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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-04-09, 11:33 AM   #1
kyriefurro
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Hammer's SE...what to do about the taste?!?!

As someone who suffers from rather severe exertion related GI problems, I've become a big fan of the various products offered by Hammer Nutrition. I use their gel for shorter rides, and move to Sustained Energy for anything over about 2 1/2 hours. It does a great job of keeping me fueled without making me puke. The only problem is....I can't stand the friggen taste!

It didn't bother me at first, but the more I ride, and the more often I use it, the harder and harder it is to make myself gag the stuff down. On my long ride yesterday, I wussed out about half way and stopped at a Starbucks for a slice of pumpkin bread lol. (Strangely enough the pumpkin bread didn't bother my stomach, but the iced chai did.)

So, any suggestions on how to improve the taste...or maybe another non-sugared (no fructose or sucrose) product to use?
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Old 05-04-09, 11:34 AM   #2
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I mix SE with HEED.
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Old 05-04-09, 11:35 AM   #3
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Perpetuem.
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Old 05-04-09, 11:40 AM   #4
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You can add hammer gel to it for flavor. Or switch to Perpetuem, their newer 2+ hour fuel.
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Old 05-04-09, 11:45 AM   #5
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I gave he SE a shot, I added gel to it but was disgusted in the long run. I don't use SE anymore I use perpetuem, and have much better results.
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Old 05-04-09, 12:03 PM   #6
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Add a scoop of HEED, or try the new Caffe Latte flavored Perpetuem.
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Old 05-04-09, 12:05 PM   #7
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I've been thinking about trying a big scoop of vanilla flavored whey protein powder.
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Old 05-04-09, 12:15 PM   #8
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I've been thinking about trying a big scoop of vanilla flavored whey protein powder.
Badddd idea, whey causes ammonia to build in your muscles, which can cause fatigue and cramps. You're better to use a soy based protein. Actually there's no point of adding more protein powder to SE or Perpetuem that's the whole point of drinking it is because it has soy protein in it. Just put some gel in it something.
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Old 05-04-09, 12:37 PM   #9
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There's an "unflavored" flavor of SE. It's not completely without flavor, but it's pretty mild.

You can also try HEED. It's like SE but without the small amount of protein. I find that it goes down easier for me. Again, the unflavored "flavor" is the easiest to swallow. I can even handle it at 2x the recommended concentration, which is something I can't do with any other drink mix. HEED is also maltodextrin based, no fructose.

Perpetuem is pretty foul tasting but it sits in my stomach ok. Few LBSs carry the unflavored Hammer drink mixes, you'll have to order from Hammer.

You might try solid food for long rides. Clif bars work well for me although most of the flavors are too sweet or contain chocolate, which does not taste good when I am exercising.
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Old 05-04-09, 01:05 PM   #10
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I tolerate HEED better than anything and can use it on rides up to 4 hours without a problem. If the ride is more than about 2.5 hours, I will have a Hammer Bar (and some gel) too. I tolerate those much better than Cliff bars when riding.

For my long rides i generally use concentrated Perpeteum in my water bottles and a I keep water with a NUUN tablet or two in a camelbak. Yes, I know people hate them, but I can go out into the mountains for 6-8 hours of riding with that setup and I have all the nutrition I need and clothing for different altitudes and conditions.

I find I cannot stomach Perpteum in normal strength in my bottles, but getting down a few gulps of the concentrate with water to wash it down is fine.
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Old 05-04-09, 01:43 PM   #11
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There's an "unflavored" flavor of SE.
SE only comes in the unflavored version...and that's the stuff I was talking about.

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You might try solid food for long rides. Clif bars work well for me although most of the flavors are too sweet or contain chocolate, which does not taste good when I am exercising.
Solid foods are what usually give me trouble. They're usually too concentrated for me to digest while I'm riding. Clif bars, shots, gels, etc are particularly troublesome. In fact, so far, Hammer's stuff is the only actual sports product I can handle. Other foods I've used and been ok with include fig newtons and rice krispy bars....and now apparently Starbucks' pumpkin bread lol.

Guess I'll have to give the Perpetuem a try. I always liked orange cremesicles lol.
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Old 05-04-09, 02:35 PM   #12
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Guess I'll have to give the Perpetuem a try. I always liked orange cremesicles lol.
Yeah, but picture the taste of a cremesicle with some chalk dust in it.

That said, it sits well and works and it actually taste better in concentrated form.
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Old 05-04-09, 02:45 PM   #13
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Yeah, but picture the taste of a cremesicle with some chalk dust in it.

