Everybody wants the perfect energy gel or recovery powder to improve race performance. In fact, there is no perfect one-size-fits-all solution. Everybody is different; if we all use different shoes, it makes sense that we should take different energy products too. This review aims to give you a better idea of High5 Nutrition products.
High5 Energy Gels come in a few forms, such as the regular energy gel packets and the Isogel packets.
Let’s start with the regular energy gel packs.
Firstly, a pack with the + sign indicates that it is a caffeinated gel. Each sachet contains 30mg of caffeine, which is approximately the amount of caffeine in a cup of instant coffee. Caffeine is a performance boosting stimulant that increases alertness and performance. Caffeine helps muscles to release calcium which in turn helps to increase endurance. For night races, a caffeinated gel can help to sustain mental alertness.
Another approximation that most runners can use is that 1 gram of carbohydrate is needed for every minute of exercise. This means that an hour of running will require around 60 grams of carbohydrates. A sachet of High5 Energy gel contains 20 grams of carbohydrates. So it is recommended that 3 sachets should be consumed for every hour of exercise.
Why the need for that many? It helps to sustain the body’s ability to tap on the energy that the gels give instead of the glycogen stores in the muscles. Without enough energy consumption during exercise, glycogen depletion will lead to muscle fatigue.
Moving on to the Isogels
These gels are more bullky and heavier than the regular sachets. They are around double the weight of the regular sachets. They contain more carbohydrates with 26 grams. But the strong point is that these gels are much less viscous than the regular gel. These gels are more fluid so they hardly need water to wash them down.
The general information above serves as a guideline for choosing from the different types of gels. Firstly, the gels are fruit juice based. The flavours are mainly fruity flavours that go easy on the taste buds and on the stomach. Other milk-based gels might be rather suffocating and require a large gulp of water to wash them down. They may cause stomach upsets to sensitive stomachs. They may work well for different individuals and it is important to use the gels during training to see if they are suitable for race day. The only downside is the little extra weight to carry. The flavours are limited to fruit flavours so unfortunately, there are no chocolate or vanilla flavoured ones.
The electrolyte tablets from High5 come in the form of ZERO Electrolyte tablets. They are mainly effervescent tablets that you dissolve in water before drinking them.
It is important to consume electrolytes during exercise not only to prevent cramps, but to ensure that the body is adequately hydrated. Persistent sweating means that your body is constantly losing these salts through sweat. Without consumption of electrolytes, the electrolyte imbalances in your body can cause anything from earlier fatigue and muscle cramps to vomiting. A balanced electrolyte tablet, like ZERO electrolyte tablets, contains sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Similar to gels, it is important to carefully monitor and test the dosage of electrolyte tablets before using them on race day.
Zero electrolyte tablets come in the form of different flavours such as Citrus or Berry that are pleasing to the taste buds during the race. These tablets are almost zero calories, hence the name. This makes energy consumption calculation easier.
The only downside to these electrolyte tablets is inconvenience. The need to dissolve these tablets may be deemed inconvenient for the faster athletes as time is needed to dissolve these tablets at drinking stations. For athletes who carry their own water, it shouldn’t be much of a problem as the tablets can be dissolved into bottles or hydration bags when necessary. However, the dissolved tablets may cause a slight colour stain to hydration bags.
The main point of recovery powders is to improve the speed of recovery. First and foremost, it is important to consume carbohydrates and protein during the recovery window – the first 30 minutes after exercise. Recovery powders generally provide the same ratio of 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Carbohydrates are necessary for the transport of protein to the muscles for recovery.
The High5 4:1 recovery powder contains whey protein isolate which allows for easier absorption into the body system as compared to whole foods. Hence, easier absorption means faster transport of adequate nutrients to the muscles where they are needed. These powders are likewise available in fruit flavours. Recovery is paramount to sustained training and improvement. For athletes seeking a convenient form of recovery nutrition, the packet of recovery powder can be brought to training and shaken into a bottle of water for post training nutrition when food is not available. The taste is not too sweet and is pleasant tasting as well.
Where to buy?
Hi5 nutrition products are available at Novena Velocity #03-42.