Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Daily Fueling: What I Put in my Body

The packaging from 1997
               I am fortunate to once again be part of Powerbar Team Elite this season. It's great to have access to the best sports nutrition products on the market. There is a reason why I sought out Powerbar again this year - their products are simply the best training and race day sport nutrition products out there for. I've used Powerbar products since high school, and have a lot of "Powerbar memories", which include winning a pair of Powerbar running socks at the Boulder Boulder 10k race expo sometime around 1995. (side note: I wore these socks at every dance and formal occasion from middle school, all through high school and college, and yes, even at my wedding. They were the only black socks I had, so I went with them, and had to keep the Powerbar sock tradition alive. And yes, I still have them).
       The first time I saw (Powerbar) Power Gel, later to be called Powerbar Gel, and now named Powerbar Energy gel, in use was at the Colorado state high school cross country championships at Kent Denver high school in 1997.  I vividly remember my sister sucking down vanilla flavor gel a half an hour before her 5k race. At that point, I'd never tried the stuff, only the bars. My sister was a star high school runner, so I figured what she was doing was right.  Obviously I don't believe in the products because she used them in high school. Rather, after years of testing, Powerbar has come up with the most effective formulas for their products. The top endurance athletes in the world, who have access to many different brands, are using Powerbar products - for a reason.
Today's packaging
              I want to take you through a few top quality products that I use on a daily basis. For long runs as well as during the 2nd half of hard bike workouts when I have a run immediately off the bike, I use a few gels to keep calories stored up. The gels are a great way to get in calories, along with electrolytes, in a gel form so the stomach can handle it, unlike solids. I can eat solids on the bike ok, but no way can I handle solid foods on the run.  Powerbar energy gels are thinner than a lot of other energy gels, like Gu, Accel gel, and Clif Shot.  The gels go down quickly and smoothly without sticking to the roof of your mouth like other gels which force you to nearly choke them down.  Powerbar energy gels are also great for before early morning runs on days you need to sleep in as much as possible to get valuable sleep, and don't have to wake up 2 hours before running to get in breakfast.
            After all my hard workouts I make a protein shake consisting of Powerbar ProteinPlus powder, fruit and milk. It provides the amino acids that you need in order to repair and build lean muscle tissue after your workouts. In all honesty, this powder is hands down the best tasting protein powder I've ever tried. Try it! The chocolate is my favorite. It tastes amazing, and blends smoothly without lumps after 15 seconds of stirring.  It's got 20 grams of protein per serving, and has the PowerBar TriSource protein blend, which combines whey, soy, and casein. These protein sources are absorbed by the body at different rates, so they can deliver a steady supply of amino acids to help reduce muscle breakdown after exercise, help with the repair of muscle tissue, and build lean muscle tissue in response to your resistance exercise.
          For all my cycling workouts I go through several bottles of Powerbar Ironman Perform drink. It's the drink that's served on-course for all Ironman events.  The mix has electrolytes and is a carbohydrate source that has a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose. This blend promotes a faster delivery of carbohydrate fuel to working muscles than glucose alone, which a lot of other products have. PowerBar C2MAX dual source energy blend features this research-tested 2:1 ratio and is in several PowerBar products designed to be taken during exercise. C2MAX carbs can be consumed at 45–90 grams per hour during exercise — in smaller amounts taken frequently.  The lemon-line flavor tastes great also, and I have no sloshing or stomach cramping issues with it, as I have in the past with syrupy drinks like Gatorade.

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