Thursday, October 31, 2013

Product Review: EnduroPacks Monthly Nutrition

Before I begin this review, let me say up front that I've entered an ambassadorship with EnduroPacks. However, that decision had no impact on my review or thoughts on the product.  Like with most reviews I do - I explained to the guys at EnduroPacks that I would not and could not represent a product that I didn't have experience with and could honestly say was something that worked for me.
We agreed, at that point, to give me 30 days to use their nutrition and I would put together a review of it and provide some constructive feedback.  If it worked out for both parties, I would become an ambassador.

Suffice to say, I was incredibly impressed with their product.

Initial Thoughts:
Before receiving the product, I had some general misconceptions and predispositions regarding their product.  I assumed that it was "snake oil" (meaning that I felt it was something that wouldn't work). I couldn't have been more wrong - but those were my initial thoughts.
After doing some research and seeing some other reviews, like this one here, I began to see that there was more to it than "this stuff will help your recovery, just use it and don't worry asking what it is."

Like most age groupers with a full time job, training for triathlons and races leaves limited time for recovery when you are trying to find ways to squeeze in everything else in life (time for the family, general errands around the house, non-training activities, etc).  Sleep is undoubtedly compromised (especially with a newborn in the house), as is time to just rest and put your feet up.

My workout schedule is mostly twice a day on the weekdays (one hour swim/ride/run at lunch and then an hour to two hours run/ride in late afternoon/nighttime).  On the weekends I have easier (less intensity) but much longer duration runs and rides.  The way I handle recovery has always been that if I'm feeling extra tired or burnt out - I take a day or two off.  Usually, I will miss a workout during the week because of family related stuff anyway, so I get some form of recovery there too.
What my evening workouts typically look like.
What I'm trying to illustrate is that I, like most age group athletes who are competing in triathlons, put a ton of time into training and when combined with everything else in life - something has to give.  Usually, for me (and a lot of other people) it's taking the time to properly recover.

Now, I'm not saying that this product replaces a good recovery period.  It doesn't.  However, if you're in a situation where you're not getting as much recovery as you probably should and need a bit of extra help - I think this product will do absolute wonders.

With that said, let's get to the details of the product itself, and the results of its actual use for me.

Unboxing and Use:
EnduroPacks comes straight to your door in a box filled with four different components.  It also comes with a handy instruction card explaining how the stuff is supposed to be taken.
Handy Dandy instruction card.

Its components are:

Liquid Multi-Vitamin:

The multi vitamin right out of the box.
I've never been a big multi-vitamin guy and the closest thing I ever came to taking multi-vitamins was the gummi-vites that I would steal from my niece and nephews when I was babysitting them.  In addition to that, I'm about the furthest thing from an M.D. that one can be - so an analysis of the ingredients that make up this liquid vitamin will NOT be coming from me.  With that said, my wife (who is a nurse) said that this was some "good stuff" and seemed pleased that I was actually taking something like that.  So there's that.
What I can give feedback on is how it tasted, its ease of daily use, and what results I found from taking it for a month.
I felt the taste was pretty good for a "mediciny multi-vitamin."  Whenever I see anything liquid that isn't juice (or similar), I pretty much instantly think of that cherry taste that came with the awful cough medicines.  This was nothing like that.  It went down pretty smooth and didn't interfere with whatever meal I was taking it with.
In terms of how easy it is to use - it's a no brainer.  It doesn't get much easier than to simply fill up a tablespoon and down it with your breakfast.  I still took it in the morning, even though I technically only have 2 morning workouts each week (on the weekends).
As for its effects, I feel it works well for me.  Considering I came from taking no multi-vitamin or vitamins of any kind - I have noticed that I feel more "vibrant" (for lack of a better term) with my daily workouts.  Again, I don't know the technical ins and outs of exactly how it has effected me - but I feel a lot better than before I was taking it.

Amino Acid Patch:
The amino acid patch.  Patches are a light peach color and adhere well.
This patch was one of the bigger concerns I had when I first did my research.  It just seemed preposterous to put a patch on after a workout.
Well, I was wrong.  This is one of the most useful items that come in the pack.
I chose to apply it on my underarm and towards my back.  This was just to keep it out of sight as when I had it "out in the open" - I would get questions from people ("I didn't know you smoked Bryan!  How is quitting going?" or "Wow Bryan, trying not to get pregnant, huh?").
With that said, I was able to apply it after my lunchtime workout and my evening workout would always go a lot smoother.  There was no more dragging myself downstairs to get on the trainer and just slugging through a workout.  I did feel more fresh (in both my evening workouts and when I woke up the next day) while using the patch.  So I would call that a success.  I found that the patch stayed on pretty well, to the point where I was having to peel it off at the end of the day (although several times I simply forgot it was on there and didn't notice that it was still on until I went to put a new patch on the next day).

Electrolyte Salt Spray:
The salt spray.  The bottle is about the size of a small cologne bottle.
This is recommended to be used during your workout and sprayed into your water bottle.  The problem with that, for me, is that I pre-make my drinks during my long rides and am not a big fan stopping or getting out of the aero position to spray stuff.  During runs, there was no way that I would be able to use it.  I tend to run without carrying anything - water bottles included - on my long runs.  That meant, initially, that this product wouldn't work for me.
Where I found that it was extremely useful, however, was while I was riding on the trainer in my basement.  While doing long trainer sessions, I was able to reach over to a barstool (where I set my fan), grab the spray and spray into my drink.  Just a few sprays is all it takes and it works like a charm.
I'm a "Gatorade hater" in that I hate the taste of sports drinks and how they make me feel.  They just never have jived with me.  This spray is a solution to that.  It doesn't alter the taste of the water to a degree where you feel like you're downing a sugary sports drink (although it does have a slightly limey taste - but in a good way).  I could see people using this if they carry race belts on their long runs or do not have a specific hydration system on the bike (where spraying into the water becomes inefficient).

Glutamine Recovery Complex:

The night time recovery pills.
This was probably my favorite thing in the box and what I feel is most responsible for what I perceive to be a dramatic increase in my recovery time.
While this pill is not a replacement for a good night's sleep - I did find that it helped with the soreness I normally felt the next morning that typically comes on with my late night workouts.  
The instructions say to take two capsules in the evening before bed, and it really couldn't be any easier to do.  The pills go down easy and they just plain work.  Also, my wife (the nurse) was really impressed that Glutamine pills were included in the packet.

Overall Thoughts:
There's no doubt that using this product over the last month has positively helped my training.  Whether it was one specific product that worked and the others helped - or a collective effort - I have been able to get in more workouts with less fatigue and soreness.  What this means is quality time while working out which equates to quality gains in performance.
I did a decent amount of racing in October, and these products were a life saver in terms of keeping me fresh.  Recovery was a major, major concern of mine when looking at my late season race schedule and I'm less concerned with it now after seeing how taking these supplements has worked for me.
Keep in mind that this is simply my experience with the product.  I can't speak towards the specifics for anyone else (or even for me outside of how it made me feel), but I can give it my highest recommendation.
EnduroPacks offers these for $75 for a one month pack.  The price gets lower (down to $59.99 per month) if you subscribe for a longer period.  I think this is a great value considering how if you walk into a GNC to get supplements you'll spend about that much on a multi-vitamin alone.
With all the stuff that triathletes spend their money on (and I'm as guilty of this transgression as anyone), it seems like common sense to use something that would allow you to effectively train better throughout the season.  For me, EnduroPacks is that product.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me below or shoot me an email.  If interested in purchasing, you can use the discount code Take10OFF for $10 off your purchase for even more savings.  Shipping is free.

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