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Hammer products: Are you serious??

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Hammer products: Are you serious??

Old 09-18-09, 07:01 PM
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Hammer products: Are you serious??

So I ordered a few samples from their website to try. Turns out I can't stand the flavors of most of their products. However, because I ordered before, they have me on this mailing list with a newsletter. It features some of their products and their interpretation of literature about things that supports their products.

From looking at it and looking more closely at the list of their products and pills, I cannot even begin to understand how anyone is able to ingest all they recommend, drink plenty, eat enough calories, and concentrate/enjoy the sport they are taking the supplements for. It seems you would be taking a pill or something just about every 2-3 min of each hour.

What do you personally take?
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Old 09-18-09, 07:10 PM
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Bananas and boiled potatoes.

UD
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Old 09-18-09, 07:53 PM
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The Sustained Energy isn't too bad, it doesn't really have much flavor, I don't like it when riding in 90+ degree heat though, where I'll usually just drink water and add a couple of endurolytes here and there.

I usually have one bottle with some form of powdered mix in it and then add some Cliff bloc shots or clif Bars for the other calories on the ride. You don't really need to be taking everything they recommend.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:12 PM
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I use HEED and endurolytes occasionally.
Their apple cinnamon gel is my favorite flavor gel.
All in all I do not consume these items very often.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:26 PM
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The point is that each of products serves a purpose. Used together, they would likely lead to a decent performance advantage at a low to mid-level competition range, but in the end no supplement can beat a pairing of natural talent with steady physical training.

Hammer's nutritional booklets are marketing material and little more. The only product I use (other than gels for 40+mile rides) is Recoverite after a major exercise day and I use it because it makes my body not ache the next day (I still rest the muscle group, anyway).

I'm sure for each product they carry there is someone out there that uses only that one and gets the right results for themselves.

Sort of like bikes themselves. At the lower levels, you'll see a few older steel road bikes winning against the Carbon/Dura-Ace/Zipp guys. It's not about the bike or the nutritional supplements. It's about the willingness to put in the long hours. All the bike and supplements do is make putting those long hours in a little more comfortable.
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Old 09-18-09, 10:36 PM
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I can't stand electrolite drinks, so I use the endoralytes and also the gels I have used perpetuem but can't stand it anymore.
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Old 09-18-09, 10:39 PM
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SE is horrible. There are a number of better options out there.

HEED, however, is quite nice.

Otherwise real food will work just fine.
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Old 09-18-09, 10:57 PM
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I don't care for HEED.

I like SE, but only with some Hammergel mixed in.

Endurolytes are great. Hammergel is great on its own. Raspberry or espresso.

I'm sure all those little pills do work, a little.

Supplements are like a feather. Training is the hammer.

OTOH, if I had a lot of money to blow, I might try each of their pills, one at a time for a month, just to see.
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Old 09-19-09, 05:40 AM
  #9  
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Heed.
Gels.
Bars.
Recoverite.

all on an as needed basis. sometimes a poptart and oreos work just fine. later.
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Old 09-19-09, 09:58 AM
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I think Heed is pretty tasty, but have no problem switching to a different brand if it's on sale...

I tend to eat Cliff bars mostly these days and like GU gels better when I'm "gelling"

SE doesn't have a great flavor, but really does the trick when you're on a 6+ hour ride. It easily qualifies as a single product that keeps you going. My stomach isn't happy with solid foods on long rides. I'm curious to hear what Machka would recommend to replace SE.

