Why HEED is superior
Sports drinks have been around since the '60s, but judging by the new crop on the market, they have not evolved at all - sugar, salt, and citric acid are the primary ingredients and anyone who has tried to fuel themselves using this combination for more than an hour or so, knows it doesn't end well. Kind of like throwing gasoline on a fire trying to put it out. HEED is an undeniably healthier and more effective alternative to the liquid junk food constantly peddled to active people like you.
No simple sugars - There are NONE of the "ose" simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose) in HEED or in any other Hammer Nutrition fuel. Our fuels contain complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin) with no added simple sugars, for two primary reasons:
- Simple sugars have severe limitations when it comes to the amount of calories that can be efficiently digested and utilized for energy.
- Simple sugars most often cause wild fluctuations in energy levels, a "flash and crash" type of energy that you definitely want to avoid.
No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners - There are absolutely no general health benefits to be derived from consumption of this junk (but plenty of potential negative effects), so it's guaranteed that there aren't any athletic performance-enhancing benefits to be garnered either. It's not necessary to sweeten a product with refined sugars or artificial sweeteners, nor is it a requirement to color a sports drink with artificial neon colors to let you know what the flavor is!
Instead, HEED is sweetened with xylitol and stevia:
1. Xylitol - Naturally occurring in a variety of fruits and vegetables, xylitol is as sweet as table sugar (sucrose), yet it has about 40% fewer calories. Xylitol is non-fermentable and therefore cannot be converted to acids by oral bacteria, which helps to promote optimal gum and tooth health.
2. Stevia - This extract from Stevia rebaudiana is estimated to be nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has no calories or glycemic index rating, and does not affect blood sugar levels. Research indicates that stevia is safe for diabetics and effectively regulates blood sugar in people with diabetes and hypoglycemia. Like xylitol, stevia inhibits the growth of oral bacteria.
NOTE: For additional information about xylitol and stevia, see the FAQ "How is xylitol and stevia used in your products?" in the Achieve Peak Performance section on the Hammer Nutrition website.
Mild taste - Unlike the over-the-top, syrupy sweet taste of many sports drinks (yuck!), HEED is noticeably subtle and pleasant tasting. Courtesy of the maltodextrin and two healthy sweeteners, HEED delivers an ample amount of calories but without overwhelming your taste buds.
Additional beneficial nutrients - If it were just the complex carbohydrates and healthy sweeteners in HEED, those two things alone would make it a better choice than the artificially flavored/colored/sweetened and simple sugar-filled sports drinks that have been flooding the market for years. There's more to HEED than that, however; three other highly beneficial features added to the HEED formula:
1. A full-spectrum electrolyte profile - Unlike many sports drinks, which contain only salt (oftentimes far too much) and potassium, HEED provides a complete, easily assimilated electrolyte profile: sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. All of these minerals are necessary because they work synergistically in helping maintain optimal performance of many important bodily functions.
2. Chromium polynicotinate - Considered by many nutritional scientists to be the "master nutrient" for controlling blood sugar (meaning stable blood glucose levels during exercise), chromium also plays a vital role in energy production and the synthesis of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids.
3. L-carnosine - Excess lactic acid accumulation during prolonged or intense exercise creates numerous undesirable effects, including premature fatigue, decreased circulation, and increased muscle soreness and inflammation. L-carnosine (aka carnosine) has been shown to effectively buffer lactate buildup, so it is a powerful ally against excess lactic acid. Additionally, carnosine is a potent antioxidant. Lastly, carnosine exhibits powerful anti-glycation benefits. Glycation is defined as the undesirable cross-linking of proteins and sugars to form nonfunctioning structures in the body; it is cited as an underlying cause of age-related problems including neurologic (brain), vascular (circulatory), and ocular (eye) disorders.
Sports drinks are a convenient way to fulfill energy requirements during shorter-duration exercise, and they're handy for maintaining energy levels if your job involves a lot of energy output (such as a construction worker, landscaper) or if you're simply doing chores in and out of the house. However, you need to be cognizant that what you put into your body determines the quality of energy you'll get from it. The well-known saying, "Garbage in, garbage out," absolutely applies to nutrition. Don't consume anything that won't benefit you!
HEED contains none of the refined simple sugars, artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners, or unnecessary ingredients that most sports drinks are loaded with. What HEED does contain are nutrients that will positively influence the quality of your workouts and races. Additionally, some of the nutrients in HEED have benefits for overall health. Lastly, HEED's taste is a pleasant departure from the overt sweetness that is the norm for most other sports drinks. All flavors of HEED - Lemon-Lime, Mandarin Orange, Strawberry, and Melon - are subtle and easy on the palate, even when mixed in more calorie-dense concentrations. And if you don't want any flavor at all, you'll want to give Unflavored HEED a try; it's virtually taste-free!
HEED is a unique, healthy alternative in the world of sports drinks, so if you're sick and tired of putting "garbage in the gas tank" youre ready for HEED! As with all Hammer Nutrition fuels, we guarantee that you'll love HEED, or you get your money back, simple as that.