Is there a down side to using Perpetuem for all my fueling?

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Is there a down side to using Perpetuem for all my fueling?

Postby wvedec » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:54 pm

I have used Hammer products for quite a while. In the past, I used Hammer Gel for my cycling that lasted up to two hours. I then switched to Perpetuem for longer activities.

I was wondering if I could simplify my fueling methods. Is there a down side to using Perpetuem for all of my cycling activities? Stated another way, is there an advantage to using Hammer Gel first and then switching to Perpetuem if the activity exceeds 2 hours?

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Re: Is there a down side to using Perpetuem for all my fueli

Postby wayne » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:38 pm

Hi Wayne from Wayne. To throw in something else; have you tried Heed? On shorter rides it is an outstanding drink and is easier for me to drink than try to do gels while riding. I find it easy to digest and I like the flavors. They say on longer rides to stick to about 300 calories in an hour and Perpetuem was created for that. I would not think that would be that essential on shorter rides. Fizz is also one of their drinks and that is outstanding also. On shorter rides I was told in hot weather to try mixing Heed and Fizz. Hammer always says that it is better to come up with fewer calories than too many calories. You would not want to interfere with speed due to body trying to digest too many calories at one time.
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Re: Is there a down side to using Perpetuem for all my fueli

Postby steve-born » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:19 am

Hello Wayne (wvedec) -

I am pretty much in agreement with the "other" Wayne and the suggestions he's made. That said, I know of a number of athletes who do races that are shorter than two hours in duration and they swear by Perpetuem. I know a guy who does criterium cycling races (an one-to-two-hour event) and he won't use anything else!

Point is that it's not harmful to use Perpetuem for shorter-duration workouts and races, though it really is more fuel than you need. Also, and Wayne alluded to this somewhat, because it contains carbohydrates, protein, and fat, Perpetuem will digest slightly slower than a "carb only" fuel like HEED or Hammer Gel... that may present a bit of a problem when you're ratcheting up the pace significantly.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that if you are doing a lengthy workout you do not necessarily need to start with a "carb only" fuel (Hammer Gel or HEED) for the first two or so hours, then switch to a "carb + protein" fuel (Perpetuem or Sustained Energy) after that. There's nothing wrong with doing that, of course, but you can (if desired) use Perpetuem or Sustained Energy as your sole fuel from beginning to end.

Here's some additional information that I think will be helpful to you...

In the section entitled The "gray area" of fueling in the article "Caloric Intake - Proper amounts during endurance exercise" ( ... .1275.html), we write the following:

As discussed earlier, 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 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.

The last thing you want to do is have your body literally digest its own muscle tissue to make fuel. One reason is the increase in fatigue-causing ammonia; there is no doubt that excess ammonia is a primary culprit, perhaps THE primary culprit, in premature fatigue during endurance events. The other reason is that you'll have broken down a greater volume of muscle tissue, which will prolong recovery time.

Things may (key word may) be a little different come race day. We believe that a race that's in the 2-3 hour range, perhaps just slightly longer, is in a gray area so to speak, which means that you can use either a carb + protein fuel (Sustained Energy or Perpetuem) or a carb only fuel (HEED or Hammer Gel). The selection needs to be based on the following:

The type of race that you're doing.
For example, running is a more impactive and thus a more digestively challenging type of exercise than cycling.

The intensity of the effort.
It's a lot easier to digest calories when the pace is more relaxed, which it usually is during a training session rather than during a race. That's why, in THE TOP 10 *The biggest mistakes endurance athletes make* article, we suggest having a fueling game plan but to write it in pencil, not in ink. What is meant by that saying is that caloric intakes that worked during training may not be appropriate during a race; you may need to consume slightly less in a race than you did during training. Increased anxiety, increased pace, and increased potential for dehydration all contribute to the possibility of a less-than-optimally-functioning digestive system. In addition, at the increased pace during a race, more blood is diverted from digestion and directed toward maintaining muscle performance.

The weather and how well or poorly you're acclimated to it.
The hotter the weather, the more compromised the digestive system becomes. During hot-weather racing, athletes usually find that they need to increase their water and Endurolytes intake while lowering their calorie intake.

The terrain.
For example, doing lots of climbing while on the bike or during a run usually diminishes digestive capabilities somewhat.

Our belief is that if the race is going to involve high intensity right from the gun, and/or if the weather is going to be very warm-to-hot, and/or if other factors such as hilly-to-mountainous terrain come into play, deference should be given to the fuel that is the quickest to digest, and that means HEED or Hammer Gel. Yes, some ammonia will be produced during the effort by not providing the body with some protein along with the carbs. However, if the race is in the 2-3 hour range, and perhaps just slightly longer, it will be over long before the issues involved with ammonia accumulation truly become problematic.

To summarize, we recommend a carb + protein drink (Sustained Energy or Perpetuem) when exercise goes beyond two or so hours. However, come race day, when a lot of variables need to be taken into consideration, you have a lot of options to choose from when the race is in the 2-3 hour range . . . you need to go with the fuel that makes the most sense, based on the aforementioned factors/variables. If those factors do come into play, we recommend the use of Hammer Gel or HEED for a high intensity race that's in the 2-3 hour range. If you know you're going to be out there for more than three hours we believe your body is going to perform better if Sustained Energy or Perpetuem is used as the primary-to-sole fuel, with the occasional use of Perpetuem Solids being perfectly acceptable as well.

All this said, this is not meant to be a set in stone rule. Everyone is different so your fuel selection may be different than another athlete's. The earlier-listed information is just a suggestion for you to consider when doing a race that is 2-3 hours in length, the gray area of fueling.

--- END ---

I hope you will find this information useful, Wayne, and if you haven't read it yet, I would encourage you to read the entire article whose link I've provided. Some good info in there!

Sincerely -

Steve Born
Fueling Expert
Event Sponsorship Coordinator
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Re: Is there a down side to using Perpetuem for all my fueli

Postby tjnieman » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:00 pm

I've gone to using only Perpetuem for all my fueling. I use the Caffe Latte flavor, as I find it very easy to drink cold or warm. I do take a flask of Espresso Hammer Gel in the event I run short (although I usually take a baggie of Perp to make more). I also like the caffeine boost. I have no problem with Heed, I just like getting a bit more protein and I can get by with less Perp calories compared to Heed calories. I've had not digestion issues, although I'm very careful to ingest pretty close to the exact calorie count I'm after and also drink plenty of water. I must admit, most of my training and riding are not at 90-100% effort.

My wife and 10 yr old daughter still go with the Heed, as they like the flavor more.

Tom Nieman, Tucson
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