Chocolate milk as a recovery drink!
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Old 09-19-09, 01:53 PM
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I like the gel and Endurolyte caps. I hate the subtle Strawberry Heed. You're better off using Accelerade at half strength.
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Old 09-19-09, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
HEED, however, is quite nice.
HEED is a love it or hate it kinda thing. I hate it, but my wife loves it. I like Perpetuem and Race Caps though.
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Old 09-19-09, 04:36 PM
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Personally, I think in the end it is simply about taste and nothing else. I can't stand the flavor of most things Hammer. That is just me. GU gels and the occasional green apple Powerbar gel suit my taste fine, but there is only so much I can consume of them before I can't stand them anymore. I only add something to water (GU powder)because some taste makes me drink a bit more than I normally would if it was water only. I used to carry powder to mix my own stuff, but it became a hassle. Therefore, I abandoned that method of calorie replacement. Now, I am not even doing the GU powder since I found the Gatorade G2 powder packets at the supermarket. One less thing to keep track of ordering. These days I do Powerbars for extra calories and it seems to work just fine by me. I have tasted just about every flavor of Powerbar, so I get only the ones I can tolerate taste wise. Can't stand the consistency of Cliff bars, and the taste of most of their bars, so they are out for me. Most times bars is what I do because it is easy to carry in my jersey pockets without bulking them up. I hate carrying anything in my pockets.

In the end, I seriously doubt any one of us consuming a fair amount of "regular" food calories and consuming enough fluids need any electrolyte replacement or "recovery drinks". It is amazing to me how this stuff has been sold to most people as a must or necessity when only in extreme situations will it make a difference or it is even needed. Anyone that knows enough nutrition and physiology/biology could tell you that, but I guess it is no different than bike parts, wheels, etc.

Anyway, I was just asking out of curiosity. I do realize all this stuff is marketing, but it seems amazing to me they can sell it to people as necessities. Even then, I couldn't possibly see how anyone would be willing to be consuming all their recommendations regularly on their chosen sport. I do have to give them credit for been the only one I know of that sells the gels in large containers, which are environmentally friendlier than the single packets everybody else sells. O wished everyone else did that too.
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Old 09-19-09, 06:32 PM
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I like the "flavor" of unflavored HEED, and it works well for me. Sustained Energy and Perpetuem are both nasty tasting to me.

Hammer Gel works ok too.

Clif bars work well for me but I am allergic to about half of the flavors, and most of the rest of them are way too sweet for me. So there's all of two flavors I actually eat.

I used to use Powerbars (back when they were the only sports food bars) but they're hard to get down, and the new ones contain HFCS, which is more likely to get my stomach upset. I have heard of people who don't react well to the maltodextrin in Hammer products. That's why you test food before using it in an important event.

I do need electrolytes for long (5 hour +) hot rides. In fact Endurolytes don't do it for me, they just don't have enough salt. I combine them and regular salt tablets. Not everyone needs electrolytes, but beleive me, if you do and you don't get them, it'll suck Hyponatremia is no fun.

Recovery drinks are useful when you do a long ride and will be doing another one tomorrow. It gives you a head start on rebuilding your glycogen reserves. I make my own with OJ and protein powder.
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Old 09-19-09, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
I like the "flavor" of unflavored HEED, and it works well for me. Sustained Energy and Perpetuem are both nasty tasting to me.

Hammer Gel works ok too.

Clif bars work well for me but I am allergic to about half of the flavors, and most of the rest of them are way too sweet for me. So there's all of two flavors I actually eat.

I used to use Powerbars (back when they were the only sports food bars) but they're hard to get down, and the new ones contain HFCS, which is more likely to get my stomach upset. I have heard of people who don't react well to the maltodextrin in Hammer products. That's why you test food before using it in an important event.

I do need electrolytes for long (5 hour +) hot rides. In fact Endurolytes don't do it for me, they just don't have enough salt. I combine them and regular salt tablets. Not everyone needs electrolytes, but beleive me, if you do and you don't get them, it'll suck Hyponatremia is no fun.

Recovery drinks are useful when you do a long ride and will be doing another one tomorrow. It gives you a head start on rebuilding your glycogen reserves. I make my own with OJ and protein powder.
See, this is a prime example of what I was talking about. Perpetuation of myths. How do yo know you are hyponatremic to begin with. Have you done Na levels before and after these hard rides to be able to quantify "hyponatremia"? What Na level are you calling hyponatremia?

