Doseage does not match max calories/hr recommendations. Why?

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Doseage does not match max calories/hr recommendations. Why?

Postby stevehollx » Mon May 31, 2010 12:49 pm

I'm seeing some conflicting numbers in the hammer nutrition documents, and trying to set it straight.

For an 160lb person 1.25-1.5 scoop (160-200 cal) per hour is recommended.

Now, the document on max digestion per hour says
[T]he average size (approximately 160–165 lbs/approx 72.5–75 kg) human body can only return (from the liver to muscle tissue) about 4.0 – 4.6 calories per minute, or about 240–280 cal/hr."

Shouldn't these numbers match, so that the most calories which can be digested properly in an hour are consumed via Perpetuem? Why are these numbers--are they different because it is implying that there should be a secondary fuel along with the 1.25-1.5 scoops of Perpetuem to top the cal/hr count up to 240?

I'm trying to plan my fueling diet for a 9 hour race. I plan on using Hammer Gel at the race start and 1 hr in, and then switching to Perpetuem at hour marks 2 and higher, but I am not sure what my dosage should look like.

Can someone help clear this up for me?
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Re: Doseage does not match max calories/hr recommendations.

Postby steve-born » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:06 am

Hello Steve -

You are indeed correct that, for the average-size athlete - and we consider that to be in the 160-165 lb range - the maximum amount of calories that can consumed and effectively utilized for energy ("maximum" being a key word here) is in the range of 240-280 calories per hour. In general, this is a good gauge/starting point to go by. If you're a lighter-weight athlete you will most certainly not need that many calories, and if you're a larger-weight athlete you may be able to utilize a bit more than 280/hour. But generally speaking, 240 - 280 calories an hour is a good range to start from, adjusting that amount based on your weight, the terrain, and the weather conditions (in hot weather, for example, your ability to process calories will most likely go down a bit).

As far as Perpetuem is concerned, we have lowered our dosage suggestions fairly significantly, which I discuss in the article "The Hammer Nutrition Fuels - What they are and how to use them" ( ... ge-section). Near the end of the article, where all the suggested dosages for the various products are given, the following is written in regards to Perpetuem:

"Due to this being a high concentration calorie source (via its complex carbohydrate, soy protein, and healthy fat components), we have noted that many athletes do well with a substantially lower calorie intake when using Perpetuem as their primary–to–sole fuel. Therefore, with this particular fuel we highly recommend starting with the lowest amount suggested—perhaps even a bit lower—and work your way up to a higher amount, if a higher amount has proved to be necessary via testing in training."

For someone in the 155–190 lb range we suggest a dose of 1.25 to 1.5 scoops/hr, which provides 169 to 202.5 calories. Can you use more than that? Absolutely, if you've found that it's worked for you via thorough testing in training. Still, over the past few years we have found (as have I in my personal use of the product) that when it comes to caloric intake - and especially with Perpetuem - that starting with a lower amount has proven to be beneficial.

If anything, we're erring on the cautious/conservative side, if only because it's a lot easier to fix a "not enough calories" issue than it is an "uh oh, I overdid it on the calories" issue. I discuss this earlier in the "Hammer Nutrition Fuels" article, and I've taken the liberty of cutting and pasting that info here for you:

Key things to remember regarding fueling

A) The goal in fueling is not to try and replace all the calories your body is burning with equal to near–equal amounts from your fuel. As explained in various articles found in The Endurance Athlete’s Guide to Success (PDF/4 MB), and in back issues of Endurance News, the human body is not equipped to replace “X” out with “X” or “near–X” in. Fortunately, the body has many built–in mechanisms that effectively bridge the gap between what it’s losing and what it can comfortably accept in return from your fuel donation. That’s why your focus should NOT be “How many calories can I consume before I get sick?” but rather, “What is the least amount of calories I need to consume to keep my body doing what I want it to do hour after hour?”

Fueling this way—the “less is best” approach—makes much more sense, if only because a “not enough calories” problem is significantly easier to fix (you simply consume more calories) than an “uh oh, I overdid it on the calories” problem.

B) During exercise, the average–size athlete’s liver can effectively return 4.0 to slightly over 4.6 calories per minute back to the energy cycle. That's 240 – 280 calories per hour MAXIMUM for the average–size athlete under normal conditions. However, we have consistently noted that most athletes do well on even fewer calories, so "average size" athletes (approximately 160–165 lbs/approx 72.5–75 kg) should look at that 240 – 280 gauge only as a reference point (you’ll notice that our recommendations are even less than those amounts). Of course, larger athletes on occasion may need slightly more calories and lighter athletes will most certainly need fewer calories.

Larger athletes on occasion may need slightly more calories, lighter athletes will most certainly need fewer calories, and "average size" athletes (approximately 160–165 lbs/approx 72.5–75 kg) should use the 240 – 280 gauge as a starting point, if not lower.

C) All athletes must be willing to alter their calorie intake in deference to the weather, the terrain, their pace, and any pre–race anxieties they're experiencing, as all of these things negatively affect optimal digestive system functioning.

With this in mind, here are our suggested dosages for the following Hammer Nutrition fuels. As just mentioned, over the years we have consistently noted that for optimal performance most athletes require far less than the theoretical maximum of 240–280 calories/hour. This is why we recommend starting with the lowest amount suggested, especially if your weight is at the lower end of the scale, and increase the amount of calories you consume if you find it necessary.

Remember, though, that these are just suggestions and that you need to determine, via thorough testing under a variety of conditions, what amounts work best for you.

--- END ---

I hope this information helps clarify things for you, Steve, but if you need more assistance please let me know.

Sincerely -

Steve Born
Fueling Expert
Event Sponsorship Coordinator
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