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Thread: HEED Question

  1. #1
    Learning the hard way
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    HEED Question

    I tried HEED for the first time yesterday, and I have a question. Granted it is not the best tasting stuff in the world (weak in flavor, and chalk like), but it did not leave that sugar taste in my mouth like gatorade does (though I have been using G2 watered down by 50% water).

    After my 26 mile ride, I had some grape juice that was watered down by 50% water, and then 10 minutes later some whey protein. Things were good for about an hour, and then I felt like I was going to puke. I was not able to eat dinner, and my stomach felt bloated. I tried 2 cans of diet 7-up just so I could burp in an effort to feel a little better, and eventually that did help.

    So since the only new variable was the HEED, has anyone else had any similar stomach issues while using HEED? I did 45 miles this past Sunday using the watered down G2, and so on...so I am just looking for some input. I do not have a sensitive stomach...trust me!

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    delicious 40x14's Avatar
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    Did you prepare the heed just before going out? I know their stuff is natural and can spoil if left out in the heat... but that might just be for sustained energy and perpetuem powder.

    How long did it take you to ride 26 miles and how many scoops of the stuff did you use? The reason I ask is that probably the formula you used was too dense. If you were watering down your G2 but using the recommended serving portion with Heed, then you were getting a lot more fuel than you're used to.

    With HEED I like to use a little less than the recommended density - so I can just barely taste it. Just because I don't taste it (like the artificially flavored syrupy sweet drinks) doesn't mean it's not there!

    I'll supplement with Hammer Gel or other sources if I need more energy, using heed for hydration and electrolytes. On long rides (120k or more) I usually carry a bottle of plain water in case I start feeling full or bloated.

    The absence of a sugar taste is a big plus in my opinion, and actually much better for your teeth than things like gatorade or other energy drinks.

    When you order from Hammer's website they'll send you a paperback book, "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success." I read it and it explains a lot about nutrition and endurance, with some marketing hype thrown in. Common mistakes (according to the book) are overhydrating and overeating, I thought it was a good read.
    Last edited by 40x14; 07-10-09 at 09:30 AM. Reason: added more details
    I'm not paid to endorse Hammer products but you can use the link below to get a discount on your first order. ...Click this link to get 15% off at Hammer Nutrition.

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    Learning the hard way
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    I pre-made the HEED that morning, and filled 1 bottle 1/2 way, and the other 3/4's of the way and then out them in the freezer. Before I went out I just added water to to them off, and then they went into the cages. I shook the bottles real well before I placed the in the freezer.

    I used 2 level scoops per bottle, as my bottles are 20oz. each. My ride lasted 1.5 hours, and I only went through 1 bottle. It was warm out (84 degrees), but each time I went for a drink it was cold. I did not feel what I felt until about an hour later, so I am not sure what the deal is...but I know that I had no appetite afterwards, and just felt bloated for lack of better words.

    I am getting ready for a century in August, and I have read the Hammer web site info...I actually printed all of the information which is what had me decide to get the HEED, and other items. My goal is between 6-7 hours, so I wanted to have a plan together that would allow me to accomplish this as far as hydration, calories, etc.

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    Legs of Steel chrisvu05's Avatar
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    you really shouldn't need an electrolyte drink for a 1.5 hour ride. Save that stuff for longer rides. Water should work just fine for most rides under 3 hours.

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    delicious 40x14's Avatar
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    The first time a teammate had suggested trying this stuff... I thought it tasted like chalk and it gave me mild stomach cramps. I also felt bloated... it was a long time before I tried it again. I think it's probably the electrolyte portion of heed that may be causing cramps. The stuff is potent, so use it sparingly.

    After that first incident, Sustained Energy is what got me turned on to hammer. I didn't like the rush/bonk I was getting from my team sponsor's product and it gave me aweful smelling flatulence. Yup, I said flatulence.

    My suggestions is this: try 1 scoop of Heed per bottle plus a little something else for energy. You have a month to experiment. FYI I weigh about 140 and use 1-1.5 scoops per 20oz bottle. This formula has been great for races up to 65 miles. Another thing that's cool if you are not a fan of the chalkiness is mixing up the unflavored version with flavored gel and h2o, or adding a dash of the melon flavored heed to taste.

