It is abundantly clear to me that I like talking about me. I mean, really...I have an entire webpage dedicated to that very hobby. Plus, I'm a lawyer. And frankly, we LOVE to talk. Often about ourselves.
So, I've decided to do an "According to Me" segment to the blog. Mainly because I'm a wonderfully lucky individual who sometimes is approached by endurance product companies to review their products.
And anyone who is willing to send me free food and drink is my BFF.
My first installment of "According to Me"?
Now, I know I'm not the only lucky ducky who got THIS promotion from Accelerade, but I'm damned glad I did. And here's why: I was deep in iron training and adding more and more hours to my bike and was building a hate-hate relationship with my endurance drink.
There. I said it.
I had to break up with Perpetuem. It was a sad breakup. One that I will not easily forget. I had taken my little baggies of powder with me everywhere -- it was a cornerstone of my weekend rides. And still, weeks after the transition, I find plastic baggies labeled "Perp 2 scoops" in the oddest places. It's sad. Like desperate "let's talk about it messages" left on the unanswered phone, late at night after too many martinis with the girls.
But it had to be done. And Accelerade turned out to be my rebound relationship and -- frankly -- this rebound is coming with me for the long haul. The iron haul.
Here's the basics:
1) Accelerade comes in powder and premixed form. I was sent the premixed bottles and they now fill prime real estate in my fridge. For a foodie to give up shelf space to a beverage, it's gotta be good.
2) It comes in bottles that are exactly the same volume as bike bottles. Surely not a mistake, and definitely a detail I didn't miss.
3) It comes in fantastic flavors: fruit punch, citrus grapefruit, mountain berry and, peach mango.
4) It has shelf-stable protein in the drink. SHELF STABLE PROTEIN. The perfect 4:1 ratio to make my (and your) legs go the extra mile.
So...here's my review of Accelerade:
1) Taste. I really love the taste of all of the flavors, with the exception of the peach mango. In fact, I haven't tried the peach mango. Frankly, I hate mangoes, so I don't want to ruin this budding relationship. Kind of like reading a new boyfriend's old emails. Bad. Idea. But the flavors make the concoction amazingly easy to palate and I find myself scarfing it down on both reasonable and super hot rides. I never "scarfed" down my Perpetuem. It's just not the scarfing kind of drink.
On the down side, there is a weird quality to the taste of the drink. Mighty M picked up on it and we've been trying to figure out what it is. It kind of gives you 'dry mouth' when you drink it, but it's weird. Not off setting, just odd. I've found that it's best to also have some plain jane water with you to cut this taste, but it hasn't persuaded me to find another product.
2) Texture. I've been doing the premixed drinks, so it has the texture of...well...water. Go figure! But this is a big leap forward for me, because my discontent with Perpetuem was really a textural thing. It just never dissolved in a way that made it easy to drink. Not that it's horrible. It certainly is NOT. I have lots of long rides to thank Perpetuem for. But, if these were going head to head? Accerade all the way, baby.
3) Performance. I have about 4 months of training with Perpetuem under my belt and about 6-8 sessions with Accelerade. But, I've found that a couple things happen when I'm using the latter. First, I drink more. I don't get more calories from this drinking (we'll talk about that later), but I do get more fluid. Almost always a good thing.
Second, I can go longer, as in more hours and more miles. Now, here I have to qualify my According to Me statements. Accelerade has entered the picture at my peak moments. So, I can't say that it's because of the drink that I can manage longer rides than before. But I can say that it hasn't impeded that progress in the end of the season.
4) Recovery. Case in point. Last weekend did a 108 mile ride with about 6,200 feet climbing, with the temps in mid-80s and humidity topping out at 82%. NOT AN EASY DAY. It was hot and sticky, extremely sweaty, and there was some serious pounding on the legs going on. Accelerade was there for a good portion of the day (as well as other fluids and solid food) and a muscle milk recovery drink. The next day -- felt minimal soreness and mild dread for the following day, when I usually get hit. Monday came and things were perfectly fine. So, again...I can't say it was the Accelerade, but I can say the Accelerade didn't get in the way of the recovery. Had I tapped out early in those 8-hours because of lack of fluid or fuel, no amount of muscle milk would have brought me back. I'm just saying.
5) Calories. Here is my only complaint about the product. The 20-oz bottle only has 180 calories in it. This isn't horrible, of course, but I'm used to my 300 - 400 calorie bottles of Perpetuem. So, folding Accelerade into the picture has forced me to get creative with planning out my calories. I'm eating more bars on long rides and now also have fig newtons.
So, in sum, I like the product. A bunch. I hope they send me another shipment like they said they would, so I can use it at IMmoo. If they don't, I'll go find it at some LBS and stock up. My favorite flavor is the citrus grapefruit because it's so tart.
NEXT UP: Mattise and Jacks Organic Nutrition Bars!
PS -- Also of note, Accelerade is paying attention to the online community and its endurance junkies. They are building an online community called Accelerade Edge, where people can share ideas and articles, compare notes on their favorite activities, etc. It seems to be in the young stages now, but I've signed up and posted a few things and found a familiar face or two there, as well. Check it out!