Sunday, December 7, 2014

Guest Post: Nutrition 101

Thought it would be worth returning to the blog with some advice from a highly regarded exercise scientist and product manager.  Here's Lyndsey's update on sports nutrition from her recent visit to The Running Event:

Hey Friends-

I just returned from a trip to The Running Event in Austin, Texas. This run-centered event sponsored by Formula 4 Media, is a great place to connect with the running giants like Nike, Saucony and Asics as well as meet and discover smaller brands like Huma Gel, SKRATCH labs and Addaday. I don't want to sound like a total sales person, but I know you guys are some of the fittest people I know and want to know about "what's hot" on the market, so I'm here to tell you!

I was and have been pretty excited about a few nutrition brands out there over the past year that have done pretty well in our store and have also resonated with Eric and myself and a bunch of our friends. As someone who tries pretty hard not to eat all the crappy processed junk out there, it was pretty difficult over the past first few years of running to find something that worked for me and wasn't filled with junk. Sure Clif products are "organic", but what's all that other stuff in there? Hint: for cyclists out there check out what Clif has in store for 2015> 

http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/11/nutrition/first-look-clif-bar-organic-energy-food_109672#cioSmWtSzcs9OZKL.99

What do you think?

Another real food based brand, HoneyStinger, is on to something with the honey based (albeit too sweet) gels and chews. Two years ago I couldn't keep down a gel during my long runs (it felt like I was getting punched in the stomach!), so I switched to Honey Stinger chews  - which worked, until you had to carry a bajillion of them during a marathon because I need to have 3-4 (or approx 100cals) every 30 minutes during a long race otherwise I just tank.

This past year, we discovered Huma Gel. Ian, the founder of Huma was in the Army Iraq when he became sick and tired of the traditional gels out there. Taking what the Taraumara (Born to Run) used - chia - and making it more modern, he developed the product and the brand. They just released 4 new flavors (caffeinated!) this fall. The brand has been very popular in the store - and they only have gels - no bars, chews or drink mixes. They may be a little expensive, but they are worth it if you're looking for a real-food alternative. I really love strawberry, lemonade and mango. Eric likes blueberry.

Second, I really connected with the founder of SKRATCH labs, Allen. He has a background in exercise phys and cycling. You can read more about him here:
http://www.skratchlabs.com/pages/about-us . Watch the videos on the bottom to learn more - super interesting dude.

I've found this hydration product to be another great alternative to traditional products provided on course. We all sweat so much while running that we NEED electrolytes and some calories. The products are made with real dried fruit and real sugars. Allen has also co-authored The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables. These books are awesome for athletes because they are easy to make meals with real food. 

Anyway, I just thought I'd share some thoughts and insights with you as you begin to shape up your racing schedule for 2015 or even want to start on your New Years resolutions early.

Many of these brands even offer Ambassador Programs (where the swag you up to promote the product!). I can get you the names of more brands that offer this type of program if you're interested. I would also encourage you guys to sign up to be wear testers for brands. Eric, for example, will be testing a Nike vest over the next few weeks that will likely be in their Fall 2016 collection!

All for now,
Lyndsey
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