Thursday, April 3, 2014

First Endurance EFS Drink Review

As any endurance athlete is aware, there are many drink products out there that are designed replenish your nutritional needs. They all have their benefits and weaknesses. Generally speaking, most of the products out there are simple sugar for carbs and then some type of electrolyte formula that they feel meets the needs of the athlete.  Gatorade and Powerbar for example, contain only simple sugar and only sodium and potassium.   Other products such as Gu's Brew, provide a small amount of sugar and make up the rest of energy with maltodextrin.  The difference being that the simple sugars burn quick and the maltodextrin burns slower.  When your planning your race nutrition for a long distance event such as an Ironman or long cycling event, having the proper nutrition at the proper time is key to success.  If your starting to bonk, you don't want to be taking in maltodextrin based drinks and gels because they won't hit your muscles in time.  You need to take in a product that is going to provide you the proper amount of quick simple sugars but also set you up for the remainder of the race with the slow burning calories.  First Endurance EFS drink provides a more balanced mix of simple sugars and maltodextrin.  Per serving, there is a total 24g of carbohydrates.  16 grams of that is going to be in the form of sugars made of from sucrose and dextrose.  This is the quickly delivered sugars that you need immediately.  The remaining 8 grams, is in the form of maltodextrin which is the slower burning complex carbohydrates.  So while your taking in a serving of EFS, your body is using quick burning sugars now when you need them, but also you will be slowly breaking down the maltodextrin to be used later in the race. 

In addition to breakdown of carbohydrates, EFS drink also provides a full panel of electrolytes (1160g in total) not just sodium and potassium.  Sodium and potassium are most commonly known for controlling cramping in the muscles and heart rate.  Beyond that, EFS also provides magnesium and calcium.  Magnesium is beneficial to athletes for a few reasons.  It controls things like blood pressure and synthesis of proteins and fats.  All of which is needed to generate ATP.  Your probably aware that calcium is needed for strong bones, but what you might not know is that calcium also lowers stomach acids and can aid in reduce stomach distress.  This can be very helpful in racing and training when your taking in foreign foods on course that your stomach might not be used to. 

There are some manufactures that provide protein in their products for reducing muscle damage during an event.  First Endurance has taken a different approach by instead utilizing Free Form Amino Acids instead of the BCAA profile used by other manufactures.  2g of Free Form Amino acids has been shown to have equivalent affects on muscles to 9g of the typical BCAA protein found.  Now, unless you are doing a custom blend, there are not any manufactures on the market that provide 9g of protein.  The reason being that much protein will affect the glycemic index of the product.  It may also decrease the taste and possibly make the product harder to digest.  Also note the quality of the Amino's that First Endurance uses.  They AjiPure amino acids.  These acids hold a 99-100% purity rating so you are getting benefits of a quality product. 

The final unique ingredient in EFS drink is Malic Acid.  Malic acid stimulates oxygen uptake so more oxygen means better performance right?  Well it's not just that but it also helps in low oxygen conditions like upper altitudes in Colorado.

So what does all this mean to you?  It means that First Endurance has spent a lot of time researching not only the basic formula, but what else they can put into their product to uniquely separate them from the rest and provide the best dollar for dollar product on the market.  Yes, I am fully aware there are other products out there that allow you to customize the product to your needs, but do you even know what your needs are?  First Endurance has taken the guess work out products like that and at a retail price of about $.70 per serving and easy no wait availability, the value is real. 

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