Hammer Gel and HEED are almost (if not entirely) identical.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Hammer Gel vs Heed

Postby dorseymt » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:38 pm

i am going to be running an ultra 50k soon. i have only run with gels on any of my long races and they get to be old tasting by the end of the race. since my ultra will take me 7 hours to complete, do i just stick with gel or heed or do i add any any perpetuam. i have only used perpetuam on the bike since i didn't want that protein sloshing around; but at about 5-6 hours i start craving something more solid, but can't eat solid food.

any thoughts about longer runs and nutrition, please feel free to post. i am on point for an IM just never done an ultra run before.
thanks
mary
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Re: Hammer Gel vs Heed

Postby steve-born » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:45 pm

Hi Mary -

With your race going to take 7 hours to complete, you're going to want to go with a "carb + protein" fuel such as Perpetuem or Sustained Energy at least part of the time (I usually suggest 2/3 - 3/4 of the time).

When exercise is in the 2-3 hour range you can get by on carbs only; after that, about 5% - 15% of your energy requirements will have to be fulfilled from protein. And if you don't provide it in your fuel mix, at least part of the time, your body will have to find the amino acids it needs from another source... and the only other source it will find them in is your muscle tissue.

The last thing you want to do during a prolonged race is to have your body literally digest its own muscle tissue just to make fuel. One reason is because one of the by-products of muscle tissue breakdown is excess amounts of ammonia to be produced and accumulate, and I would argue that it is excess amounts of ammonia that are the primary culprit in premature fatigue. You can't avoid ammonia production completely but you can limit it by consuming a fuel that contains some protein in it (Sustained Energy or Perpetuem). That will give your body an alternate source of amino acids so that it doesn't have to scavenge them from the muscle tissue. Another way to help prevent the negative effects of ammonia buildup is with the use of Anti-Fatigue Caps (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products ... ps.af.html) prior to the race and every hour during it.

Another thing that occurs when you don't consume some protein during your prolonged events is that your recovery time will take longer. Why? Because you've broken down a greater percentage of lean muscle tissue and that will require more time post-workout/race to rebuild.

So while you can certainly use Hammer Gel and HEED during your long-duration race; however, you will need to use Sustained Energy or Perpetuem as your primary fuel. And to be honest with you, because only 5% - 15% of your energy requirements will be fulfilled from protein, there isn't a ton of it in either Sustained Energy or Perpetuem... just enough to fulfill that small percentage of the body's energy requirements. With that in mind, if you use the appropriate amounts, I don't think you will have any issues with "protein sloshing around."

I hope this helps.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Hammer Gel vs Heed

Postby PowerGoat » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:58 pm

Hello Mary,

If you are concerned about "protein sloshing around" in your stomach, you might want to consider alternating. It works well for me. Try alternating one bottle of Perpetuem with either one bottle of HEED or one bottle of plain water and take Gels. You'll get a good amount of protein but probably not the "too much" you were worrying about.

Byron
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Re: Hammer Gel vs Heed

Postby PowerGoat » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:08 pm

Hi Claudia,

For a race under 4.5 hours, I would suggest starting the race with HEED powder in an empty water bottle, filling it when your body is read for it--for me, I need to run for about an hour before my stomach is settled--and drinking that bottle of HEED, and then switching to Gels and plain water for the rest of the race.

For a race lasting longer than 4.5 hours, I'd suggest using Sustained Energy or Perpetuem--depending on your speed and your body type (faster or skinnier>SE, slower or more muscled>Perpetuem). Again, I'd suggest starting the race with dry powder and filling it at the appropriate aid station to suit your needs, and then either carrying or having more powder and some HEED or Gels in a drop bag. The few seconds here and there you'll lose filling up will be a mini-rest for your body and mind and will keep your legs going for miles. It's worth a little bit of time getting good fuel to make sure you don't blow up, ruin your race, or DNF.

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