As far as recovery and "a head start on rebuilding your glycogen reserves", can you tell me/show me how this happens with any particular drink and it does not happen with a simple meal and fluids of any kind?
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Old 09-19-09, 07:39 PM
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Heed (Orange) Gels (Apple-Cinnamon, Raspberry & Choc. mixed, Orange & Choc. mixed), Endurolytes. Recoverite. I mix in solid food during long rides early on (Cliff Bars, oranges, fig bars, etc.) for some variety, saving the gel(s) for later. Endurolytes are cheap insurance, as far as I'm concerned, and I have helped a fair number of cramping riders by having "extras" in my jersey pocket. I can't generally eat heavy food immediately after a ride, and find that the Recoverite mixed with cold bottled water as soon as I finish sits well in my stomach, better than much of the post-ride food offered up. It gets me through until I can find something light enough to eat on the road home. As to how much I buy into the marketing, not very, but these products work for me. To each their own.
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Old 09-19-09, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
As far as recovery and "a head start on rebuilding your glycogen reserves", can you tell me/show me how this happens with any particular drink and it does not happen with a simple meal and fluids of any kind?
The "drinks" are just more convenient and more easily digested than regular meals. There is nothing special about "reecovery drinks" per se but it's a good idea to get simple carbs and some protein immediately after the ride. It's just easier to mix some kind of drink while you are cleaning up, etc.

Edit: I don't use a hammer (or any other brand) recovery drink so I'm not just trying to justify them. I do usually make a generic brand protein shake, because, as I said, it's convenient. I make it immediately after my ride and then an hour or so later I make a regular meal.
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Old 09-19-09, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
See, this is a prime example of what I was talking about. Perpetuation of myths. How do yo know you are hyponatremic to begin with.
Because I've suffered the symptoms. Feel free to read up about it.

Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
As far as recovery and "a head start on rebuilding your glycogen reserves", can you tell me/show me how this happens with any particular drink and it does not happen with a simple meal and fluids of any kind?
It's more conveinent, and the glycogen gets stored quicker when it's from simple sugars. Protein helps boost glycogen storage. Solid food with the same characteristics would work as well, just less conveinent. Again, something you can research on your own, and I don't mean in Hammer literature. Hammer prints some crazy stuff, but that doesn't mean that everything they print is wrong.
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Old 09-19-09, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
See, this is a prime example of what I was talking about. Perpetuation of myths. How do yo know you are hyponatremic to begin with. Have you done Na levels before and after these hard rides to be able to quantify "hyponatremia"? What Na level are you calling hyponatremia?
One way to tell is if you gain weight (water weight) or bloat during prolonged exercise in hot weather. In fact at some sporting events they weigh people to test for this.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15829535
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Old 09-21-09, 09:52 AM
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I'm wondering how often the riders are taking the gels and drinks. On early morning rides before work, I take practically nothing but water. My morning rides are between 15 to 30 miles. Even then its only one bottle of water and maybe half is used on the road. After the ride, I do take the rest plus some. That's when I make my morning smoothie with a lot of calories from fruit and green veggies for minerals.

That way I really don't have a dis-taste for any kind of gel or drink. Only on longer weekend rides when it can be strenuous, do I take two bottles and fill it with HEED or Perpetuem, or something like that.
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Old 09-21-09, 10:50 AM
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It seems you would be taking a pill or something just about every 2-3 min of each hour. What do you personally take?
One aspect of marketing any product is an attention to the "audience." And in the case of Hammer nutrition, well you know the name "Hammer" - pretty much invites an idea of hard competitive bicycling, not just every day riding around the block.

So it is worth mentioning that real food does in fact work real well for everyday riding. But that if you intend to exercise at really high levels of effort, you might want to be really interested in how and what you consume to fuel your effort. And that is the essence of Hammer Nutrition's marketing approach.

I use sports food product anytime I am training or competing. The only kind sports products I use on easy rides are Nature Vally granola or nut bars.
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Old 09-21-09, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
I'm wondering how often the riders are taking the gels and drinks.
Most of my rides during the week are 2-3 hours. For the shorter ones I just use plain water, for the longer ones I also have half a bottle of HEED and bring a flask of gel in case I need some more calories. It's longer rides where the food is needed.
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Old 09-21-09, 04:42 PM
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I've recently gotten hooked on the new Perpetuem Caffe Latte! Even though the product is marketed for ultra distances, if I'm going to be on the bike for more than 1 hours, I'll mix some. Oddly enough, my stomach doesn't seem to tolerate HEED well, so I steer clear of it, but I've had no problems with Perp.

