Sick, obsessed, crazy. Who me?

Humor me for a minute.  Go to www.vegasport.com.  One of the first screens you see has this quote:

For those who believe sick, obsessed and crazy are terms of endearment.

Sound familiar?  4am wake up calls for runs/rides/swims or races?  5 miles is a "short run"?  25 miles on the bike is a low mileage day?  Yeah, I know who you are.  Because I'm one, too.

I've been a fan of Vega products for a while.  Ever since I read Brendan Brazier's Thrive, I have kept his philosophy in my mind as I think of my vegetarian diet during peak training and racing days.  I don't find it hard to make sure I get what I need to survive as a veg athlete, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't slightly concerned at the times when I'm training 10+ hours a week, working 40+ hours a week and holding down a rather busy social and family life.  My nutrition is important, and I have come to trust Vega when it means fueling myself with 100% plant based foods.

As a Vega blogger, I was presented with the opportunity to try out the new three step line of Vega Sport products: Prepare.  Sustain.  Recover.

Here's what I found.

The spin classes I attend are 25 minutes from my house.  The spin classes I attend start at 6am twice a week.  To time it just right between getting up, getting dressed, brushing the grime out of my teeth, and hitting the road, I have to be up no later than 5:07am and on the road by 5:24am.  If it snowed the night before, or of there is ice, I need to be on the road no later than 5:15am.  Yeah, I have this down to a science.  This week and last, I started drinking the Veg Pre-Workout Energizer.  In the past, I may have a few sips of water on the drive, a cup of coffee if I planned ahead and set the timer the night before, but most often it was a cup of diet mountain dew or coke zero.  Yeah, healthy.  I was pleasantly surprised with the Vega Product.  I dumped the powder into my water bottle, filled it up with water, gave it a good shake and downed it on my way to the gym.  My Performance Cycle class at Lifetime is pretty hardcore, and I walked in feeling awesome.  I made it through a killer class a few times at 6am with the Vega running through my veins. It was a great way to start the day. The yerba mate gave me a nice wake up call, and I kept a steady energy through my entire one hour class.  I am a serious fan.

So, here's where I haven't really had the chance to put the Vega products fully to the test.  I am actually going to hold off on this review until I have a long run/ride/swim in the near future.  I haven't had a reason to try gels or bars yet, so I don't want to review them until I really have a great reason to use them.

So far, here is where Vega gets the "slow clap treatment into standing ovation."  The Protein bar?  Holy crap.  AMAZING.  These things taste awesome.  As soon as you open the wrapper - the smell of chocolate just goes BOOM.  The consistency of the bar is just fantastic.  I had one of these bars the other day after a hard run, and wow.  It hit the spot.  If I could eat these 4-5 times a day for good purpose, I totally would.  Absolutely amazing.  I work with a vegan triathlete in my office, and I offered him a piece of one of the bars.  His response?  "These aren't vegan."  My response?  "Read the label, buddy."  I think he ordered a case as soon as he got back to his desk.  FANTASTIC.  As for the recovery accelerator, I loved the fruity flavor, but as a non-lover of dairy products, I had a small issue with the milk like flavor of the drink.  This may be a huge bonus to others.  I have never been a fan of milk - I probably had my last glass of milk around age 8 or 9.  But the mix did its trick.  After a 6pm interval run on the treadmill that had me doubling over in the locker room, the Vega had me back on track for the 25 minute drive home afterwards.  I felt like I really got to enjoy my evening at home rather than acting like a zombie.

My final thoughts

With my first half ironman on the docket this year, I HAVE to start thinking more seriously about my nutrition in training and racing.  I am making a commitment to use the Vega line of products because I love the idea of being 100% plant based in my racing and preparation.  The powders, bars and gels all had a great flavor that really tasted like food, not chemicals and crap.  My body deserves to be treated well, and I love what Vega stands for.  I'm going to work hard to try and fold Vega in to a great deal of my racing plan this year.  I think it will be a great partnership.

With that being said, what brands have you found that work for you through your training?  Why did you settle on a particular brand?  Proven success?  A friend told you about it?  You like the taste? Do you spend a little more to have "your" favorite fueling, or do you go with the most economical option?

Do you want to give Vega a try?  If you do, just respond to the question above in a comment, and on Wednesday, January 11, I will pick one lucky winner who will have an entire tub of the Vega Sport Protein Optimizer shipped to your door.  That's a great prize - for you and your body.  Tell me about your nutrition plan, and maybe we can work on shaking it up.

And for the ladies, since I am doing a review of Vega, here's a lovely pic of Brendan Brazier, vegan athlete and formulator of Vega.  You know - cause eye candy is animal friendly too :-)

1 comment:

Mom in Motion said...

I haven't ventured too far into the world of sport drinks/gels/etc. I use ShotBloks during my long runs and half marathons because I like the taste and they work. I'm afraid to try anything else when I'm on the road. It works so I stick with it! I've just started down the path of post-workout drinks, namely protein powders. It's all pretty overwhelming! I'd love the opportunity to try some new stuff, though!