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Discovering Perpetuem, Discovering Renewal


Sometimes we discover new nutrition products through research and Google; other times, it occurs serendipitously. This is a case of the latter. And one I’ll never forget.

It happened in the most unlikely of places, the Sahara Desert. Actually, given the circumstances, perhaps it wasn’t all too unusual. The year was 2008, and it was day five of the Sahara Race, a grueling six-day, 250 km self-supported footrace across the Sahara. The fifth day of most stage races is the notorious “long day,” meaning that it is the furthest one-day distance of the overall event. This particular stage was 100 km, and it involved climbing and descending lots of sand dunes, hot, shoe-swallowing sand dunes.

This was following four days of tough competition, four showerless days of sleeping in a tent on the ground (or not sleeping), and eating reconstituted camping food for dinner. I was battling it out with an Italian Special Forces member, a Romanian ultrarunning record holder, and an emerging South African superstar, Ryan Sandes.

The stakes were even higher for me. You see, the Sahara Race is part of the 4 Desserts Challenge, a race series in the hottest, windiest, driest, and coldest deserts on Earth (the Sahara, the Gobi, Atacama, and Antarctica). Quick digression, most people don’t realize that Antarctica is a desert because it’s cold and covered in ice. But a desert is classified by the amount of annual rainfall it receives, of which Antarctica sees very little. I was attempting to be the first person to complete all four of the races in a single year; most people become part of the 4 Deserts Challenge Club over the succession of many years.

Adding to the pressure, the individual that has the lowest cumulative finishing times from all of the races—regardless of how many years it takes them to complete all four—is crowned the 4 Deserts Challenge champion. I was in the running.

And things were going reasonably well at the Sahara Race. That is, until the long stage. Ryan Sandes had set a blistering pace throughout the first four days and had a comfortable margin going into day five. I knew I’d have to perform well to contend. And I was, at least until about the midway point. That’s when the proverbial wheels came off. Suddenly I found myself depleted and flagging, seemingly running on fumes, and still with about 50 km’s to go! I didn’t exactly hear footsteps coming up behind me—we were running on sand after all—but Ryan caught up to me. We spent the next couple hours feeling each other out, but the kid was too strong.

A kid he may have been at the time, but a gentleman nonetheless. He could sense my exhaustion and offered a slug from his holster. I desperately obliged and took a pull from a little flask he offered, having no idea of the contents. Wow! It was smooth and delicious, thick and slightly warmed from the sun.

“What is this?” I asked.

“Perpetuem,” he replied.

I’d never heard of Perpetuem, but that single gulp added an amazing pep to my stride and helped get me to the finish line that day. I ended up with the Silver Medal at the Sahara Race, runner up to Ryan. But that didn’t matter, he’d turned me on to a new product that’s become an integral part of my training and racing ever since. I used Perpetuem at the remaining 4 Deserts events and successfully completed all four races in a single year, somehow winning the 4 Deserts Challenge in the process.

Since that time, Perpetuem has been reimagined and improved, with the corn maltodextrin replaced with a lower dextrose equivalent, tapioca maltodextrin. And Perpetuem comes in four delicious flavors, so there’s no lack of variety. For a special kick on those cold days, try Caffe Latte warmed, which includes 30 mg of caffeine to help rev the engine.

Thank you to Hammer Nutrition for making such a great product, and thank you to Ryan Sandes for making the unexpected introduction!

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Dean Karnazes is an ultramarathoner and Hammer Nutrition Athlete. He has raced and competed across the globe and once ran 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days. His most recent book is A Runner’s High.


I’m training for my 3rd Ironman and use Perpetuem on long workouts. It’s really a GREAT product that I have found to help me out tremendously!

Alan Kostrzewa

I consider myself and endurance athlete with races from Spartan Ultra beast, 24 -72 Adventure races, Bad Water Salton Sea, and numerous 50k’s…… Hammer products; gels, HEED, Perpetuem and Extreme Caps are the ONLY products I use. While I am not a premiere athlete, I have always had the fuel to cross every finish line. Thanks for a great line of products.

Christopher Felix

I consider myself and endurance athlete with races from Spartan Ultra beast, 24 -72 Adventure races, Bad Water Salton Sea, and numerous 50k’s…… Hammer products; gels, HEED, Perpetuem and Extreme Caps are the ONLY products I use. While I am not a premiere athlete, I have always had the fuel to cross every finish line. Thanks for a great line of products.

Christopher Felix

My sport is MMA. What energy products do you recommend? And how and when should they be taken?
Hammer Nutrition replied:
In my opinion, the most important aspect in the entire “athletic performance picture” is recovery. This is because while everything we do in our training is undeniably important, all the gains that we hope to make occur in the time between our workout sessions. That’s why it’s extremely important to replenish the body with fuel right away after exercise (I call it “refilling the tank”). Here’s what I wrote about that…

The 4 big benefits of “refilling the tank” ASAP after a workout

You will probably not find an easier way to boost your fitness and enhance your exercise performance than by simply taking a few moments—as soon as you finish your workout—to put some fuel back in your body. When you do that, your body rewards you handsomely for all the work you did in the training session. Resupply the body with high-quality carbohydrates and protein right away—within the first 30 minutes (the sooner, the better)—and here’s what happens:

1. Your muscle cells will be restocked with fuel so that you have it on board and ready to serve you for the next day’s workout. In fact, the more consistently you train AND resupply the body with fuel, the more efficiently your body will respond by storing more and more minutes of fuel in the muscles. That means you’ll have more available fuel when you toe the line for your big event, and that’s a definite advantage! (Hint: This is what “carbo loading” truly is all about.)

2. Your muscle tissue has the raw materials it needs to become stronger, which allows you to make increases in your training volume and intensity without your muscles taking such a beating.

3. The amount of soreness you experience between one workout and the next will be greatly diminished. So instead of worrying about whether you’ll even be able to get out of bed, you’ll be ready for the next day’s workout.

4. Your immune system gets stronger instead of going into the tank. When you finish a workout, your immune system is “on the fence.” Supplying your body with fuel ASAP after a training session will tip the scales in favor of stronger immunity, helping you avoid missing important training sessions due to sickness.

With the said, I highly recommend the use of Recoverite ( after all your workouts. All the above-listed 4 benefits will occur, but the one that will really aid you in your matches is the 2nd one. The more ready-to-use fuel that you have in the muscles, the more endurance you will have… simple as that.

Another popular supplement with MMA athletes is Tissue Rejuvenator ( Given the nature of your sport, it’s vital that you protect your joints by providing them with the “raw materials” they need to build back stronger and be more flexible.

As far as energy products are concerned, our pre-exercise supplement Fully Charged ( — in capsule or powder form — will supply a plethora of benefits, all of which are discussed at

A product that complements Fully Charged perfectly is Energy Surge (, which contains adenosine 5’-triphosphate (ATP), the principal molecule for storing and transferring energy in cells. It is often referred to as the energy currency of the cell. When you take 1-2 tablets of Energy Surge shortly before and during a workout or event, it supplies the body with a quick-acting dose of pure energy.

Thomas Korb

thanks for the story – I really enjoy the Cafe version as well – !!


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