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SE usage

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SE usage

Postby brady » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:07 pm

Hello Hammer Community,

I have a question regarding SE usage. For longer distances, I use an SE/Heed mixture. I have a 100 mile gravel grinder race coming up in a few weeks and I was wondering if I can make an 8 hour (or so) bottle or try to split it up with two 4 hour bottles. I will be able to leave a drop bag at the halfway point with my powder mixture in it. I just didn't want to stop if I absolutely didn't have to.

I've made a 6 hour mixture before but didn't need all of it. I just didn't know if was recommended to even make an 8 hour bottle.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks,
-Brad
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Re: SE usage

Postby steve-born » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:29 am

Hello Brad -

Like you, the most concentrated bottle of SE or Perpetuem that I've ever made was a 6-hour bottle. There's nothing wrong with making an 8-hour bottle, though I'm thinking it would be quite labor-intensive to do so (You may even need a blender).

The main concern is the how palatable/stable the product is when you get to the drop bag area. If you have a way of keeping that second 4-hour bottle cool-to-cold then no worries. However, if it sits there already mixed on a warm day, there's the possibility that it will not only not taste good but that the protein component may have soured, which would make the drink mix unusable.

If the weather looks like it's going to be warm and/or if you don't have a way to keep that second 4-hour bottle somewhat cool, I would suggest you make up your second 4-hour bottle when you get to the drop bag area... better safe than sorry! One thing you might want to do - and I believe this would help make things easier and less time-consuming to mix - is to have two bottles in your drop bag. One would contain just the powder only and the other one would be empty. You would mix small amounts of SE into the empty bottle, along with water, and make it gradually.

I think that will save you a bit of time, while ensuring everything gets mixed thoroughly, versus having a 6-8 scoop bottle of powder (or however many scoops it takes to make a 4-hour bottle), THEN adding water to it. Every time I try to make a multi-hour bottle of SE or Perpetuem where I have all the powder already in the bottle and then add water, it tends to be a bit of a pain (and more time-consuming) to get it all to mix up thoroughly.

I hope this helps but if you need more information or clarification, or if you have additional questions, please let me know.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: SE usage

Postby brady » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:10 am

Thanks Steve.

I see what you are saying about having two bottles at the feed zone. I hadn't thought of that. I would have tried adding water to my 8 scoops of powder. (I had planned on mixing it once I got there.)

I usually mix my SE/Heed at home with a stand mixer, so getting it blended thoroughly was never much of an issue.

Thanks for the tip.

-Brad
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Re: SE usage

Postby wayne » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:21 am

I was thinking of taking the blender ball and putting it in a regular water bottle to see if it helps with the mixing. Why not try either supplementing with gel or mixing gel in with the drink mix? Also I am still trying to work in the Solids, but that may be another way to add some calories.
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Re: SE usage

Postby steve-born » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:55 am

Hello Wayne -

Your idea of using the blender ball is brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? ;)
Seriously, during the Highline Hammer this year I recall a few people using the blender ball to mix up concentrated bottles of SE or Perpetuem, and from what I remember it seemed to work quite well. So that's definitely an option.

Also, supplementing one's SE intake - not mixing it in with the powder but using it as a completely separate fuel - is perfectly acceptable. During prolonged events, as long as SE or Perpetuem is your primary fuel (I suggest 2/3 - 3/4 of the time), you can use any of the other Hammer fuels to augment that, providing a little variety in the menu and breaking up the monotony of using the same fuel hour after hour after hour.

Just as an example, when I do a 6-hour ride I will make a 4-hour bottle of Perpetuem and carry a flask of Hammer Gel. I now have 6 hours of fuel in two small containers: a bottle and a flask. It really makes things easy and I've found it covers my calorie requirements quite nicely.

So while one can certainly use SE or Perpetuem as their sole fuel from beginning to end, it's perfectly fine to "mix and match" some of the other Hammer fuels along with them. The key things to keep in mind:

1) During 2-3 hour events I think it's fine to go "carbs only" (HEED or Hammer Gel. Yes, most of the time we advocate the use of a "carb + protein" fuel (SE or Perpetuem) when you go beyond 2 hours. However, I personally think that most of the time you can extend the "carbs only" fueling to 3 hours, especially if the intensity is high. In one of my articles, there's a section entitled "The 'Gray Area' of Fueling" where I 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 ---

2) All calories from all sources count toward your hourly calorie intake. In other words, if you're using a SE/HEED mixture combination, you have to count the calories from both of those fuels, making sure that your hourly intake is sufficient but not too much.

As far as Perpetuem Solids are concerned, I tend to view this product as a way of getting in a few high quality calories (ones where the protein component won't go sour) while also satisfying the need to chew on something (we all know how boring going "liquid only" for several hours can be).

