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Navigating Hammer Nutrition supplement options

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Navigating Hammer Nutrition supplement options

Postby lmdough » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:36 am

This year I turned 40 and have continued a multi-year decline in athletic performance. I am plagued by fatigue and a loss of strength that diet, weight training, and doctor's visits are not helping to alleviate. Hammer Nutrition performance and dietary supplements seem to be an option to try and ease my issues, but I've only used Hammer gels, bars, Sustained Energy, and Perpetuem before. The supplement list is daunting.

Does anyone have a suggestion on what to start with? At this point, I'm willing to try about anything. For the past two years, I've suffered through the Leadville 100 Trail Run and the training leading up to it, never feeling good the entire time and barely surviving the race. I wanted this year to be different, but it is shaping up to be exactly the same. Leadville is only about 8 weeks away, and I dread my training run today.

Please help!
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Re: Navigating Hammer Nutrition supplement options

Postby steve-born » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:56 am

Hello lmdough (please remember to post your first name on all future posts... that way we know who you are!) -

The very first place to start supplement-wise is with our three Daily Essentials products - Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, and Mito Caps. The reason they are given this designation is because we believe they provide the widest range of benefits for both athletic performance and general health. I believe that with consistent use of these three products you will see, among other beneficial effects, an increase in energy and endurance, but without any unwanted "over-riding" of your body's natural mechanisms.

The B-complex vitamins in Premium Insurance Caps, the Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and idebenone components in Race Caps Supreme, and the acetyl l-carnitine and r-alpha lipoic acid components in Mito Caps provide a plethora of benefits, one of which is increased energy but without that any of the unpleasant wired feeling that you get from stimulant-based products.

The rationale for my recommendation of these three products as the cornerstone of one's supplement program can be found in the article "The Hammer Nutrition Daily Essentials Formula" at http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledg ... .1253.html

I would also encourage you to download a free copy of the booklet The Hammer Nutrition Fuels & Supplements - Everything You Need to Know (http://www.hammernutrition.com/download ... 5.15mb.pdf). You'll find a wealth of information about each of the Hammer fuels and supplements, as well as dosage suggestions. In the second article, the one about the supplements, you will see that we've "prioritized" the products into four categories: Daily Essentials, Very Important, Important, and Specific Support.
The Daily Essentials obviously come first, followed by "Very Important" supplements, and so on.

Now, if the budget is tight I would suggest that you still use the Daily Essentials on a consistent, daily basis. If you can go beyond that, I think my next choice would be AO Booster, followed by Super Antioxidant. The Daily Essentials, as mentioned earlier, will cover an awful lot of nutritional "bases" so if that's all you can do at this time then you're still on a darn good supplement program. Adding AO Booster to the mix enhances this program even more, and Super Antioxidant takes it a step further. Those five products would be, in general, the main products I'd suggest for all athletes and active people. That's not to say that the other products don't have their place but it is the above-mentioned five products that I would be using first and foremost.

One thing I wanted to mention is that for use during your long distance workouts and races - and especially for something as arduous as Leadville - the combination of Anti-Fatigue Caps and Endurance Amino, taken prior to and hourly during workouts in the 2-3+ hour range, are a dynamic combination for alleviating fatigue and prolonging endurance. I theorize that this is because Endurance Amino contains the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which, along with the BCAAs that naturally occur in the soy protein component in Perpetuem and Sustained Energy, help minimize the muscle tissue from being broken down to satisfy the 5% – 15% of the body’s energy requirements. This, I believe, helps prevent higher-than-normal amounts of fatigue–causing ammonia from accumulating. Then, the three ammonia-scavenging nutrients in Anti-Fatigue Caps aid in neutralizing the negative fatigue-causing effects of any remaining ammonia. I don’t have any “science” to back this up but I think it’s a realistic theory; there certainly have been a number of athletes who have emailed us to let us know that these two products “stacked” together have proven to be a remarkable “one-two punch” for enhancing endurance.

