“Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance products to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”
Here we are. We have come to the end of my Journey Back to Me with Gatorade Endurance. It has been a roller coaster the last three plus months trying to get back on the road regularly and when it comes down to it I am on the upside of things. What lead to this was having the right mindset about what I needed to accomplish and how much time I needed to give myself. What I needed to help me get through the physical part of this were good decisions when it came to my workout schedule and my diet, which both included what Gatorade Endurance products to use and when.
Back in August Gatorade Endurance provided me with a tub of lemon-lime Endurance Thirst Quench Powder, a variety of single-serving packets of Endurance Thirst Quench Powder and a bundle full of Endurance Energy Gel.
Lets start with the lemon-lime Endurance Thirst Quench Powder. I lived on this stuff. A big part of my routine when I am running and working out is drinking a ton of fluids, even on days I am not working out. When I am injured this routine falls by the wayside, which is not good because I should still be giving my body the same amount of fluids. This isn’t just for physical benefits but, for me, for the mental ones as well. Keeping this as a part of my routine when I am not training helps to remind me about what a healthy routine looks like. It is also a reminder to get my tail out the door and get running. About half an hour before every run I would mix a scoop and a half with 12 oz of cold water so that I could split half of it before and half of it after my run. My reasoning behind this is that my workouts were no longer than 30 minutes (at most) so I didn’t feel like I needed the full amount of carbs in that serving (22g) to fuel my workout. This also had to do with my use of the Endurance Energy Gel before each workout. I will discuss that in a bit.
Staying properly hydrated and fueled on my running days really helped me get back to staying hydrated on my non-running days, which kept me feeling healthier and therefore more motivated. All of things things are interconnected for me so it was very vital I get back on track with my hydration routine. The flavor, unsurprisingly, was just like that of traditional Gatorade lemon-lime, which I have fond memories of all the way back to my childhood, so I always looked forward to drinking it.
However, the Endurance Thirst Quenching Powder is even better at keeping you hydrated with far more potassium and sodium than traditional Gatorade. Because I live in Texas and it has been fairly warm/hot during most of my road back I really needed this. I took many of my runs on my lunch breaks and the heat was not fun for me. I am not normally a mid-day runner and the heat generally deters me from running at this time of day. I never once experienced cramping or any sort of dehydration on my workout days. On especially warm or humid days I could double the amount of powder and water and keep the same flavor thanks to the mixing instructions provided on the tub. This is the same stuff that is used at aid stations at lots of events (Ironman U.S. Series, Boston, Chicago and New York Marathons as well as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series) and after using it I can see why. It is easy to drink and keeps you hydrated and fueled for shorter and longer distances alike.
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Travel and a stubborn injury forced me to unexpectedly hit the reset button on my journey back. Something told me to not be defeated and get out there today. So thankful for my 2 miles today and for @gatoradeendurance for believing in me. I can do this! #GEnduranceBR #BibChat #AD
In the same vein of the lemon-lime Thirst Quenching Powder the single serving packets of the Endurance formula worked equally well. The cherry and watermelon flavors provided a break from the lemon-lime and were a great substitute when I had to travel twice during the last few months and didn’t want to pack the whole tub of lemon-lime. The single servings are formulated the same as the tub so they worked just as well and tasted great. I am a sucker for cherry flavor anything so that was my favorite. It is important to note that all of the Endurance Thirst Quench Powder flavors are made without artificial flavors. On the product page for the single-serve it notes that it is also made with a multi-carbohydrate blend to help endurance athletes maintain performance and lower the risk of stomach discomfort during a hard training session or race. I don’t know about anyone else but I have avoided major lower stomach discomfort during a race and I would like to keep it that way.
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An hour lunch + motivation + @gatoradeendurance Endurance Energy Gel = my longest run not only in November but the last three months. Needless to say I am pumped about that! My Journey Back to Me is on the right track. 💪🏻 #bibchat #bibravepro #GEnduranceBR #Ad #MYFUELMYJOURNEY
Speaking of digestive system discomfort. Once of the biggest culprits, in my experience and when speaking to other runners, for this is energy gels. I can happily report that I experience absolutely zero stomach discomfort while using the Endurance Energy Gel. I have a finicky stomach so I am very careful about what I put in it and I am slow to forgive anything that disrupts my digestive system. Now, having something not make you sick, is a basic expectation when using a fueling product so I will move on to the better parts of the Endurance Energy Gel (20 grams of carbohydrates, 100mgs of sodium and 80 calories per serving). Firstly, the flavor options here are great. They offer four different flavors: Apple Pear, Blackberry, Mango and Vanilla. I enjoyed every single one of these, which caught me off guard a little. I am not typically big on mango flavored anything or mangoes in general but it was actually my second favorite flavor after the Blackberry.
Gatorade Endurance recommends that these be used for prolonged periods of activity (2.5+ hours) when fluid and electrolyte loss is significant. I knew that during my road back to a more regular training cycle I was never going to get to this point. However, I wanted to put these to the test the best way I knew how. Since most of my runs during this training cycle took place during the middle of the day I would consume the gel about 20 minutes before my workout with the Endurance Thirst Quench Powder to give myself the best chance at not cramping or dehydrating myself. It is recommended that the gel be consumed with water to decrease risk of GI distress so I wasn’t going to risk it anyway.
I was already battling against being out of shape and I didn’t want to compound this by making hydration and fueling mistakes. It is warm here in the DFW metroplex for much of the year so I thought even my 30+ minutes of activity in the heat would give me a good sense of how the Endurance Energy Gel would work. Pair that with me doing these activities on my lunch breaks and having to continue working afterward and I think I did, in fact get good data to judge this on. I never felt drained during or after my run and I experienced no cramping, which hasn’t always been the case for me when it is warm.
I ended this three plus month period behind where I wanted to be from a mileage standpoint but from a feeling healthy perspective I am feeling really great. I struggled with motivation at times but right now I am feeling very good about myself. All of the Gatorade Endurance products that I tested spoke for themselves as for what they can provide for endurance athletes. I will be happily using the refill I got from Gatorade Endurance while I continue to build myself back up. I will also be switching to them for half marathon and marathon training and races when I get back to that point. What really stood out to me, on top of how well the products worked was the team behind it and their belief in me. They chose me to test out their products because they believed I could do what I set out to do. Even when there was a little bit of doubt in my mind they stuck with me. I am very grateful to them for this opportunity.
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