Product Review

Spring Energy Review

In life, what you put in is what you typically get out. As I triathlete I spend a lot of time training each week, and thus fuelling to be able to keep backing up sessions is important. I’ve always subscribed to a more balanced diet, not eliminating any food types. I do love my carbs, but am also love the flavours from fats. So I don’t really have an opinion on all the different diets that are promoted to be the best for performance, only that you cannot go wrong with eating whole foods. Here’s some thoughts from my journey to improve my efforts on race day.

Fueling while racing

Having competed for a number of years I’ve tried many different fuel sources while racing. This is an important step for anybody as we are all individuals. I’ve tried many different brands of gels, blocks, bars and the experience was often quite drastic between them.

I’ve had times where I literally was going to poop myself, or even be required to stop in my tracks due to severe cramps. Other times I’ve just felt flat, moving slow and literally unable to go any faster. But with all my nutrition trials I couldn’t help but feel it wasn’t ideal situation pumping myself full of processed sugars.

Step up Spring Energy. What drew me to Spring Energy was the lack of processed sugars, which in the gel industry is rare. Instead, Spring Energy uses real food! The downside is maybe not quite the multi-year expiration date, but finally, a product that I didn’t feel like I was undoing all my hard work.

Being more targeted at ultra running I wasn’t totally convinced it would be suitable for my needs. However, the product range is quite vast, rather than just offering different flavours, there are gels for different styles of racing or should I say ‘needs’. After trialling gels from Spring Energy, for me, I’ve found it works just as well as plain sugary gels, without the crash. Win-win in my books.

Spring Energy Flavours

As mentioned there is a host of different gel options from Spring Energy, those with quite a high-fat portion, to some which are more carbs focused. For me, I lean more on the carbs as this also aligns with my typical day-to-day food intake. Here’s a summary of my thoughts with the gels I’ve tried from Spring Energy:

Electroride – Hydration and energy

Electrolytes and 20G of carbs that mix into your water bottle. With an apply and ginger taste initially although palatable I wasn’t a massive fan. However, give it a good shake! It’s thick and needs to be mixed in to not have such a concentrate taste to it. Whether it’s cold or hot it still tastes good, and as things get more challenging, it’s refreshing. Now I know how to mix it (yes I’m a rookie) I’m a huge fan of this product.

Power Rush

A gel that has a bit of fat, with 20G of cabs, a decent amount of electrolytes. My favourite for racing those intense battles with yourself. Described as punchy plum flavour, the plum and citric flavours are mellowed by the banana. A great gel for when you want to run fast, particularly off the bike!

CanaBERRY

If you’ve ever been to BOOST juice and had a strawberry squeeze, this is the equivalent in a gel form. With a little fewer carbs (17g) and also fewer electrolytes, this has a tiny bit more fat at 3G than Power Rush. Tasting very sweet, this is an all-rounder style gel from my view. Including fat reduces that sugar spike and its relatively low carb intake allows it to be taken semi-regularly without upsetting my gut. I raced a long course triathlon using Canaberry (had 3 during an 80min half marathon) and energy-wise it topped me up to the end.  

Wolf Pack – Endurance Meal

At 300 cal, I haven’t been doing an event slow enough that I believe my body to tolerate this meal in a gel. For me, this is an impressive addition to my pre-race routine of topping up my energy stores. There’s a nice helping of good fats, 47g of carbs and also electrolytes, it’s a full meal in one easy to consume package. I’m not having any stomach issues starting to race high-intensity 90min-2hr later, and my stomach felt content at the start line (rather than thinking could I get another slice of banana bread please?).

Koffee

For all the coffee-loving drinkers out there. Let me start by saying I love caffeine, but don’t like coffee. However, Koffee tastes more like tiramisu with some maple syrup to me. The addition of cashew butter, rice, coconut oil and maple syrup balance well with the strong coffee flavour. With a solid amount of fat and carbs, this is a very balanced gel, great for when you need a pick me up to start your training or during a long endurance event.

Hill Aid

My go-to for a caffeine top-up while racing. With a very similar profile to CanaBERRY but with 30mg of caffeine, it goes down easy to give you that boost, without you needing to back off the pace. The main flavours are mango and banana with some honey and the taste is great. Another stand out gel for me.

Speednut

Maybe because I don’t drink coffee, but the difference between 30mg and 50mg isn’t noticeable for me. However, if you’re after more caffeine this gel delivers. Described as ‘for extreme efforts’ it’s packed full of berries. It tastes great has equal servings of fat and carbs (19g), some electrolytes and protein + caffeine. With the style of racing I do, of approximately 4 hours, I haven’t needed this in racing. However, in training it delivers, offering a very smooth, consistent energy to get you through.

Racing Nutrition Strategies

Below are the current racing nutrition strategies I use. Use this as a guide and refine it over time to find what works best for you.

Sprint triathlon

1 x Gel just before the race
1 x Mix in a bottle while on the bike

Olympic triathlon

1 x Gel just before the race
1 x Mix in a bottle while on the bike
1 x Gel before getting off bike.

70.3 distance triathlon

2-3 hours before race start have an easy to digest meal.
1 x Gel just before the race
2 x Mix in a bottle while on the bike
2 x Gel during the bike leg
1 x Gel just before dismount
2 x Gel during the run leg

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