HammerGel®, made by Hammer Nutrition, is described on its website as “an easily digested, concentrated source of complex carbohydrates with four amino acids added to enhance performance and prolong energy levels during intense training and competition.”
Typically, athletes such as myself, use this product to sustain energy and output during long endurance efforts such as cycling, running, triathlon, etc.
How I Found the Product:
I don’t know when I first came across HammerGel®, but it was long ago. It seems like its always been a front and center option for racing fuel amongst my peers and fellow athletes.
When & Why I Used It:
When I went Gluten & Dairy free 3 years ago, I was happy to hear my then girlfriend, now wife, tell me that HammerGel® was the cleanest source of energy gel out there. Their website also proudly proclaims that the products are Gluten Free, Vegan Certified, No Simple Sugars, MSG Free, and Kosher. I ramped up my use of HammerGel® when I realized it was a “Paleo friendly” option.
Most recently, I have been using it for half marathon training, along with ENERGYBits®, to provide me with extra calories on a long run.
• Portability- the packets are small, and easily fit in the zip pouch of my running pants. They also pack easily in my triathlon bag.
• Price- we buy the packets in bulk on Amazon, so they end up being pretty affordable
• A flavor for everyone- my wife likes certain flavors of energy gels, while I like them all, so when we get a Variety Pack there’s something for both of us in there.
• No artificial colors- So many products out there have Red, Yellow, Blue dye in them to create a color that matches a flavor. I say its completely unnecessary. HammerGel® does not use any artificial colors, which I appreciate.
• Disappointing ingredient- on my most recent run, I brought a packet of the Peanut Butter flavor, and saw that there is Hydrogenated Cottoneed and Rapeseed oil in the ingredient list. I know partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, a BIG no no, but literature says fully hydrogenated oils do not contain trans fats. Still, it was a huge turnoff to me to see the word “hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.
• After taste- I try to follow up my HammerGel® with at least a few sips of water to wash it down. However, drinking more than that all at once can upset my stomach. The after taste can be brutal if enough water isn’t consumed.
• Packet waste- When I’m done eating the HammerGel®, I try to stuff the empty gel packet back into the zip pouch of my running pants. This doesn't always happen with 100% success. Additionally, athletes who are carrying quite a bit of race nutrition might not have room, forcing them to become litterbugs. I’d love to see the packet be a bit more environmentally friendly.
I appreciate that there’s a company out there who supplies Gluten free race nutrition in a variety of flavors. I know many athletes, including myself, who have used this product to maintain energy and athletic performance during endurance efforts, and have been satisfied. I’m still really put off by the hydrogenated oils, and don’t know how quickly I’ll reorder another Variety pack. As a person who always chooses real, whole foods whenever available, I may try and use kiddie single serve apple sauce as an alternative.