Hydration / Nutrition Calculator

I’ve just taken delivery of a load of energy drinks, recovery drinks and gels from Pacific Health as part of a freebie for subscribing to a magazine. Now, I know the recent Panorama programme basically dismissed the need for such products, but they were really only looking at them from the point of view of Joe Public, not from the point of view of people training properly. Admittedly, if you do a couple of half hour workouts in the gym each week and then stuff loads of energy gels and drinks into your body then they won’t be doing you much good, after all they are in the most part just sugary water. But, for those of us training hard and burning off the calories we need to replace those calories and hydrate properly and such products are a convenient way to do so.

The pack that I received contains:

  • Accelearde Energy Drink Powder
  • Accel Gel Energy Gels
  • 2nd Surge Ultra Energy Gels
  • Endurox R4 Recovery powder

Unlike many gels and drinks on the market, especially those popular ones found in supermarkets, these all contain protein as well as carbohydrate. This has been shown to extend endurance and improve muscle recovery. It just so happens that I was reading about these products and their 4:1 Carbohydrate to protein ratios in Matt Fitzgeralds’ Racing Weight book that I’m reading at the moment. For people looking not necessarily to lose weight, but to improve athletic performance by becoming leaner, then fueling your body properly before, during and after exercise is essential. Get it right and you can train harder, recover well, improve and be ready to train hard again sooner.

You can of course get your nutritional balance right for such activities with real, fresh food and that’s what I try to do most of the time, but energy drinks and gels are convenient and easy to use and as they were free with a magazine subscription I couldn’t resist them.

The Portman Calculator

I have of course taken a look at the marketing material on their website and while I was doing so came across a clever little feature that they provide called the Portman Calculator. This is intended to help you determine how to use their products before during and after exercise.

OK, so it’s just a cunning way of getting you to use their products rather than someone elses but I thought it was kind of cool. You simply enter in your height and weight and the type, intensity and duration of exercise you are about to undertake, click a button or two and it provides you with a ‘personalised hydration/nutrition’ plan.

Obviously it isn’t really personalised as all it is doing is using your weight and the duration and intensity of exercise to determine the number of calories you are likely to burn. It then uses this figure to provide you with a plan that replaces those calories and water during and after the exercise. It’s not rocket science but it’s a clever little way of selling their products and may be useful if you’re not really sure how much you should be eating and drinking in order to fuel your training.

As far as the Pacific Health products go, I’ve only tried the Accelerade and the Accel Gel so far. I actually really liked the taste of the Accelerade (orange flavour) and quite liked the fact that due to the protein it contains it felt a little more substantial than the usual sugary energy drinks. It may become a new favourite of mine. The gel was OK too, but I’m not really into gels.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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