"The goal is to become the unique, awesome, never to be repeated human being that we were called to be." -Patricia Deegan

Monday, February 28, 2011

Love 'Em or Hate 'Em

Just before going on to my topic for this post, I want to say that I promise to put up 2 or 3 new recipes on my website this week. I've been neglecting that for a while.

Doing long run after long run, I go through the fuel while running. And racing. So it's always good to hear when there might be a new fuel option. The Hammer Perpetuem Solids have been whispered about for several months now.

Yesterday, I finally had a chance to try them on my long run.

The first one...ummm.... Well, one needs to appreciate that they're not chewy like a jelly snake. According to the Hammer article I read today (ENissue73 off the Hammer Nutrition website), they couldn't get that chewy consistency without making them 50% sugar. So...they're powdery tablets - kinda like a giant chewable vitamin C or something. But when you bite it in half, your saliva makes it chewy. Sorta reminded me of an old marshmallow.

I definitely wasn't sold on the first one. But I convinced myself to postpone judgement, as they are just so different. I was pleased to find that by my 5th, I wasn't even thinking about their texture anymore. I was even disappointed that I had to save the last one to give to my mate to try. The orange flavour one is milder than the liquid form, which means that it's almost tasteless.

The Hammer article I found is actually titled "Love 'Em or Hate 'Em" and they even give tips for how to eat them :)

Here's what he says (and he even offers a refund if you don't like them - that's on the American site):

When you have a large wafer that started out as a fine powder and was compressed under immense force, it has a tendency to want to return to its original form. As some of the athletes we've heard from can attest, popping one in our mouth and pulverizing it into powder in one or two chomps is not the right technique. The best technique is to eat them slowly. It usually takes me about 2-3 minutes to eat one. They remind me of the giant Sweet Tarts® we used to eat as kids. I start by just sucking on it for a few seconds—this gets the saliva going in my mouth and softens the wafer. Then, break it in half and just start chipping away at it and chewing up small pieces, while keeping the larger piece in a cheek pocket. When I am done, using this gradual consumption technique, I do not feel the need to drink a bunch of water the way I do after consuming a serving of Hammer Gel or thick Perpetuem liquid. I typically only use about 2-3 an hour, so I am still enjoying calories from my bottle or gel flask as well. However, I have done centuries on nothing but Solids, water, and Endurolytes, and had no issues. A piece or two may stick in your molars, but that's fun too because then you get little flavor nuggets to enjoy further down the road. At this point, I imagine that some of you are thinking that sounds disgusting, while others are starting to see the potential.

I agree that I didn't get the feeling like I needed to swig water to cleanse my mouth afterwards. And I agree with the pieces stuck in your mouth - gives you something to do to pass the time and provides a distraction during a race ;)

Now I just need some more long runs.

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