That said, it sits well and works and it actually taste better in concentrated form.
I've been using the Orange-Vanilla Perpetuem for the last month and it's flavor is like all of Hammer's stuff..kinda bland esp compared to the whatever-ades. And like all protein mixes it takes more shaking to dissolve. HEED does taste better but I don't find Perpetuem chalky.
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Old 05-04-09, 03:04 PM   #14
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I'm with you, I typically can't do solid foods on longer or higher-exertion rides but I can handle the gels just fine. I start with Heed and move on to Perpetuem after the 2-2.5hr mark. I have been thinking about bringing some solid food with me in the form of these for those longer rides, though:
http://www.theprobar.com/bars/

They average around 350-400 calories for a 3oz bar, are vegan, natural, have a good balance of fats, carbs and protein, etc. so a few nibbles here and there might not be bad.
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Old 05-04-09, 03:19 PM   #15
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Probars are my favorite bars for backpacking. They taste great, are good for you, and have more calories than anything else out there. They cause me to cramp while cycling though, so I keep them for the back country.
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Old 05-04-09, 03:23 PM   #16
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Good to know. Are you talking GI cramp or muscle cramp?

I also take Endurolytes when I'm sweating a lot because I seem to really lose a lot of salts (and generally feel MUCH better after a long ride if I've taken them). Maybe this could help with cramping?
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Old 05-04-09, 03:27 PM   #17
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GI cramping. Let's just say they are high in fiber...
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Old 05-04-09, 03:34 PM   #18
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Love HEED.

Love Hammergel.

Strongly dislike SE. I've tried it, and tried different ways of getting it to taste better (like adding Hammergel to it, and adding other non-sugar flavorings), but can only stand it for a little while ... and then it stinks up my bottles and makes everything else I try to put in them taste terrible.


Personally, I use Ensure ... tastes great, goes down smooth, digests well, has a complete set of nutrients ..... mmmmm what more could you want. And it is the fuel of choice among RAAM riders.

http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio...iders_eat.html

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Old 05-04-09, 03:47 PM   #19
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GI cramping. Let's just say they are high in fiber...
Aha! Fiber... I wonder if one or more flavors is lower in fiber. I'll check it out.

nevermind, they've all got 6-7g+ of fiber... :/
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Old 05-04-09, 03:50 PM   #20
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The thing about SE is it turns sour in about 3 hours on a hot day.

Ask how I know... bleh. Tasted like sewer water.

Prior to it turning sour, it tasted fine mixed with HEED.
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Old 05-04-09, 04:02 PM   #21
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Personally, I use Ensure ... tastes great, goes down smooth, digests well, has a complete set of nutrients ..... mmmmm what more could you want. And it is the fuel of choice among RAAM riders.
Hmmm...hadn't thought about that. I'll have to give the label a good going over and make sure it doesn't have anything else on my no-no list and then maybe give it a try. I'm assuming you put it in another container and don't drag the cans along with you?
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Old 05-04-09, 04:10 PM   #22
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Hmmm...hadn't thought about that. I'll have to give the label a good going over and make sure it doesn't have anything else on my no-no list and then maybe give it a try. I'm assuming you put it in another container and don't drag the cans along with you?
Here's the Ensure site:
http://ensure.com/

I start my day of a big ride by drinking one or two bottles of Ensure (see link below). Then I carry a bottle or two with me in my trunk bag. I can eat other food along the way, but the Ensure is for when I've been on the bicycle for 10 or 12 hours and am starting to struggle with digestion.
http://ensure.com/products/index.aspx

I believe you can get Ensure powder as well.
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Old 05-04-09, 09:16 PM   #23
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IMO, Orange Vanilla Perpetuem has a light flavor, tastes like watered down soy milk to me. not chalky.
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Old 05-05-09, 06:09 AM   #24
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I used to like Perpetuem. Then I started using it quite often and gradually became sick of it. This was amplified in the heat. The stuff is simply disgusting if you are out all day in 80F+ temps trying to live off just it and perhaps their gel. I also used to really like the hammer gel, and settled on the tropical flavor. I now have a new, unopened bottle I'll never touch again.

I recently learned at a 100 mi mtb race about two products called carbo pro and carbo pro 1200. The carbo pro mixes in to water and pretty much can't be distinguished from plain water. the carbo pro 1200 is more like vitamin water, gatorade, etc. Both, I find to be superior to all the other fuels I've used. The 1200 is a bit expensive, but tastes fine even when warm. Worth checking out.
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Old 05-05-09, 06:49 AM   #25
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I like the Heed and Hammer Gels and they have worked really well for me....and when it gets really hot...I go with Endurolytes...they are fantastic.
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