There have been a lot of great articles by Evan Morrison, aka "Freshwater Swimmer", lately about nutrition for marathon swimming. Here is the link to the last article in the series, with links to the other articles at the bottom of the post:
My nutrition plan for longer swims has usually consisted of watered down Gatorade and gels. I have had to water everything down because they are so sweet that they make me sick to my stomach. Anyway, I've decided to try some new things leading up to my Bear Lake Swim. At the top of my list has been Hammer Perpetuem. Perpetuem is maltodextrin based with soy protein and other ingredients added.
I went down to Salt Lake Running and talked to a guy there who assumed I was going to be using it for running a marathon. I think it kind of blew his mind that I was going to be using it for swimming. In addition to Perpetuem he also suggested I try Sustained Energy, which is basically the same thing but in a slightly bigger package and unflavored. I ended up buying three single-serve packets to test out.
I mixed up a bottle of the Strawberry-Vanilla flavor this morning and was excited to test it out at my workout. Here are my initial thoughts:
I've got some good news and some bad news. Bad news first. When mixed with 20 ounces of water, the flavor gets pretty diluted. Combine that with the soy protein and it tastes a lot like the milk leftover after eating a bowl of cereal. This isn't all bad though because the product is not overly sweet and it sat well in my stomach without making me sick. I want to try the other flavors and also try mixing the unflavored powder with juice.
I have read that some people think that it has a chalky texture. I didn't get that feeling. It is definitely a little thicker than Gatorade, but I didn't think the texture was off putting at all.
I wanted to really put this to the test, so I did an "endurance" workout designed to kind of simulate a race. After a 2,000 yard warm-up I did 7 x 1,000 on 15:00. I pushed the 1,000's faster than my anticipated Bear Lake pace and made them all right around 14:00. I took a "feed" every 30 minutes (2,000 yards). It took about 100 yards after each feed for the Perpetuem to settle into my stomach, but after that I felt great. I was planning on doing 8,000 total yards today, but was feeling so good after 8,000 that I added an extra 1,000. I probably would have added another 1,000 if I didn't have to be to work. Would I have been able to do this workout taking sips of Gatorade instead? Probably. But I think it would have been more challenging.
Has anyone else used this product? What did you think? What else to you "feed" on during training and long swims?