As an athlete, I’ve been somewhat of a connoisseur of sports nutrition over the past several years. When I started training for iron-distance triathlons, I figured out rather quickly that I needed to find something that would fuel me without making me feel like a ton of bricks or like I wanted to expel said nutrition from some part of my body. Seems easy enough, right?
I won’t turn this into a long post about all the things that didn’t work – but I should say first what I didn’t like about my old products. Here’s my list of complaints:
1. Too sweet. I would be in the middle of workouts thinking about brushing my teeth. That’s gross.
2. Grainy. The mix wouldn’t dissolve all the way and wouldn’t mix well.
3. Chalky. Some of the “endurance” powders tasted chalky or thick.
4. Too low of electrolyte count. I would need pills on top of my drink mix. Carrying them in my jersey was a pain and fumbling with pills while sweaty was gross.
5. Stomach distress. My stomach would feel bloated after some drinks, and bloat on the bike is awful. Sloshy stomach on the run is even worse. I set Porta Potty PRs in my second Ironman race. Not the payoff from training that I had hoped for.
I converted last year to the First Endurance line after hearing their EFS drink worked well for a friend, and the liquid shots were intriguing to me as well because of their amazing texture (not too thick, with no gelling agents). I also saw the EFS Electrolyte drink was the highest electrolyte content available, which I believed would help with my cramping and dehydration, as well as refuel my muscles faster than drink + pills.
My first go with EFS Electrolyte drink was with the Tart Lemon-Lime flavor. All natural flavors, no colors, and no artificial sweeteners made me wonder what it would taste like, but the taste is awesome and can be mixed at various strengths to suit one’s individual preferences. I keep mine at the recommended amount of 1.5 scoops for an 18 oz bottle, and I find it to be just right.
The first thing I noticed was the texture of the powder – it’s almost totally smooth and dissolves instantly into my bottle. No epic shaking necessary and no clumping at the bottom of the bottle. The next thing I noticed was that it tasted good cold and warm, which is not always the case (a previous nutrition choice of mine actually soured/went bad in the heat – a lesson learned the hard way…). And the calorie count is right on for me. With 96 calories per scoop, I’m getting about 150 per bottle. This can be mixed at double strength for a 300 calorie bottle, but I haven’t had to try it that way yet.
There’s a reason why this product has almost 50 five-star reviews on its website: it really works. The gluten-free formula sits well for me, fuels me for strong efforts (I’ve used it both cycling and running), and doesn’t slosh around. It tastes great any way I make it and it mixes quickly. This one drink gives me pretty much everything I need to make the most of my performance. In both training and racing, I’ve been happy with my switch to EFS Electrolyte Drink. So happy that I applied for sponsorship from them, because this is awesome stuff.
Jugs are sold online and in cycling and running shops. Definitely worth a shot if you’re looking for peak performance without having to think too much about timing of extra pills.
Here’s the specs from the website:
THE HIGHEST ELECTROLYTE CONTENT AVAILABLE
Clinical research shows endurance athletes require much higher levels of electrolytes than most sports drinks provide to prevent cramping and dehydration (4). The new EFS drinks now contains over 1,160mg of all 5 electrolytes per serving, more than any electrolyte drink on the market.
THE LATEST AMINO ACID TECHNOLOGY
The Amino Acids in the EFS drinks are AjiPure amino acids, the purest, most- bioavailable source of free-form amino acids available. AjiPure amino acids have purity levels of 99%-100%. This results in faster and more complete absorption.
SUPERIOR CALCIUM BIOAVALIBILITY
The new EFS formulas utilize two unique sources of calcium and magnesium. DiCalcium malate and Dimagnesium malate have superior bioavailability compared to other mineral sources. In a bioavailability study, absorption rates were between 20% and 100% higher using DiCalcium and DiMagnesium malates (1).
NOW WITH MALIC ACID
The new EFS drink contains 700mg of Malic Acid, which was not found in the previous formula. Malic acid stimulates oxygen consumption by increasing mitochondrial uptake, improving mitochondrial respiration and increasing energy producti