There are but 100 calories for every 3 Perpetuem Solids tablets (4 tablets would equal a scoop of Perpetuem in the powder form), so while they can certainly be used as a primary fuel source, I think my jaw would wear out chewing so many solids. Instead, I would use this particular product as a high quality calorie source, something to occasionally augment my use of the liquid Hammer fuels.

We have a blog post that discusses this product in more detail at http://www.hammernutrition.com/blog/usi ... em-solids/

Sorry for the ultra lengthy post but I hope you will all find the information useful.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: SE usage

Postby cyberjunkie21 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:03 am

Hi Steve, I enjoyed your reply as it contained lots of good info. I'm working on finalizing my fueling strategy for my first 70.3 race in about 3 weeks. I haven't used SE before but have routinely use the solids. I'm wanting to get a more consistent approach as I won't be able to rely on just gels. How do people usually mix gel & SE? Does it go in a larger bottle since it would be too much volume for a gel flask? How much SE can you actually get in a gel flask? Any other pointers? Thanks,

Andrew
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Re: SE usage

Postby steve-born » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:26 pm

Hello Andrew -

Couple of things:

1) If you've been using the Perpetuem Solids, you might want to consider using the powdered version of Perpetuem instead of SE. It's not that there's anything wrong with using SE but you're already used to the Perpetuem formula, albeit it in solid form (the two products - powder and solid - are identical in terms of the formula).

2) If you do want to use an SE/Hammer Gel combination as your drink mix, that's fine. It's not necessary, however, as you can use SE on its own. Yeah, it's a little bland tasting, which is why some people like to flavor it with HEED or Hammer Gel. (I personally prefer the "non-flavor" of SE).

3) If you do an SE/Hammer Gel combination, keep in mind that each scoop of SE contains 107 calories and every serving of Hammer Gel contains 80-90 calories (the amount depends on the flavor). My suggested hourly amount for the average size athlete (approximately 165 lbs) would be 1.5 scoops of SE (about 160.5 calories) + 1 serving of Hammer Gel (80 - 90 calories). That combination will give you a total of 240.5 - 250.5 calories.

4) For a 56-mile bike course, I suggest making a 4 hour bottle of fuel. Chances are you won't need that much fuel but I feel it's better to have a little extra on hand than not enough (just in case you're out there longer than what you expected). If you're using an SE/Hammer Gel combination, I'd suggest making 6 scoops of SE (642 calories) + 4 servings of Hammer Gel (320 - 360 calories). That'll give you 962 - 1002 calories, which will provide 240.5 - 250.5 an hour over the course of 4 hours. Take a felt tip pen and mark the bottle in 4 equal segments... that's how much you want to drink on an hourly basis, augmented by plain water to fulfill hydration requirements, and Endurolytes to take care of electrolyte requirements.

5) It's been so long since I've made SE in a super concentrated form that I honestly don't know how many scoops you can fit into a flask... my guess is that if you used a blender or whisking bowl and spoon you could fit 4 scoops in there fairly easily. To make things easier for you for the race, I'd suggest just making your multi-hour mixture in a 21-24 ounce bottle.

6) If you're going to use Perpetuem you (like many, many athletes) may find that you probably won't not need quite as many calories as SE or an SE/Hammer Gel combination. This is due to the healthy fat component added to Perpetuem, which helps one feel satisfied on fewer calories. In fact, I'm currently around 200 lbs and I've found that 1.5 scoops of Perpetuem (202.5 calories), perhaps slightly more, works perfectly for me. It's not like that for all athletes but I have found that I don't need as many calories when using Perpetuem as I do SE.

If you're in the average size athlete weight range, I think that a 5-6 scoop bottle of Perpetuem should work just fine for you. That'll give you 675 - 810 calories total, or 168.75 - 202.5 calories per hour for 4 hours. That may seem like an insufficient amount but again, we have found that an awful lot of athletes can cut way back on their calorie intake when using Perpetuem that this seemingly small amount does tend to work quite well. If you're a bit concerned that you're under-doing it on the calories, make a 7-scoop bottle, which will give you 945 calories, or 236.25/hour for 4 hours.

7) For the run portion of the race, I suggest a calorie combination of Hammer Gel + Perpetuem Solids. You can consume more of whichever one you prefer; just remember that the calories from both products count towards your overall hourly total. For example, if you want to keep your calorie intake around 240-250/hour, you can have 2 x 90-calorie Hammer Gels (180 calories) + 2 Perpetuem Solids (about 67 calories total) per hour. That'll give you 247 calories an hour.

8) You keep doing Endurolytes hourly during the run portion and drink just water to fulfill hydration needs.

These are some tips that I hope will help you, Andrew. If you haven't already received/read it, email me directly (sborn@hammernutrition.com) and ask me to send you my article "Tips for a Successful Half or Full Iron Distance Triathlon." There's a lot of good info in there that I know will be of use to you.

Sincerely -

Steve
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