Lastly, as we get older our ability to recover between workouts seems to take longer. The five supplements I mentioned earlier - Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps, AO Booster, and Super Antioxidant - provide wide-ranging benefits, another one being that they help support accelerated recovery. In addition to that, I would absolutely recommend the use of Recoverite after your workouts, and for sure anything that you do that's longer than 2 hours in length. More about this superb product, which I consider perhaps the best we've ever produced, can be found at http://www.hammernutrition.com/mailers/ ... online.pdf -- remember, how well you recover today determines how well you perform tomorrow!

This is a lot of information to digest, I know (no pun intended) but I think it will prove to be very helpful to you as you prepare for Leadville. You have plenty of time to give these products a thorough test in your training, and more than sufficient time to enjoy the benefits they offer.

If you have any questions about any of these products, especially after reviewing the information in the links I've provided, please let me know and I'll be glad to help as much as possible.

Good luck in your training!

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Navigating Hammer Nutrition supplement options

Postby lmdough » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:46 pm

Thanks, Steve, for the great information. I'll give the links you provided a thorough reading, but I have already read quite a bit about the different products. I've also used them successfully in ultramarathon cycling but have stayed away from them in ultramarathon running due to digestive issues.

I tried using Sustained Energy coupled with a power gel and an electrolyte drink (Nuun) on a 3.5 hour run on Sunday. Although I had good aerobic energy, I had no snap. Temperatures were in the low-80's. When I finished, I quickly became extremely nauseous despite consuming almost 3L of fluid during the run. My husband insisted on giving me Gatorade, which alleviated my nausea within minutes. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but it seems that I was dehydrated and/or depleted of something I really needed.

I just got a shipment of Race Caps, Insurance Caps, Mito Caps, and Anti-Fatigue Caps. I'll try using them as you suggested, and I'll try Perpetuem, Hammer Gel, and Heed or Endurolytes on my next big run and see what happens. After my last two Leadville runs, I was so nauseous for the rest of Sunday that I couldn't attend the awards ceremonies. It would be nice to figure out what I'm doing wrong so the drive home isn't so miserable this year.

Thanks again, and I look forward to trying your suggestions.

Cheers,
Lisa
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Re: Navigating Hammer Nutrition supplement options

Postby AZ_Lee » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:33 pm

Steve,
Thanks for that great run through on Supplements. I know this posting is a little older, but I figure search before asking a repeat question.

I'm not a very big fan in popping a hand full of pills per day, prefer more natural consumption of nutrients. Having said that, I'm willing to explore supplementing my current intake of 1 multi-vitamin and 1 fish oil on a daily bases. I still have about 1/2 yrs worth of vitamin and don't want to just dump them. What do you recommend I start with to improve my daily regiment. From your post and the articles, I'm thinking either Mito and/or AO Booster? Am I missing anything vital to a good foundation.

Side issue: I've always been a runner, but this year I got into triathlons and I'm hooked big time. I started use Electrolytes, Fuzz, Heed, and Recoverite. I'm still cramping in my calves either on the bike or starting the run. I probable need to up my Electrolytes (from 1 pill to maybe 3) or train "more" better. Or maybe a better supplement foundation would help.

Thanks for your help,
Lee
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Re: Navigating Hammer Nutrition supplement options

Postby steve-born » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:05 pm

Hello Lee -

I'm a big believer in the three Daily Essentials products - Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, and Mito Caps - and the rationale for why they are designated as "Daily Essentials" is outlined in the article "The Hammer Nutrition Daily Essentials Formula" at http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/the-hammer-nutrition-daily-essentials-formula.1253.html

Couple of thoughts:

I don't know what multivitamin/mineral supplement you're using but I hate to throw anything away. So before you make the switch to Premium Insurance Caps (PICs), by all means finish the multivitamin that you're currently using.