    I admit that I've not consumed more than 3.5 scoops of Heed on a single ride, instead focusing on keeping fuel on hand for the hours before the ride, and getting proper recovery. Any longer than 2-3 hours and I would consider using something that's geared more for endurance, like SE or perpeteum, plus water and gel for when feel like I need quick energy. Think about it this way, if you're feeling bloated and not hungry it's just your body's way of telling you that you had too much of something.

    This is purely anectodal (everyone is different) but when I raced Green Mountain Stage Race last year, the 3rd stage was 75 miles, not including an 8 mile ride to the start and a 10 mile ride home. It was my first time doing such a long race without cramping, this is what I used and I think I had some water left over:

    • 2x24oz bottles: sustained energy with 2-3 scoops/bottle
    • 1x24oz & 1x16oz plain water
    • 4-6 electrolyte tabs
    • Full hammer flask of concentrated perpetuem mixture


    A race is different from a century though, since you don't stop and aren't really supported in a race. For long races I've found that I usually start with something for endurance then after about 2 hours I'm happy to drink water and supplement with gel when I need it. Hope this helps.
    I'm not paid to endorse Hammer products but you can use the link below to get a discount on your first order. ...Click this link to get 15% off at Hammer Nutrition.

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    I only use one scoop. It is a bit too strong for me with two.
    However, it may not agree with you. Though grape juice and whey protein is an interesting combo. I have a very temperamental stomach and I think that combo would do me in.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    First, you really don't need a sports drink on short rides. However, I can see trying it if you're planning to use it for a longer ride.

    Second, I make my HEED fairly strong to get the flavor going. Mmmmm!! HEED sits really well for me, and doesn't cause the mouth sores that Gatorade does on long rides (300K+), but it does, on occasion, make me hiccup for some reason.

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    The guy in the 50+ jersey PAlt's Avatar
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    2 scoops to a 20oz. bottle is well above the recommended mix for HEED. Hammer's literature will also tell you not to mix simple and complex sugars, as it can create the symptoms you described. Even after the fact, your stomach needs time to digest the complex (HEED) sugar before ingesting the simple (grape juice) sugar. I also agree with those who suggest only water for rides under 2 hours, unless you are doing interval training or similar in higher temps. HEED has been my drink of choice for several years after having developed stomach issues with diluted Gatorade as I raised my level of training. So long as I follow Hammer's guidelines, their products work for me. I'm not a slave to their marketing, but what I do use generally performs as advertised.

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    I've never had a problem with HEED, and that includes drinking stuff with plain sugar right after a ride, or eating food with plain sugar in it while drinking HEED.

    You mixed it a little strong, but I've done that too (4 scoops per 24 oz bottle) with no ill effects. The unflavored flavor tastes pretty good that way, and it's a ton of calories.

    However I have heard of a few people who do not do well with maltodextrin. Bloating and GI tract distress were the symptoms mentioned. I'd continue to do experients where you change only one thing at a time (HEED) and see if it happens again.

    Machka's right that you shouldn't need calories for a 1.5 hour ride but obviously if you are practicing for a century it's different.

    Grape juice and protein powder sounds nasty to me too (grape plus vanilla flavor? Ugh). But it shouldn't cause any stomach upset, either with HEED or by itself.

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    I made a call to Hammer, and they told me that I should have been using 3 scoops for my weight as well as I should have gone through almost 2 bottles for that 26 mile ride. At almost 16mph average, I only went through 1 bottle.

    I did 50 miles this past Sunday, and I opted for (2) 24 oz. bottles (Polar insulated worked really sweet) with 6 tablespoons of Hammer gel in each bottle. These were mixed the day before and frozen to levels that I just added water on the morning so that I would have something to drink while out on the bike.

    I used the Rasberry Hammer gel, and that gave the water a slight fruit taste...and there were no issues. I was on the bike for 3 hours that morning, but I know that I need to start using the endurolytes as well as the perpeteum when I start putting in that many miles. When I got home, I did the grape juice/water thingy for carbs along with my usual vitamins...and then 10 minutes later I did a whey protein drink...no issues.

    When I made my call to Hammer, I was aksed to submit an e-mail explaining what happened...and they responded by asking some more questions to try to figure out what happened to me on my first try with HEED. Some of you have mentioned that 2 scoops might have been too much, they (Hammer) led me to believe that I should have used 3 scoops. I am a little over 4 weeks away, so I still have some time to dial this in.

    Do you start using the endurolytes after 2 hours on the bike, or within the first hour? My plan is to take 1 pill every 15 minutes to coincide with hydration...kind of a routine. Take perpeteum in the same way, or do HEED or gel for the first 2 hours and then go to the perpeteum?