I'll use Recoverite as a post-ride drink. From time to time, I'll order some of their other supplements, too.
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Old 09-21-09, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
The "drinks" are just more convenient and more easily digested than regular meals. There is nothing special about "reecovery drinks" per se but it's a good idea to get simple carbs and some protein immediately after the ride. It's just easier to mix some kind of drink while you are cleaning up, etc.

Edit: I don't use a hammer (or any other brand) recovery drink so I'm not just trying to justify them. I do usually make a generic brand protein shake, because, as I said, it's convenient. I make it immediately after my ride and then an hour or so later I make a regular meal.
Yep, I understand the convenience part. I will give them that, Hammer or any brand.

Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
Because I've suffered the symptoms. Feel free to read up about it.



It's more conveinent, and the glycogen gets stored quicker when it's from simple sugars. Protein helps boost glycogen storage. Solid food with the same characteristics would work as well, just less conveinent. Again, something you can research on your own, and I don't mean in Hammer literature. Hammer prints some crazy stuff, but that doesn't mean that everything they print is wrong.
I don't mean to sound argumentative, pedantic, or even insulting although I realize I may come off that way. I also don't mean to single you out. However, I know very well what the true symptoms of hyponatremia are as well as the symptoms of simple garden variety fatigue, low glycogen state, dehydration, etc. Most people, and I mean 99% of the people in sports (including nutritionists and high end athletes) couldn't accurately tell you the different symptoms of one state vs the others. I also realize that placebo effect may account for up to 40% of results at times. So bottom line is, keep using whatever for whatever you think you are treating if the end result is the desired result. The end result is what matters.

I simply started the thread because I was amazed at the amount of products they sell and pitch as necessary. I am sure there is an audience to each of their products. Frankly, I am simply surprised there is an audience, but I shouldn't be. Heck, there is a billion dollar industry around selling people vitamins and supplements they don't need. I am still surprised about that. Not naive, just surprised.
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Old 09-22-09, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
I don't mean to sound argumentative, pedantic, or even insulting although I realize I may come off that way. I also don't mean to single you out. However, I know very well what the true symptoms of hyponatremia are as well as the symptoms of simple garden variety fatigue, low glycogen state, dehydration, etc. Most people, and I mean 99% of the people in sports (including nutritionists and high end athletes) couldn't accurately tell you the different symptoms of one state vs the others. I also realize that placebo effect may account for up to 40% of results at times. So bottom line is, keep using whatever for whatever you think you are treating if the end result is the desired result. The end result is what matters.
Although I'm sure it is overused, I think you are surely overstating the extent. Hyponatremia is not commonly claimed; it's not overused like "bonk" or "overtraining". Regardless, if the distinction is so small that 99% of people get it wrong, then I would say it is a distinction without a difference. As a similar example of a distinction without a difference, forum member TMonk was involved in an accident about a month ago and had all of the classic symptoms of a concussion. The next day the docs said it wasn't a concussion, because of some overly technical reason. As far as I'm concerned, if it walked like a concussion, and talks like a concussion, then it's close enough.

Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
I simply started the thread because I was amazed at the amount of products they sell and pitch as necessary. I am sure there is an audience to each of their products. Frankly, I am simply surprised there is an audience, but I shouldn't be. Heck, there is a billion dollar industry around selling people vitamins and supplements they don't need. I am still surprised about that. Not naive, just surprised.
Although they have a bazillion products that cover the entire spectrum of supplements, I doubt anyone takes (or attempts to take) all of them. It seems more likely that someone would pick out a few supplements that appeal to some aspect of what they feel is lacking, or speaks to convenience. Hammer also does a lot of things that encourages someone to buy all of that kind of stuff from them rather than spreading it around.
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