Hello friends! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE being a Sweat Pink Ambassador lately?! A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to review a product from Vega Sport – and I was pretty darn excited because it’s a rare opportunity for me to try new sports fuel products!!! VEGA just started producing a Sport Line of products directed to help improve athlete performance. I am stoked to be a part of the #FuelYourBetter campaign! Check it out…the site allows you to target which issue(s) an athlete is experiencing (motivation, stamina, overtraining, muscle burn, hitting a wall, fueling, muscle soreness, and body composition), and then offers a solution. Honestly – go check this out…it’s a pretty cool concept!
As an ambassador, we were to pick what kind of product we wanted to try, and if you know me…then you know I’m a sucker for good performance gel. But I really wanted to test out the theory behind the campaign, so I played along. I hate the feeling of “hitting the wall” or not being motivated before a run due to improper/not enough fuel. “Hitting a Wall” may closely resemble the following statement:
I feel like I’m running on fumes and hit a wall or bonk mid-workout.
Ready to experiment with me?!
Step 1 – You choose which issue you are experiencing. As in my example above, I chose “Hitting a Wall.” You are then presented with the best “Difference Makers” (aka – energizers) that can help you overcome these issues. These energizers are divided into Prepare, Sustain, and Recover. (<– I was given the choice of two Sustain products – Energy Bar or Endurance Gel.)
Step 2 – You choose your product(s). They have it all – from powder mixes to bars to gels. If you aren’t sure which you would prefer, you can click on the “Learn More” button to see what the product is made of, what flavors it comes in, and it’s nutrition facts. (<– I chose the Endurance Gel – which comes in Orange Zest and Raspberry flavors.)
Step 3 – Click the “Buy Now” button. You are directed to select your flavor and size. In this case, you can select “Single Pack” or “Box of 12 Single Packs.” A single pack is $1.99 and the box of 12 is $21.99 (US$). Pretty much right on par with what you would pay for GU gels or Honey Stinger packs at a sports store. (<– For my review, I was sent the “Box of 12 Single Packs” in Raspberry flavor.)
Then you get your box in the mail…tear into it like a Christmas present….and perhaps even pocket a few packets in your gym bag, purse, and gym locker. 🙂 If you are like me, that is! I also wanted to complete multiple taste tests and run options to ensure I was giving an accurate review.
Initial Thoughts. I’m sorry to continually compare it to GU gel…but that’s really my only reference for gels – and I think a lot of runner have tried GU and can visualize the comparison. The single packet is larger than GU gel. At first I was worried I wouldn’t have room in my belt for it and my phone (I have a monster Samsung phone!)- but it fit actually just fine. Upon first taste, there is a bit more “texture” than GU gel – gritty is the closest word – but the flavor is amazing! It is not super thick (leaving the mouth dry) or pasty (devoid of flavor) or full of artificial flavors (causing one to “burp-up fumes” during runs). And after the first few tastes, you don’t even notice the texture.
Taste Test #1. 45 minutes Pre-Run. I know this gel is intended for use “during” a run…but I just happened to miss my afternoon snack this day, and thought I would use the gel as pre-run fuel, as I was feeling pretty ravenous. It immediately calmed my hunger pains, and actually left me feeling ready to run. It is not a “I’m psyched and ready to go!” feeling…but more of a constant energy presence…a feeling that you know your energy level will not deflate soon after you start your run.
Taste Test #2. 5 minutes Pre-Run. I wanted to test the gel right before my run to see if it “digested” well. True to form…I had no issues. No cramps, no burps, no “hitting a wall.” This is a HUGE plus for runners. It’s always so demotivating when you try a new product that doesn’t agree with your body. This product is made with clean, whole ingredients…and you can be sure it doesn’t disappoint!
Taste Test #3. During Run at 20 minutes. I took this gel with me during an easy 5 mile run with the intent of eating it at the halfway point. I knew this wasn’t a “long run” per se…but 45-50 minutes of cardio is about the average mark that a runner needs refueled. I wanted to see if taking this gel a little earlier in my run would allow me to finish strong, and not feeling depleted. Sure enough…it did not disappoint! I stopped at about the 2.25 mile mark, ate the gel, followed it with a sip of water, and continued on. My run was nice and steady – all the way through to the end.
Taste Test #4. During Run at 45 minutes. After the above taste tests, I was ready to try the gel on a “long run” – which happened to be my scheduled solo 9-miler. I typically eat a sports nutrition bar before a long run, so I kept that routine. I always carry water with me, so that was also the same. This time, I waited until my halfway point of the run to take out the VEGA gel. I typically do not stop and eat while running, so this was a good opportunity to try to open the gel while “on the run.” It was simple – and eating it while running was also simple. When I was done, I folded up the packet to put back into my belt, swallowed it down with some water, and kept on my merry way. And I did not hit a wall during mile 6…or mile 7… or mile 8! It was fantastic! And as I was “running on fumes” at about the 45 minute mark, it was also an excellent opportunity to test the digestion of the product again. Success! No cramps, no burps. More importantly – no walls, and no bonks!
Final Thoughts. I could absolutely see myself buying the gels in the future! And I think if you are in the market for something new – I would HIGHLY recommend you try VEGA! Again, it all depends on what fitness obstacle you are trying to overcome…but based on what I tried…any VEGA product would be delish and deliver results as promised.
What nutritional issue is holding you back? Interested in following VEGA? You can check them out via Twitter: @VegaTeam and Instagram: @vega_team.