I bet you remember your first time….I’m talking about the first time you BONKED. That’s right, it’s the first time you felt like you were literally about to die on your bike ride due to lack of proper nutrition. It happened to me about 10 years ago. I showed up to my first advanced group ride (I drove there) with loads of bars and gels ready to go for 100K of hammering. Little did I realize that these guys didn’t mess around. The 8am start time was 8am SHARP. A group of men who were already standing over their bikes, began jokingly yelling at me to hurry up as I pulled into the parking lot at 7:55am blaring Kelly Clarkson out of my speakers. I felt so embarrassed about being late that I forgot my food in my car. It wasn’t until mile 10 that I realized my mistake. I decided to just suck it up because A). I ate a big breakfast, B). There was a planned gas station stop and C). I wanted to prove to these guys that I could hang.
The ride was hard. I mean, it was race pace and at the time I wasn’t a racer. Thirty miles in, we stopped. I was HUNGRY. I felt like eating everything in sight, but, after wasting time in line for the bathroom, I barely had time to grab a candy bar and coke. The guys were ready to go before I even finished my coke. We continued and the pace quickened. I felt my body slowing shutting down with every mile. I was able to hang on, but I couldn’t talk or look at anything besides the rear hub in front of me. I was too intimated to ask someone for a gel. As we finished at the parking lot, I fumbled for my keys and coasted to my car. I sat down in the driver’s seat and pigged out on bars. One of the dudes from the ride told me “Good job out there, young lady!”. I looked up at him and just nodded my head as my mouth was full.
On the way home, I picked up more food and totally left my STRAVA running for the entire trip home (QOM of IH35!!!). I ate an entire large pizza later that evening. I lay around the house (this was before I had my boy) lifeless (also before Netflix was a thing) wondering if I was dying. I all could think was “Why didn’t I just ask someone for a gel?”.
Today, I feel like I have a way better grasp on what works for my body. Sugar became an issue for me in the past 2 years. My body simply became addicted to it–on and off the bike. I was eating doughnuts like they were apples. I never gained a ton of weight because I’d burn the calories, however, my stomach suffered. I cut back on sugar off the bike and cut out the gas station junk-food stops. I was tired for 2 weeks, but slowly regained my power on less sugar. When SWORD approached me to try their mix, I was pretty stoked as their product is all natural and lower in sugars.
I’ve been drinking SWORD for the past two months in the hot conditions of Austin, TX. I am also one of those crazy people who ride and run at three in the afternoon. I don’t like eating solid foods on bike rides in the summer months, so the majority of my calories comes from whats in my bottles. For shorter (2 hour) rides, I only consume SWORD. For longer rides, it’s SWORD, bananas and a Mexican Coke at the gas station.
One scoop of SWORD contains:
- 140 Calories
- 470 mg Sodium
- 37g Carbs
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Citrate
- Natural Flavors
The cool thing about this mix is that it’s osmolality is below that of blood. All that really means is that the sugars are lower than those of your blood, thus faster to absorb and easier for your belly to process. Whenever you drink a super sugary sports drink, it draws water out of your bloodstream into your small intestine to digest. That’s why your belly sloshes after chugging the typical Gatorade or Powerade-style drink. Your stomach is using water that’s already in your system to hydrate and the mix isn’t getting into your system at first. Doesn’t make sense, right?
All of SWORD‘s flavors (Orange, Berry and Ginger) are mild, a little salty and tasty, but my favorite is Ginger. The ginger aids in digestion and eases upset stomach. The extra salt is needed in this heat. I’ve yet to cramp this summer and I’ve put in a couple of hard efforts in addition to normal endurance-paced miles every week. I’m 100% happy with the product and will continue using it. I’m resting this week, but will begin building to longer distances thru July/August to train for LoToJa in September! LoToJa starts in Logan, UT and finishes at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, Wyoming. It’s 269 mi +13, 435 ft climbing! SWORD’s formula will be perfect for ultra miles, but I recommend it for any kind of ride, run or activity that makes you sweat.
BTW I don’t listen to Kelly Clarkson as much anymore, but I still show up to rides at the last-minute (I’ll ride to the start with 2Chainz or Run the Jewels playing on my phone). I hope you feel strong, ride hard and have fun all summer! 😉