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    delicious 40x14's Avatar
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    3 scoops as a recommendation... So hammer is saying you could have used 1.5 scoops per bottle and consumed more liquid with a less dense concentration of heed in your water bottles. That sounds reasonable.

    It's great that you're planning ahead and preparing for the ride, but honestly I think you might be over-thinking this a bit. Far more important will be your training leading up to the ride, rest in the 2-3 days before the big ride (light to moderate rides are ok) , and mental preparation for the ride.

    Have you ever had issues with bonking, muscles cramping, or dehydration? I wouldn't wish these on anyone... but if you haven't then you're not knowledgeable about what you're trying to avoid. The guys at Hammer probably have more experience with their own products than anyone here, though if you ask enough people, you're sure to get lots of conflicting opinions.

    Is the century that you're doing going to be a supported century? Are you planning on stopping at all? What's the weather going to be like? These are important factors. If you're planning on stopping you can always carry some powder in a ziploc and mix it at a rest-stop.

    Also, you have enough time between now and then to do at least one target-length ride. if you're riding solo I'd recommend 70 miles or so at the same pace that you plan to ride for the century. If you're riding with friends, go for 85. This will help your body adapt in many ways.
    I'm not paid to endorse Hammer products but you can use the link below to get a discount on your first order. ...Click this link to get 15% off at Hammer Nutrition.

  12. #12
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    I take endurolytes three to four times an hour starting from the first hour. Perpetuem/Hammergel combo prepped in one bottle five or six scoops per hundred miles mixed pretty thick w. a little water. I weigh 150 lbs so the six scoops is all I need.

    Plain water in the other bottles; refill at the stops. Drink as needed.

    I stopped using Heed for long distance.

    For an hour on the trainer, I'll mix one scoop per bottle if I use it at all.

  13. #13
    Learning the hard way
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40x14 View Post
    3 scoops as a recommendation... So hammer is saying you could have used 1.5 scoops per bottle and consumed more liquid with a less dense concentration of heed in your water bottles. That sounds reasonable.

    It's great that you're planning ahead and preparing for the ride, but honestly I think you might be over-thinking this a bit. Far more important will be your training leading up to the ride, rest in the 2-3 days before the big ride (light to moderate rides are ok) , and mental preparation for the ride.

    Have you ever had issues with bonking, muscles cramping, or dehydration? I wouldn't wish these on anyone... but if you haven't then you're not knowledgeable about what you're trying to avoid. The guys at Hammer probably have more experience with their own products than anyone here, though if you ask enough people, you're sure to get lots of conflicting opinions.

    Is the century that you're doing going to be a supported century? Are you planning on stopping at all? What's the weather going to be like? These are important factors. If you're planning on stopping you can always carry some powder in a ziploc and mix it at a rest-stop.

    Also, you have enough time between now and then to do at least one target-length ride. if you're riding solo I'd recommend 70 miles or so at the same pace that you plan to ride for the century. If you're riding with friends, go for 85. This will help your body adapt in many ways.
    Actually, they recommended 3 scoops per bottle for my weight...so I was 1 scoop less than what I was told that I should have been doing. Over thinking this? Yes...welcome to my world!

    No bonking, cramps, or feeling dehydrated so far...and my plan is to keep it that way. I carb load on Saturday's, as Sundays are my long rides. As for the century, this is my first one along with a bike club that I do not know too much about...though I know that they do have stops every 2 hours I think I remember reading in the brochure.

    I have a lofty goal...to finish between 6-7 hours. I have been forcing myself to keep a 15mph pace, but I have been avreaging almost 16mph with not really pushing myself at all. My cadence has been an average of 70, so I am not pushing hard at all. I am sure that I will need to stop at some point for a bathroom break as well as for water. My plan was to have some ziploc bags with powder, as well as some hammer gel in reserve...just in case.

    I have been switching off between riding my aluminum Giant TCR2, and my Orbea Orca to decide as to which bike that I want to ride. They both have their advantages, but I will play that one by ear. The 50 miles that I dod this past Sunday was not too bad, though I under lubed a little for the chamois...which just tells me that there is no such thing as too much as not enough can make things uncomfortable. I can end the day by doing some riding standing on the pedals...not because I need to but because I wanted to work the legs a bit more...which I think is a sign that I am doing O.K. with things so far.

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