Science! Electrolytes! Science!
Here is the official spiel video from the good folks at First Endurance:
Here is what the video should probably be…
And here’s my take:
The benefits of caffeine for endurance sports and well research and well document enough that I don’t feel the need to go into them here – just take a look around the interwebs if don’t believe me.
So moving on, here are the nutritional facts for a serving.
Now I know what you are thinking and yes, that is a boatload of taurine and caffeine. Especially when you consider a can of RedBull has 1’000mg of taurine and 80mg of caffeine.
As per the suggestions on the site and in the video I would strong suggest the 1/2 serving to begin with. I drink a LOT of coffee and 1/2 a scoop was still like rocket fuel for me. Like anything I’d also suggest using it extensively in training before using it in a race; you don’t want to get half way through an IM swim and start having a caffeine ‘freak out’. Plus, as mentioned in the video, half the benefit will come from giving you a boost to push yourself a little harder during key training sessions.
However, despite the MASSIVE numbers, for whatever reason it wasn’t a ‘jittery’ energy – more of a ‘odd focus’ and I didn’t experience any kind of crash either – just a wind down. So whatever the combination they have in there it seems to work. However, how it affects you will depend on your sensitivity to the ingredients; 1/2 a scoop lasted well for a 3hr run for me. Now you’ll want to test this yourself and make sure that if your race/training session is likely to last longer you’ll be able to top up at some point – either with other caffeine products, (gels, etc) or some more PreRace, (have it in a shot bottle in transition, etc)… whatever works for you – but certainly worth bearing in mind.
It does however, taste rubbish. But add it to your regular sports drink, (I was using some High 5 2:1 fructose energy drink) and you don’t notice it. Problem solved. Just make sure whatever you add it to doesn’t contain caffeine as well! A mate of mine from the UK, (who first introduced me to the product) used to pop the scoop in his mouth and just wash it down with water, (I think there is a video of someone doing that on the internet somewhere)… simple and effective, yes. Tasty? no.
It’s probably worth mentioning the cost too. At about $30 if you shop around, for 20 servings, ($1.50 per serving) I wouldn’t say it was bad value when you compare it to the cost of your average gel. Especially if a 1/2 serving will do you… double value!
So that about wraps it up; a simple, effective way to add caffeine to your sports drink for a kick during training/racing. Or add it to vodka for a wild night out*… one of the two.
* I’m not to be held accountable if you’re stupid enough to do this.