I don’t talk much about food here on ye old blog. While I love food, whether making it or eating, it (okay fine, mostly eating it), I just don’t like writing about it.
That being said, nutrition is a huge part of running and running well. I try to get most of my nutritional needs from whole food sources instead of supplements, but sometimes that can be difficult or impractical. I’m still figuring out my fueling needs and preferences, so I was excited when the lovely folks at Vega offered to send me a sample pack of the new Vega Sport performance system. It comes in a super-nifty package – my camera is malfunctioning at the moment, so I’m lacking in the photo department, but check out Tamara’s video and review over at fitknitchick!
From the Vega website,
Vega Sport is the first, complete, all-natural, plant-based sport performance system, specifically developed in three comprehensive stages to help you perform at your best, without compromise—before, during and after training.
The kicker for me is that Vega products are entirely plant-based. While I’m not vegan, I definitely appreciate a plant-based diet and try to minimize the meat and dairy products I consume. If you have food sensitivities, Vega may be a good option for you, too – their products are dairy-, gluten-, and soy-free, and contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. I’d call that a win-win-win.
I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t find some of the flavors appetizing. I can be pretty picky when it comes to flavors for my gels and powders, but I was pleasantly surprised! The chocolate coconut protein bar was by far the best tasting bar I’ve ever eaten, and I really liked the Recovery Accelerator. Anything that will help me recover more quickly is something I want in on. I used the raspberry and orange zest endurance gels on my 10 mile run yesterday and had zero stomach issues. In my normal life, I have a stomach of steel, but running gives me major issues. Gels and I don’t normally get along, but these were smooth sailing!
Beyond loving their products, I love that Vega’s website provides tons of information about endurance training, nutrition, and how to use their products to their full potential. For example, here’s a nifty usage chart that outlines what to use when (click the photo for the full-sized chart). As you can see, the Vega Sport line includes 3 phases: prepare, sustain, recover, each with a specific purpose within your workout. I love that they make it easy to figure out a plan for your workouts.
I wish I could wax poetic about all the intricacies of this line (BCAAS! Glycemic Index! Glutamine! Electrolytes!) but dietician expert I am not. If you’d like to know more about each individual product, here’s a quick and dirty article on the Washington Times community page. What I can say that I used these for my workouts this week and saw a marked improvement in my recovery time, DOMS, and energy levels. A highly unscientific report, yes, but it was enough for me to say that I’ll be entrusting my fueling fate to Vega from now on.
I liked almost every product Vega sent me, but unfortunately our budget won’t allow me to fill my pantry with all of them, so I picked 2 to stock up on for now – Endurance Gels and Recovery Accelerator, come to me!