The short review:
I liked it. A lot. Felt great through my workout and a race. I felt the BOOST! Figuring out when to drink it is crucial for races.
What’s in it?
What I liked
It was easy on my stomach which is usually sensitive to these kind of drinks. I drank one pack with 10 ounces of water 15 min before I Paddled. I felt strong the whole 90 minutes. There was tons of wind, but I just kept chugging along. I wore a blister in my hand, but kept thinking of doing more miles than I had planned to do. I felt kind of… inspired?
I was paddling 7 miles, but kept thinking I should just do 10 or maybe 13! More! But I ran out of time and had to get back for work. When I got home, I wanted to do push-ups. I don’t know why. Or sit ups. Or to run around the block. It felt like I just had some kind of uber coffee but I didn’t have heart palpitations, I just wanted to go do things. This was day one, so I can’t tell if it was just a good day or if this stuff is really effective. I had the Wrightsville Beach Biathlon on Saturday, so I got to try it in race conditions. I drank it 10 minutes before the start and I noticed that it didn’t kick in until half way through the race. I could tell the difference. Next time, I’ll drink it with a little more time before the race start.
- I felt great. I was alert, but focused and was able to maintain a good, thoughtful and calculated pace in my workout and my race.
- It has a ton of amino acids and vitamin B 6 which could have contributed to feeling an energy boost when combined with the 200 mg of caffeine (approximately the same and a tall cup of Starbucks coffee). I think that’s where my laser-like focus came from. I’m glad my laser beam didn’t hurt anyone.
- It contains taurine, an amino acid that the mayo clinic says : “Taurine is an amino acid that supports neurological development and helps regulate the level of water and minerals in the blood. Taurine is also thought to have antioxidant properties. Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish and breast milk, and it’s commonly available as a dietary supplement. Some studies suggest that taurine supplementation may improve athletic performance, which may explain why taurine is used in many energy drinks. Other studies suggest that taurine combined with caffeine improves mental performance, although this finding remains controversial. And in one study, people with congestive heart failure who took taurine supplements three times a day for two weeks showed improvement in their exercise capacity.”
- It mixed clean. It wasn’t gritty.
- It tastes good, not crazy chemically or weird. It went down smooth
What I didn’t like:
The only drawback is it contains an artificial color and sweetener. The blue dye does make it look like something you’d order on the planet Enduron (a like), but it’s not necessary. If it works, I don’t need it to have a blue glow. Although the blue glow is kind of cool. The Splenda (Sucralose) is the artificial sweeteners. I don’t like artificial sweeteners. It satisfies the short term craving for something sweet, but does little else. There are a lot of discussions around the negative effects of Sucralose and specifically the way it’s manufactured and bulk prepared with other additives and chlorine, but the detrimental effects are anecdotal for the most part. I’ve been monitoring forums on slow twitch, etc. The bottom line, is without the artificial sweetener and coloring, I’d be all over this.
The explanation of HOW IT WORKS from Ox Endurance
- Sustained Endurance Sources
- Isomaltulos – Low GI sugar. This is a disaccharide that is a natural constituent of honey and sugarcane. It is known for its naturally sweet taste, and is both low glycemic and insulinemic. Isomaltulos works by entering the blood stream at a slow rate, and doesn’t allow high peaks/ sudden drops in insulin or glucose levels. This leads to prolonged endurance in the form of glucose.
- Chromium – Helps uptake the glucose, and converts it into glycogen for muscle cells and liver. Also, causes better blood circulation and maintenance of blood sugar levels.
- Creatine HCL – It is known as the most potent form of creatine available today. Creatine hcl promotes extended endurance, high intensity performance, mental alertness, strength, and recuperation. Due to its molecular structure, it is able to rapidly absorb into the blood stream
- L-Arginine – This amino acid is a precursor of nitric oxide. It works as a vasodilator causing increased blood and oxygen flow. It also helps relieve the body of ammonia (a toxic waste), and stimulates the release of insulin.
- Muscle Building
- ZMA – This is a combination of three essential nutrients: Zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. It is known to raise muscular strength, improve muscle mass, and increase power.
- Branched amino acids with Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine in 2:1:1 ratio – These essential amino acids promote muscle protein synthesis, and provide metabolic energy when you train. They are not produced by the body and have to be taken through supplementation. The benefits of consumption are: repair of damages muscles, decrease muscle soreness, and increased muscle function. BCAA’s are also known to prevent fatigue and improve concentration.
- Citruline malate – This is made up of two compounds, citrulline and malate. Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that supports nitrogen balance and the metabolic process. Malate, or Malic Acid, can be found in fruit such as apples, and is known to enhance the effect of citrulline. Citrulline Malate improves endurance and increases capacity by influencing lactic acid absorption, as well as promoting ATP turnover by converting muscle glycogen to glucose.
- Mental Focus
- Caffeine – As a central nervous system stimulant, caffeine reduces drowsiness and restores alertness. It also increases focus and improves body coordination.
- Taurine -L-Taurine is an amino acid that enhances cognitive performance and improves mental focus.
I liked the way I felt when I drank this 15-20 minutes before a workout. It was gentle on my stomach. And despite the artificial color and sweetener, I’d definitely consider using it on training and race days. I’d give it a shot if you’re looking for a boost. I’m probably going to order the 10-pack.