Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Gels, energy drinks and supplements

When I was simply trotting around the park attempting to keep simultaneously breathing and moving one leg in front of the other the only gel I ever used was in my hair. Drink was carried in a battered water bottle I had nicked from one of the kids' lunchboxes and supplements came with the Sunday papers.

Now that I am honing myself into an elite athlete (or at least hoping to make it round the London Marathon) I have been introduced to the complex world of energy drinks, rehydration powders and performance gels. I am quite keen on the idea of anything that will give my tired old body a boost and keep my legs moving on long runs so this has become an area of some fascination.

I have tried a few gels and while some are frankly quite vile, particularly the ones with caffeine in them, though I have also found them to be the most effective, the nicest flavour is to be found in the Multipower Multicarbo Energy Gel. I am actually quite partial to the cherry-banana flavour and when I sucked it down on my last long run I really did feel an increase in my energy that got me through a tough patch at around two hours in.

Multipower's Re-Charge Drink is also a welcome change to the claggy, lumpy protein shakes I have been using as it's refreshing orange flavour is actually welcome after a run. Now I just have to work out a strategy for energy drinks during the race. So far I have resisted even carrying water, but having invested in a Nathan Speed Belt 2 from the extremely helpful The Running Outlet, the time has come to give some drinks a try.

Given my success with Multipower's other products I am going to give its ISO Drink a try and will report back on whether it turns me into the speed demon I so long to become.

On the marathon I hear that Lucozade is handed out, but I have heard reports from quite a few expert marathoners that this isn't for everyone. Since it is free I should probably give it a try, but the only thing that orange drink will ever make me think of is being ill in bed when I was a child. It was a 70s myth that it could cure any ailment, but just a sniff of the stuff reminds me of being confined to bed and feeling rotten, not really what you want halfway into a marathon.

Also need to see how the belt fares on my runs. I have been told by everyone and his cousin that I must drink when I run, but I really don't like to as I find it breaks my stride and turns my stomach. I am also concerned at how it will feel running with bottles around my waist. I am assured by many internet reviews and the man in the shop that I have made the best choice, but I shall have to see on my next run.

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