Real food always wins: The Problem with Sports Drinks and Gels
High-altitude training session, no maltodextrin necessary. Photo: Jimmy Chin
I’ve been an athlete my entire life. I always watched every sport I could on television. I saw the Tour de France; I raced the Ironman. Everywhere I looked, athletes were using sports drinks and gels. Trainers advised me to use them, too. I was told that they were necessary during and after all the exertion.
So, of course, I started using them. I did my best to use bananas as an energy source, but after two or three, the body starts to reject the taste. So I used gels.
Here’s an example of an ingredients list for the typical sports gel: Maltodextrin, Fructose, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate. Somehow it didn’t seem right to inject these ingredients into a tuned machine on the verge of collapse.
Then, I had a cycling accident and met an Ayurvedic doctor. He advised against refined sugars at all times, always. Unfortunately, refined sugars are in every sports gel, drink or energy bar.
I started to use raw honey and raw
sugar cane mixed with herbs. I got the
same effect as with sports gels
but without the sugar crash.
So I started to use raw honey and raw sugar cane mixed with herbs like ashwagandha and guarana. It was a bit of a hassle: Every day I had to brew green tea, cool it down and mix in the honey and herbs. It was worth it, though, I got the same effect as with sports gels or drinks but without the sugar crash.
But it was a pain to make, and I knew it could be even better. So, I worked with Ayurvedic doctors on a prototype product. This product could be taken every day, as well as during intense training. We worked together for years, until we finally created a product that gave all the energy and replenishment, without any cost to the body.
During this research I learned something interesting: Not only are honey and raw sugar cane two wholesome natural sugars that increase energy levels and provide needed calories when training; they also are used as transport devices in Ayurvedic medicine. Most of the beneficial aspects of herbs are destroyed in the stomach before they have the chance to be absorbed. Honey, ghee and raw sugar cane act as vehicles to efficiently transport these herbs into the system.
I was also experimenting heavily with one particular herb, ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is good for cardiovascular health. It strengthens the heart muscles and improves overall stamina. According to research, ashwagandha possesses hematopoietic properties. The study showed that red blood cell and white blood cell counts increased significantly in rats which were administered ashwagandha. This could mean a positive effect on human red blood cells as well. When training or doing heavy activity, I supplement additional ashwagandha into my morning drink. I find it to be miraculous in terms of horsepower and increased cardio.
Ashwagandha was an obvious choice to be included in the formula of HANAH ONE. We also added a variety of other herbs to create a wholesome, balanced and natural dietary supplement.
HANAH ONE, with its balanced nutritional qualities, rejuvenation principles, brain tonics, blood and cardio boosters, and wholesome calorie supply, is the ideal food supplement for endurance sports. In addition to taking it on the bike or during a run, it can also be taken on off-days. And of course, it’s beneficial for non-athletes, too. Why anyone would take something like an energy gel, which they would never eat outside of competition or training, is beyond my comprehension.
Real food always wins.
- HANAH Life