Hammer Nutrition Reviews
By Sam Whitaker
TriTalk were looking for people to review a selection of products from Hammer Nutrition. Having committed to my first Ironman this year I was only too keen to trial products that may help with my training and race day nutrition. Hammer Nutrition have over 20 years experience of supplying endurance fuels and supplements to the US market and these products have now been introduced to the UK so the aim of the review was to assess the Hammer products against those I currently use in terms of efficiency and performance, though not forgetting taste.
The package I received contained two Hammer Bars, two Hammer Gels, a sachet each of Perpetuem, HEED and Recoverite and two sample bags of Endurolytes. The packaging did its job as it only needed a glance at the big bold colours and font to tell exactly product was intended for. This may sound obvious but I’ve used plenty of bars and powders in the past where I have had to double check the smaller print to see if it is to be used for energy or recovery.
Now unfortunately I’m one of those that happens to be intolerant to yeast and dairy which can present problems in finding the right things to eat and drink. On the plus side I am used to checking a lot of food labels and ingredients lists. Whey protein features in a lot of Hammer’s products so being dairy intolerant I was interested to see if they would affect me or not. Hammer have used Whey Protein Isolate, which is the higher quality cousin of Whey Protein concentrate and is supposed to be more acceptable to those with intolerances.
Road Test 1 – Long Bike Ride (Perpetuem, Endurolytes and Recoverite)
My intention for this test was to use a variety of Hammer products before, during and after my weekly long bike ride. I was fortunate to make the most of some early spring sunshine and started the ride at 3pm on a Friday afternoon. As part of my lunch that day I had included an Almond and Raisin Hammer Bar. I tend to use energy bars quite often as part of my preparation for long sessions and races and generally find them quite sickly. Hammer Bars organic ingredients have a more savoury taste and I found them a lot easier to stomach. The inclusion of brown rice protein, bio sprouts and quinoa in the ingredients ensures that the bars are different to the sticky cereal bars I am used to.
I was going out for a 2½ hour steady paced bike ride so I prepared a bottle of Perpetuem Extreme Endurance Fuel. The sachet explains the options available and depending on how it is mixed you can have a ‘one-hour bottle’, a ‘multi-hour bottle’ or a gel/paste. I opted for the multi-hour bottle and also a large bottle of water as recommended. I also wanted to use the endurolytes. Recommended primarily for use in the heat they are also appropriate for long sessions. I took two capsules half an hour before the session, two during and two after. The packaging stated that taste may dictate how many capsules you use but I found no problems at all and they were easy to swallow with a small sip of water. During the ride I sipped away at the Perpetuem every 15 minutes with water taken on in between. What first struck me was the savoury taste, similar to protein powder when mixed with water. This makes a change to the sweet fruit based drinks I usually use and I could imagine this being a lot easier to consume over a long period of time such as an Ironman race.
Did it work? Well this was my longest ride so far this year and at the end my average speed was a good 3-4kph higher than the shorter rides I had completed in previous weeks. Conditions would have helped but not once during the session did I feel tired or lack energy. Immediately after the ride I used the Recoverite drink as I already had my long run pencilled in for the following day. Again this was pleasant to taste and I didn’t suffer an adverse effects due to the protein content.
Road Test 2 – Duathlon Race (HEED and Hammer Gels)
Having used the endurance products on a long session I was keen to see how those specified for sessions under 2 hours would perform. I targeted my first race of the year, a club duathlon including a 2k run, 20k bike and 3k run. I mixed the bottle of HEED for the bike and again the savoury taste was welcome. I took one Gel at the start of the bike leg and one towards the end to see me through the final run. Both tasted great and were very easy to swallow without the need for too much water. Although it was a short race I went full pelt and didn’t suffer a drop in energy. My average pace for the final run was only a second slower than the first so in my view the products worked.
I enjoyed testing these products as I have a genuine interest in nutrition and how it will affect my Ironman training and racing this season. I think all the products delivered the energy I needed for each session and I found the savoury taste of each product a welcome change to the sticky, sweet sugars that I’m used to. The products use quality ingredients and this is reflected in both taste and performance. I’ve not seen any on sale in the high street so I think it will be a case of bulk ordering over the internet. For me, it is definitely Hammer Time!
Ed: Our product testers have been trying out the following Hammer Nutrition products;
HAMMER GELS - Short distance fuel
Rock solid energy made with real fruit and wholesome ingredients and make a versatile and economical fuel.
HEED- Short distance fuel
Steady and consistent energy in a sports drink with buffering lactic acid, helping prevent cramps and maintaining stable blood glucose levels.
ENDUROLYTES- Electrolyte replenishment
Superior cramp prevention and full spectrum electrolytes in a balanced formula. Choice of either capsules or powder servings for versatile dosing for a variety of conditions.
PERPETUEM- Long distance fuel
Consistent, stable energy that is easy to digest and minimizes lean muscle tissue cannibalization. Use as a primary fuel source during workouts/races that are 2.5 hrs +.
RECOVERITE- Recovery drink
An all in one recovery drink that minimizes post-exercise soreness by rebuilding muscle tissue and restoring muscle glycogen.
A pre-exercise meal, post exercise recovery food, or healthy snack anytime. Natural all-organic ingredients, with no preservatives, and gluten free.