I don't know of too many people who want to take handfuls of pills; however, it's sometimes necessary to take more PICs than other multivitamin/mineral products. The primary reasons are:

A) PICs come in capsules instead of tablets. Tablets are great because you can fit a lot more nutrients in there on a per-tablet basis; however, because they have to be coated with a binder (to keep all of the nutrients intact), they may irritate the stomach and/or not dissolve completely. It takes more capsules than tablets to hold all of the nutrients but capsules tend to dissolve noticeably faster and more completely than tablets, which means higher absorption rates. Given the choice, I'd rather take a couple more capsules, knowing that they're dissolving and the nutrients getting into my system, versus tablets that may not dissolve completely, which means that the nutrients aren't getting into your system. Remember, it's not what you consume, it's what you absorb!

B) The amounts of nutrients we include in the formula. Many companies use the archaic RDA (now known as the RDI) standard, which is the amount needed to keep you from getting a deficiency disease. In other words, the RDA/RDI is the absolute "bottom of the barrel" minimum standard; it really has little-to-nothing to do with optimizing health. That's why we formulated PICs using the Optimum Daily Intake (ODI) standard, which takes into account a variety of factors that suggest that amounts higher than the RDA are necessary.

In the article "Supplementation - A Necessity for Athletes" (http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/supplementation-a-necessity-for-athletes.8940.html), in particular the section entitled "The Recommended Daily Intake: Recommended for what?" you will find the rationale as to why we opted to formulate PICs using ODI amounts instead of minuscule RDA/RDI amounts.

All this said, if using the three Daily Essentials consistently is not within one's budget, I would suggest that using PICs (or something as close to its formula as possible) and Race Caps Supreme would be the route to go. It is a very tough toss up between Race Caps Supreme and Mito Caps, but I tend to lean ever-so-slightly towards Race Caps Supreme because I believe that this particular product (again, albeit slightly) provides more benefits for both athletic performance and overall health. If you Googled CoQ10 and idebenone (the two primary components in Race Caps Supreme) and read about their benefits - especially for cardiovascular health - you'd be online for a long, long time... they really are two extraordinary nutrients.

Yes, Race Caps Supreme is more expensive than Mito Caps but even at 1 capsule a day (which would be a 3-month supply) you will still get solid support from the combination of the two aforementioned multi-beneficial nutrients, plus all of the other nutrients in the product, which provide their own benefits while also potentiating/amplifying the benefits of the CoQ10 and idebenone components.

Ideally, I'd like to see everyone - athletes and non-athletes alike - consistently using the three Daily Essentials and, if at all possible, AO Booster as well (that is really an awesome product), and at the amounts suggested in the Product Usage Manual (http://www.hammernutrition.com/downloads/PUM.pdf). However, if things are really tight $$$-wise and if I had to make a choice, I'd personally go with Premium Insurance Caps and Race Caps Supreme... I think you'll get the most "bang from your buck" going this route. Again, however, I must emphasize that the ideal situation would be all three Daily Essentials + AO Booster, the latter if at all possible.

As far as your cramping is concerned, while it may be an electrolyte issue, I'm leaning more towards it being a muscular issue, meaning that your calf muscles may not be truly prepared for the stress/intensity you're putting on them. I go through this far too often in the sense that I either do too much volume or too much intensity before my muscular system is prepared to deal with it. I call it the "too much, too soon" syndrome and when it happens - because it's not really an electrolyte issue - it's something that even a fistful of Endurolytes may not help. As you suggested, "training 'more' better" is most likely the resolution to this issue (stretching will help as well).

Sorry for the ultra-lengthy post but I hope you will find this information helpful.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Navigating Hammer Nutrition supplement options

Postby AZ_Lee » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:19 pm

Steve,

Thanks for the great information again. After reading your post and the provided literature, I'll add Race Caps and Mito to my list of supplements. And later will add PIC after my current stash of vitamins are done.

