Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fueling for Your Best Performance

When we lived out East, I had my training and race-day nutrition pretty dialed in. In 100-milers, I'd consume just about anything, especially soup, bananas, pop, gels and sports drinks of all kinds. When we moved out West and I started doing really demanding races like the Leadville Trail 100-Mile, run between 9,200 and 12,600 feet in the Rockies, I suddenly realized that what worked back East wasn't going to necessarily cut it in tough mountain races at elevation. It took me a little while to figure out what worked, but eventually I came to the conclusion, through trial and error, that there's one line of products that is heads and shoulders above the rest: Hammer Nutrition.

The great thing about Hammer is that they have products for athletes of all levels and from all sports. For me, as an ultrarunner, here are the Hammer products that make the biggest difference in my performance:
  • Hammer Gels: At the Leadville 100 and other races, Hammer Gels fuel me mile after mile. They provide the energy I need and, as an added bonus, they taste great! I prefer the vanilla and espresso flavors. Usually one gel an hour works for me, but occasionally I'll do two gels if I'm feeling really fatigued.
  • Hammer Perpetuem: Simply put, Hammer Perpetuem is the best sustained energy fluid I've ever used. Mixed with water, it provides about 270 calories a serving. At Leadville, I turned to Perpetuem in the last 60 miles and it really did a nice job of fueling me (I only wish I'd done such a good job with caffeine late in the race). Whether I'm racing or on a long training run of 3-5+ hours, Perpetuem keeps me moving, thanks to its nice mix of carbs and protein. I've also used Perpetuem Solids and they're great, too.
  • Hammer Endurolytes: I've been using Hammer Endurolytes for years and I think they're the best capsule-based source of electrolytes out there. Depending on conditions, I take anywhere from 2-3 Endurolytes every hour to help keep my muscles functioning well and cramping at bay. If I feel any cramping coming on, I pop a few Endurolytes and the problem usually goes away. I also pop a few Endurolytes before my long workouts.
  • Hammer Recoverite: If I had to pick one Hammer product I love the most, it would be Recoverite. Especially out here in Colorado, where I'm running at over 6,000 feet on a daily basis, recovery between workouts is vital. I take Recoverite after every workout and the stuff works beautifully. The maltodextrin, whey protein isolate, L-glutamine and other ingredients provide the nourishment your tired muscles need in the recovery process. I swear, too, that the stuff helps speed up healing in soft tissue injuries. All I do is mix two scoops with some water and then nurse it over the next 10-20 minutes. I wake up the next day feeling way better than I would without Recoverite. If you do nothing else, take Recoverite between your workouts. My favorite flavor is strawberry.
A few months ago I approached Hammer for an athlete sponsorship because I believe deeply in the quality of their products. I'm super excited to now be a part of the Hammer team and help the company continually build awareness in the endurance world. This year, as I take on races like the Leadville 100, Hammer's excellent products will once again be my fuel of choice.

If you're still trying to figure out how to fuel for peak performance, give Hammer's excellent line of products a try. And go beyond what I've recommended above and also try Hammer Sustained Energy, Heed and their many other products. What works for me may not work for you, but I can nearly guarantee you that Hammer has something for everyone--and it's all great!

Shop Hammer today by clicking here!


  1. Agree about Hammer stuff,they have excellent info on fueling also,not sure how to link that.I have never been able to keep my stomach under control though,i used Perpetuem at Hardrock,which would have been fine,but i also added Heed and alot of gels to the same mixture,taking it at each aid station,sigh.If my stomach had little men running it,they would say,"OMG,he's running another hundred,lets get ready for a complete shutdown,maybe this year will be different^^.

  2. Hey congrats on getting on their list! Well done.

  3. Kudos for being transparent about the Hammer relationship in this post.