BY STEVE BORN
Summer is here with the promise that it's going to get hotter and hotter in the upcoming weeks. Especially at this time of year, athletes rely on sports drinks to stay hydrated and fueled in their workouts and races.
Unfortunately, most drink mixes are so loaded with sugar they coat the mouth with layers of what is best described as syrupy-sweet yuck. Forget about feeling refreshed with these drinks, not when you're scraping sugar coating off your tongue and the roof of your mouth all workout long.
This is the least offensive thing about the sugar in sports drinks (we'll discuss the more-offensive issues in a bit), but it's important to bring up. If what you're drinking during exercise ends up as a chore with unpleasant effects, you're less likely to maintain sufficient intake consistently. That can lead to dehydration, cramping, and other performance-ruining scenarios.
Enter HEED, Hammer Nutrition's premium-quality sports drink that we introduced 15 years ago, partly in response to a question we frequently heard: Can anyone PLEASE make a sports drink without all the sugar and syrupy sweet taste? Unlike the overly-strong sweet taste of many sports drinks, you'll find HEED to be noticeably subtle and pleasant-tasting, a refreshing alternative to the glut of sports drinks currently available. It's a sports drink you don't have to choke down¦you'll actually enjoy drinking HEED!
"Look no further, HEED has everything you need to get you to the finish line. Unlike other sports drinks, HEED does not overpower you with sweetness and outrageous flavor. It is easy to mix and drink and is incredibly effective."
There's so much more to HEED than its taste.
1) No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. There are absolutely no health benefits to be had from consuming these junk ingredients (but plenty of potential negative effects), so it's guaranteed that there aren't any athletic performance-enhancing benefits to be gained either. HEED contains no artificial ingredients, only healthy sweeteners - stevia and xylitol - and natural flavors.
2) No simple sugars. There are two primary problems with fuels comprised of simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.), including so-called healthy sugars like cane sugar, which is simply sucrose (table sugar):
- Simple sugars pose severe limitations when it comes to the amount of calories you can efficiently digest and utilize for energy.
- Simple sugars typically cause wild fluctuations in energy levels, a flash-and-crash type of energy that you definitely want to avoid.
For ease of digestion, even at a more calorically dense concentration - which means more available calories available for energy production - HEED contains only complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin) with no added simple sugars.
3) No citric acid. When teeth are regularly bathed in a citric acid solution, whether it's added to a sports drink to stimulate saliva production and provide a tart taste or chelated to a mineral (e.g. calcium citrate), permanent damage can result. Citric acid isn't necessary in a sports drink, so it's not in HEED.
4) Appropriate amounts of sodium. Nearly everyone is consuming far too much sodium in their daily diet. It negatively impacts athletic performance, and, more importantly, overall health. That's why it's a mystery that companies continue to ratchet up the sodium content in their sports drink mixes, saying that it's replenishing your electrolytes. It's not, and that's why sufficient, not excess, amounts of sodium are included in HEED. Equally as important, HEED contains a full-spectrum electrolyte profile that more adequately and completely replenishes electrolytes.
5) No unnecessary vitamins, minerals, or auxiliary nutrients. Why put any extras in a product if the amount isn't enough to make a difference? For example: having 2% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C (a minuscule 9 mg) isn't going to provide much of a health benefit, but it will increase the product cost. If we include any vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients in HEED, we do so for specific reasons and in effective amounts.
BOTTOM LINE: Many years ago, when countless athletes and active people cried out, Enough is enough! We want a better sports drink, one that works and actually tastes good! we listened and delivered. Since that day, HEED has been and continues to be the refreshingly healthy and highly effective alternative to the syrupy swill too often disguised as sports drinks. Containing only beneficial ingredients (in effective amounts!) and devoid of all the earlier-mentioned junk, HEED is exactly what you need!