Thursday, August 31, 2006

Accelerade

I'm an equal opportunity sports drink consumer. I can pretty much drink anything. There are a few I won't drink. Powerade, for instance, contains high fructose corn syrup, that I try to avoid. We almost always have some Gatorade in the fridge, mainly because it's cheap. That's what I usually gulp down before a weekday morning run. Often, if I know a race will serve a particular brand, I'll buy some to test out, just in case. NODM announced it would have HEED, so I bought some. I hear a lot of complaints on the running forums about HEED. But I don't mind it. In fact, I like it. They served it at the PCT 50/50 too and it didn't let me down. But for me, I don't think there's a magic sports drink out there. I think what I consume over a week's time is just as important as what I consume over a few hours. As long as a sports drink has the basic ingredients, tastes okay, and doesn't make me nauseous, I haven't found that one formula is necessarily better than another.

A few months ago, a PR guy for Accelerade emailed to ask if I wanted a sample. I had never tried it, so I said, sure, but told him I wasn't necessarily going to write about it in my blog. A week or so later, I received a canister of lemonade flavor Accelerade and two of their gels. I'm flush with gels and am actually moving away from using them. (I prefer Clif Bloks.) So I gave them to Marc (who had never used gels) and he thought they were fine.

Then, a few weeks ago, a different PR person for Accelerade emailed to see if I wanted a sample and asked if I'd write a review on my blog. Since I'd already tried it, I said sure. This time I received fruit punch flavor (my request) and 2 more gels (orange and kiwi strawberry).

First, the bad news:

Accel Gels: I don't like them. They may work well, but they have a gritty consistency that made it difficult to get them down. If you can get past that you may like them. Not me. I also don't like that they contain high fructose corn syrup.

Now, the better news:

Accelerade: Before carrying it on a run I tried some of the Accelerade as a recovery drink. I would describe it as thick, even when mixed half-strength (I rarely drink my sports drink full strength). It seems to have some substance to it. I like the taste of both the lemonade and the fruit punch. Accelerade contains carbs and protein in a 4/1 ratio. For the past few years I've tried to make sure I ingest something after a long run with a 4/1 carb/protein ratio and I think there's something to it. I've since used Accelerade on some medium runs (10-12 miles) and on my last long run of 20+ miles. My runs have been fine to good every time I've used Accelerade. I recovered really well from that last 20+ mile run. Maybe the Accelerade helped. It certainly didn't hurt. So I guess Accelerade has my recommendation...for whatever that's worth!

7 comments:

Donald said...

Man, am I the only one who hasn't been contacted by this company yet? I'm always looking for sample swag. You must get way more traffic than me.

I haven't seen Accelerade in races yet but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

olga said...

I know, I wasn't contacted by anybody either! Shoot, no freeby for me! :)
I never tried A but might do so. I agree on the part they are all the same, it's about what your stomach can stomach (pardon).

Ginger Breadman said...

Good review for all of us - it's nice to have a runner's opinion before we go out and buy stuff. thanks! I think we ought to hit up some other companies - maybe get some samples from Nike, Adidas, the local brew pub . . . carbs are in beer, right? :)

robtherunner said...

Dear Mr/Mrs. Accelerade promoter,

My name is Robert Hester and I am struggling from a long streak of bad races due to fueling issues. Can you help me?

Sincerely,

Robert Hester

P.S. Sarah, let me know if this little plea will get me some free Accelerade. I need all the help I can get. Did I mention I am a poor college student.

turnip said...

I contacted them but never got a response. I am not sure how I would deal with anything "thick" but maybe I will look for some and give it a shot.

Sarah Elaine said...

Apparently, you are Ms. Popularlity in the product review world! (I hope they read this and contact the rest of us!)

I have been a Gatorade die-hard for ages now... It stopped me from wanting to pass out during those 2-3 hour workouts in the gym, so I guess it works. Wouldn't mind trying something new though...

Like Rob... poor college student here...

Carrie said...

Ahh, Sarah you've caved to the new advertising niche. LOL.
I'm a Gatorade gal also. I love that you can mix the powder to dilute it. And I can't stand Poweraide (the HFCS thing). But I don't really care as long as it's wet and cool and has some carbs...