All about Hoofbeats & Footprints

Better Hiking through Science

No really, what I mean is that when I’m out hiking, clearly a supplemental boost is really what makes my day. In preparing for the Inca Trail, and a long uphill hike in very high altitudes, I can use any help I can get.

For now, my steadfast friend and especially in high heat and humidity is ZipFizz. This marvelous electrolyte supplement is easily found now, as it’s offered in bulk at both Costco and BJ’s wholesale clubs. This effervescent powder goes into my water, and provides high levels of B12, potassium, and other vitamins, along with a guarana natural caffeine boost.

In my search for a super supplementation plan for my Inca Trail trek, I saw a large selection of electrolyte, nutritional options at Hudson Trail Outfitters. I grabbed several different ones off the shelf, to try them out.

Electrolyte & Energy supplements

Here is my comparison list:

ZipFizz (http://zipfizz.com/)

Camelbak Electrolyte (http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Drinks/Elixir-Orange-Alert.aspx)

Nuun Electrolyte (http://www.nuun.com/)

Accel Gel (http://pacifichealthlabs.com/accel-gel-advanced-sports-gel.asp)

Cytomax (http://www.cytosport.com/products/cytomax/cytomax-sports-performance-drink-stick-packs

Pure Sport (http://www.puresport.com/products/index.html)

Emergen-C Multivitamin (http://www.emergenc.com/index.php/products/original#)

 

Calories

Carbs

Protein

Sodium

Potassium

B12

B6

Caffeine?

Zipfizz

10

2

0

60

905

2500

2.5

Yes

Camelbak

10

0

0

340

125

3

2.5

Yes

Nuun

3

0

0

180

50

0

0

No

Cytomax

140

35

0

190

95

0

0

Yes

Accel Gel

100

20

5

115

20

0

0

No

Pure Sport

80

15

6

330

140

0

0

No

EmergenC

25

6

0

60

200

6

2

No

PLEASE NOTE – I am not a nutritionist, or in the medical field in any manner, shape or form. I’m just an everyday person trying to understand the value of nutrition in the my fitness program.

At first glance, I can see how Zipfizz really perks me up during my long hikes. With the 2500 mcg of B12, the guarana and the 905 mg of electrolytes (potassium), it keeps me going. However, on really hot and humid days, I’ve found that the benefits of Zipfizz  fizzle out after two hours. There are several flavors, and I’ve found the grape to be the most palatable and easy on the stomach. The Citrus flavor seems to hit my stomach hard, particularly when I haven’t eaten.

I have used Zipfizz in my Ultimate Direction water bladder. Even though Camelbak claims that their tabs are ‘water bladder friendly,’ I had no problems using Zipfizz. When coming home after a hike, I just make sure to wash the water bladder well to eliminate any funny tastes.

At first glance, I’m not super excited about the Camelbak tabs, but it does have a super caffeine kick and a small amount of potassium (electrolytes.)

Nuun seems sort of pointless to me, although the flavor is orange and ginger. Guess I’ll have some flavored water with that.

The next three – Cytomax, Accel Gel and Pure Sport are carbohydrate/protein boosters. It’ll be interesting to see how these field test. When looking at the website for Accel, it has raving reviews from marathoners. Can’t beat that !

Finally, the Emergen-C is what I start my day with. You can’t go wrong with supplementing your body with a good multivitamin. I don’t know about you, but I hate swallowing pills !!

Please keep posted on how these supplements test out. For flavor comparison, each of these are either orange, or very close to orange in flavor.

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