Being relatively new to the sport of triathlon (3 years), I always brushed over nutrition as "something I don't have to worry about". Heck, I was never taught anything about nutrition by a coach (never had one) and I wasn't a big sweat loss guy, so it was one less thing to worry about. Sure, as I moved from Sprints to OLY's and on to the half iron distance I would think about it and have a plan, but my plan was simple....take what's on the course and carry an energy gel or something for the run. It seemed to get me through ok.
Well, in 2010 I was lucky enough to become a member of Team Trakkers. Team Trakkers had this wonderful nutrition sponsor, First Endurance and this wonderful website that had a wealth of information about nutrition. As I trained harder and longer, and raced harder and longer nutrition was turning into a bigger component than it had prior and now I was paying attention.
Two of the defining characteristics of First Endurance are their commitment to quality products and their persistent research and development to create the best products that work in real life race situations. They use nothing but the best, highest quality products. Their products are Gluten Free and contain no high fructose corn syrup. The three main components I was immediately drawn to were Ultragen (for recovery) and EFS / EFS Liquid Shot. After a long, stressful workout the first thing I now reach for is Ultragen. Ultragen has been proven to work best when taken withing 15-20 minutes of a hard workout and it is recommended that you not eat anything else for 30 minutes after you consume Ultragen, this allows your body to draw completely from the recovery supplement to encourage repair, recovery and healing of the muscles as soon as possible. Ultragen has allowed me to sustain a high workload during big training blocks and be able to produce the results I desired on a daily basis. And, the Cappuccino tastes INCREDIBLE!
The EFS / Liquid shot combo was an essential part of training workouts and races. EFS, the powdered drink mix has several defining qualities. The first is the taste. EFS does not have that overbearing sweet taste that you get from other sports drinks, it has a mild, just right taste (in all flavors, but the Grape has even less flavor). The second quality is the electrolyte ingredients. EFS has seven times the amount of Potassium and Sodium as say HEED. There's no need for salt tablets using EFS. Probably the most defining quality in my books is the fact that EFS won't feel heavy, slosh around in your stomach and give you GI issues. It's easy on your stomach and I have not experienced any GI issues whatsoever.
For longer training events and races I now consume EFS Liquid Shot. It has the same great characteristics of the EFS drink, but more "potent" if you will. I no longer use gels, I've replaced them with Liquid Shot for a few reasons. Reason 1: You can easily carry the flask and sip on it at will, instead of opening a gel and having to finish the entire thing (and the flasks are refillable). Reason 2: Liquid Shot is high in electrolytes just like the EFS drink. Reason 3: You don't need to wash Liquid Shot down with water, no more waiting for water stops. Reason 4: Liquid Shot has about four times the amout of calories as your typical gel. Reason 5: Liquid Shot is much easier on your stomach, no more GI issues. Reason 6: It tastes incredibly good!
So I am now officially hooked on the First Endurance lineup. Give it a shot, you certainly won't regret it!