That's a great point you made about minimum and optimal intake. After all these years, I never thought of looking at RDI as the bare minimum. It's make sense as the FDA would recommend what a average persons intake should be, but not for the an active person/athlete for optimal performance.

That begs the question of how much is to much. Is the human body smart enough to discard anything it doesn't need without anything going to failure (liver, kidney, or ...)? I'm sure there is a fine line especially, if your body requires it. Much like the line of crazy or not in participating in an epic event.

Thanks again,

Lee
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Re: Navigating Hammer Nutrition supplement options

Postby steve-born » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:43 pm

Hello Lee -

I have a theory on the RDA/RDI, which is the minimal amount of a certain nutrient to keep you from getting a deficiency disease, and that's that when the bar is set SO LOW, there's only a small percentage of people who fall under the category of "nutritionally impoverished." Raise the standard even a small amount and you have a much greater percentage of people ending up in that category. Personally, I don't know of a person/agency/administration that wants to take responsibility for that.

At some point, the consumption of pretty much anything and everything can be "too much," with sometimes very harmful to even fatal consequences. Even water, which is absolutely vital to life, will kill a person if they drink too much (it's happened a few times in marathons). There are a few nutrients (vitamin A and selenium come to mind) that can be toxic when taken in too-high amounts. For the most part, however, despite the "scare tactic" headlines that are blared across websites and newspapers, nutritional supplements have an almost immaculate track record in terms of safety.

Dr. Michael Long, in his article, “Will My Supplement Kill Me? Deciphering Fact from Fiction” (http://www.ontariohealth.org/blogs/michael-long-nd/will-my-supplement-kill-me-deciphering-fact-fiction) states things nicely, I think. He writes:

This scientific chest beating is fundamental to driving science and medicine forward. It is vitally important to people in the industry—but, what about the general public? They just read that supplements will KILL YOU! The media, not surprisingly, fails to report rebuttals consisting of an array of technical and statistical reasons as to why something is invalid. Doom and gloom gets all the attention.

In an ideal world, we would get all of our nutrients from highly nutritious sources in our diet. But for the vast majority, this ‘ideal world’ is make-believe, an unattainable fabrication. Virtually all chronic diseases plaguing our population come as a direct result of the cumulative effects of our atrocious dietary patterns: diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and many forms of cancer, just to name a few. We tend to under consume nutrient rich health promoting foods, and grossly over consume nutrient depleted health quashing foods.

The name ‘Supplement’ is indicative of its intended use. We add something supplemental only when it is lacking; it is redundant to add something that is already there. Hence, supplements are used to make up for the deficiencies in the diet. And for the majority, who follow a standard American diet, numerous deficiencies tend to exist.

Vitamins Do Not Justify an Unhealthy Diet
Nutrition does not follow the principles of simple arithmetic. One healthy vitamin does not subtract and neutralize one day of unhealthy food choices. Too often vitamins are used as a justification for poor eating habits. “I can have a burger and fries because I took my vitamin this morning.” Often times, the most dedicated vitamin taker is also the unhealthiest eater. This certainly plays in to why a trend is seen between supplement takers and increased mortality—it is not the vitamin, but rather the type of person who takes the vitamin.

So, Will My Vitamin Kill Me?
No. Even with totally irresponsible use, you would be hard pressed to be killed by your vitamins. News agencies publish stories that will elicit debate, and feed upon anything that will drum up controversy. In truth, studies are published every day showing the safety and health promoting effects of vitamins, especially when used responsibly (i.e. used for a specific purpose, after objective testing showed a deficiency), and according to the evidence. If you want to focus on something that will actually kill you, open your medicine cabinet and look at the drugs that stare back at you. Close to 1 million people die in North America every year, as a direct result of adverse effects from prescription drugs. The safety record of pharmaceutical drugs is not even comparable to vitamins.

Everything in life is a risk—but vitamins are repeatedly shown to be safe and effective for many conditions. Always seek professional guidance, but as is anything, the choice is ultimately yours!

--- END ---
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