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e-Fuel Endurance Blend
vs.
Hammer HEED

If you're a HEED user and you've ever experienced stomach discomfort while using the product you'll want to read on ...
 
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Hammer
HEED
 Carbohydrates

  Calories (8 oz serving) 80 50
  Carb Sources Maltodextrin
Fructose
Maltodextrin
  e-Fuel uses a proven combination of maltodextrin (complex carbohydrate) and fructose, but don't just take our word for it. Independent scientific research has consistently shown that using fructose and maltodextrin together increases total carbohydrate transport, available energy and oxidation (Jentjiens, 2004, Wallis, 2005). The combination of fructose and maltodextrin also allows an athlete to exercise at a higher percent of VO2max, once the muscle glycogen stores have been depleted (Smith, 2010). It should therefore not be surprising that most top sports nutrition products for endurance athletes use a combination of maltodextrin and fructose, in that order, and no xylitol or other sugar substitutes that can cause unpleasant side effects.

 Stomach Issues
  Sugar Substitutes and
Artificial Sweeteners
None Xylitol
Stevia
  If you're not familiar with xylitol, take a moment to do your own research on this sugar substitute. You will quickly find that xylitol is well documented to cause intestinal gas and diarrhea. That alone should be enough to concern any athlete, but it gets worse. According to WebMD there are concerns that long term use (more than 3 years) may cause tumors and they recommend that pregnant or breast-feeding women not use xylitol. Additional warning, even in small amounts xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs.

Just a little won't hurt me, right?
Hammer does not disclose how much xylitol is in HEED, but if you look at the list of ingredients, xylitol is the second ingredient on the list. Further more, if you're like most athletes, you use more than one bottle during each workout or competition. If you're having any stomach discomfort, there's a good chance it may be being caused by the xylitol.

What about Stevia?
According to WebMD: Stevia and chemicals contained in stevia, including stevioside and rebaudioside A, can cause bloating or nausea. Other people have reported feelings of dizziness, muscle pain, and numbness. Using ingredients that cause stomach distress is the last thing that an athlete would want to deal with, so none of these ingredients are found in e-Fuel or e-Gel.

   

Hammer
HEED
 Electrolytes

  Sodium 150 mg 20 mg
  Potassium 60 mg 13 mg
  e-Fuel is designed to provide complete and balanced electrolyte replacement that is critical for proper hydration and to avoid muscle cramping and injuries. The sodium and potassium levels in e-Fuel are designed to meet the American College of Sports Medicine's recommendation for electrolyte replacement during intense athletic activity.

Ironically, HEED stands for "Hydrating Energy Electrolyte Drink", and yet the product has virtually no electrolytes. When using HEED, Hammer recommends using their electrolyte supplement product (Endurolytes). However, this is just one more thing to buy, one more thing to transport and figure how and how often to consume. With e-Fuel there is no need to use an electrolyte supplement, everything you need is already in the drink. A 24 ounce bottle of HEED contains only 60 mg of sodium when using the recommended 1 scoop per 16 oz (or 100mg when mixed at maximum recommended concentration). On the other hand, a 24 ounce bottle of e-Fuel Endurance Blend contains 450 mg of sodium for complete and balanced electrolyte replacement.

 Citrates    
  Sodium Citrate  
  Potassium Citrate  
  Citric Acid  
  The Citrates in e-Fuel assist in the carbohydrate to energy conversion process as well as reduce and slow the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles.

 Antioxidants    
  Vitamin E 60% 0%
  Vitamin C 60% 0%
  e-Fuel is one of the few sports drinks on the market that contains antioxidant vitamins C and E to help protect against tissue damage, reduce soreness and aid in the recovery process.

   

Hammer
HEED
Product Labeling

  Nutrition Facts
 
Supplement Facts
 
  When reading the HEED label you will notice that it lists "Supplement Facts" instead of the "Nutrition Facts" that you are accustom to seeing on food and drink labels. This is an important distinction. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list of food ingredients that they have tested and have determined to be "Generally Regarded as Safe" (GRAS). If a product uses ingredients that are on the GRAS list in quantities determined to be safe by the FDA then the product is considered a food and can be labeled with a Nutrition Facts label. However, if a product uses ingredients that are NOT generally regarded as safe or in quantities that have not been determined to be safe, then they are typically classified as supplements in which case they are labeled as such with a Supplement Facts label.

Protein 0 g 0 g
  Neither HEED or e-Fuel contain protein but there is a lot of mis-information that has been published regarding the benefits of protein in your sports drink. Protein has to go through a digestive process which draws blood away from working muscles to the stomach and intestines. When you are competing in an aerobic activity you want as much blood as possible supplied to your muscles carrying fresh oxygen for the energy conversion process. Consequently, independent studies have found no benefit of protein in a sports drink. Save the protein for your recovery drink. See the following article from the American College of Sports Medicine for a more complete discussion:

American College of Sports Medicine
Failure of Protein to Improve Performance when Added to a Sports Drink

Science Daily
Protein-added Sports Drinks Don't Boost Performance

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The nutritional information shown above for HEED is based on 1 scoop per 16 ounces as published on the Hammer Nutrition web site July, 2013. Please refer to the manufacturer's web site or product packaging for the most recent information.

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