Since getting involved in endurance sports I have had an unspoken rule of no supplements that enhance athletic performance. I believe that endurance sports should be totally natural and should be a pure test of ones' abilities. Truthfully I don't even like to drink Redbull before training or racing because I feel that I'm cheating. I do admit I drink Redbull (often) but usually because it helps me to get the bowels moving race morning and injects a little caffeine to jump start the excitement. I once (maybe a few times) had 5 Hour Energy and that hit me more than Redbull. 5 Hour Energy provides a long lasting spike of energy that is definitely noticeable. I caught myself grinding my teeth because of the amount of "energy" it provided. My 5 Hour experience was not related to training or racing rather trying to stay awake on long car rides. If you need to drive from Timberman, after being awake all day and cheering on all your friends, to Long Island than look no further than 5 Hour Energy.
I have read a lot of material on the benefits of supplements ranging from fish oils to vitamins A through Z. "Doctors" have said that taking X amount of ____________ will increase anything from your red blood cell production to increased metabolic functions. Assuming their research was sound and factual I decided to experiment and see what happens. I have tried fish oils, omega X, Y and Z, vitamins A-Z, iron etc. I didn't notice any improvement in, well, anything. Now maybe if I got blood work taken then the test results would say other wise but, who is sitting in the doctor's office all day when you can be swimming, biking or running?
Triathletes are always looking to go faster and to get an edge up on their competition. Whether it be by becoming more aerodynamic, lighter in weight, becoming more efficient, increasing one's mental toughness, etc, etc. Even though I will never win a race or be a top age-grouper I do want to reach, break through and raise my physical, and mental goals. In my pursuit of reaching my goals I have invested in a coach and continue to search for any legal means to become faster, stronger, tougher and more efficient. At a training camp in Vermont last summer I was introduced to a nutritional supplement called Ignite Naturals ( www.ignitenaturals.com) Initially I was very skeptical and cautious about putting this product into my body because I didn't want any unnatural enhancement to my performance on the day's 5+ hr training ride. Matt Wontz, my USAT coach, swore by this product. I asked him to breakdown what this product was made of, what it did, how to use it, I pretty much wanted to know the science behind it all. His explanation and his word was all I needed to experiment with this product. Matt threw a serving of the Ignite GSH coco powder into a blender with some water and within a minute I had my first Ignite Natural "shake".
45 minutes after polishing off the drink we set out on a serious, 5,000 feet of climbing, 75 mile adventure. I had the best ride of my life. I could not believe how strong I felt on the major climbs, how focused and confident I was on the descents and how fresh I felt from mile 1 to mile 75. I had never felt so invincible on the bike before in my life. There were some other catalysts that assisted in having an amazing day; the beautiful weather, the scenic backdrops, the friends I was riding with and the energy of the entire weekend. The best part of the entire day was that each and every catalyst and stimuli was totally natural and organic. Here is a excerpt from their website that reinforces my confidence and thought about this product,
"The athlete, competitive or not. The health conscious, working out every day or mindful of their nutrition choices. Both can place their trust in Ignite Naturals products. In a world of caffeine- and stimulant-laden sports and energy products, we take our commitment to using only the highest quality, natural ingredients very seriously. No stimulants. No artificial ingredients. No hormones. No added sugar—just an impressive list of antioxidants and all natural ingredients scientifically formulated to support performance and health for the long run, not only the next few hours. "
I have now used Ignite Naturals nutritional supplements for the past 6 months and will strongly promote their products to my friends and endurance, multi sport athletes.