Many of you have heard me go on and on about the products, services and companies that have made real differences in my triathlon life, especially those provided by TCSD Sponsors. For most products and services, the benefit was obvious to me rather quickly, sometimes in minutes, but more often in a few weeks or a month.
My search for nutritional products has taken quite a bit longer. First I
had to find the right base diet, to fit both my metabolism and my
activity. I made some major (but simple) changes 18 months ago that got
me almost everything I was looking for. Only then did it make sense
for me to settle on the nutritional products I'd want to use with
training and races.
TCSD members get to sample just about every sports nutritional product
on the market, sometimes even before they go on sale to the public. I
have a box of samples at home that must contain 40 different products.
But for me, samples only tell me what doesn't work or feel right at
first taste, not what will work long-term combined with hard training.
My most difficult situation concerns liquid products. My primary need
is for a water-based product that not only provides rehydration, but
also restores electrolytes and provides some easily-absorbed calories. I
want to meet as many of my needs as possible with a light liquid before
I resort to heavier products, such as gels, chews or bars.
Many liquid products pass the first-taste test, but fail for me when
consumed during exertion. For example, I love Gatorade just about
anytime, but it causes me major problems ("gastric distress") if I drink
it during or just after a race or hard workout. I repeated this
process with several other products, only to be disappointed each time.
Until, that is, I tried APX. Having been upset by so many prior
products, I kept testing APX, waiting for it to fail. For one year.
Then for another. Only recently did I finally decide I had finally
found the right product, one I could trust under all circumstances.
TCSD's own Jay Weber was our APX rep, and each time I told him APX was
still working for me, he'd ask "When are you going to write a review?"
Jay has since moved on to Xterra Wetsuits (yes, it's been that long).
Well Jay, here's that review!
First, some basic facts about APX:
- APX is a local San Diego company that's been around for about a decade.
- APX is a proud TCSD Sponsor.
Next, the ingredient list: Dextrose, Fructose, Natural Fruit Flavor,
Citric Acid, Salt, Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Citrate, and Ascorbic
8 ingredients. That's all. That's a much shorter and simpler list than just about anything else out there.
A note about powders versus pre-made liquids: Pre-made liquids tend to
contain emulsifiers and stabilizers to keep the contents mixed and
stable between the time the product is bottled and the time it is
consumed, which can be many months, and involve storage and transport in
a wide range of temperatures. Powders will not contain such things
because the ingredients are naturally more stable as powders, and are
generally consumed within a day of being mixed. For me, this is a case
where "less is more".
Getting back to the ingredients: There is one odd thing here, where I
am concerned: All prior products I had tried that contained only simple
sugars had caused me problems. Only those that also included more
complex carbohydrates seemed to stay down. APX is the first drink
containing only simple sugars that has caused me no problems
whatsoever. I'm not sure why, but I suspect it must have something to
do with either the electrolyte balance or the flavor.
APX comes in three flavors: Pomegranate, Tangerine, and Ruby Red
Grapefruit. I've tasted them all, and they each have a light taste,
just enough to cover the taste of the other ingredients.
I've been using only the Grapefruit flavor with my workouts, mainly
because it's the one I've done all my testing with. I'm almost afraid
to try the other flavors "for real", as if I'll make the Grapefruit
flavor mad at me or something. And who said athletes aren't
As for my testing, my most recent tests were on the bike and run. I had
taken APX with me on a 3-hour bike ride with a fair amount of time
hammering in aero, but no hills. It was my only liquid on the bike, and
I felt great at the end of the ride. For those of you who know me, I
usually bonk toward the end of the 2-hour TCSD Saturday ride, so this
was a real improvement.
My other recent test was a 2 hour run without hydration, where a bottle
of APX was my first recovery drink. For me, this is a worst-case test,
since my stomach is most sensitive when I'm exhausted and dehydrated.
For this bottle, since I knew I would be following it with more water, I
had gone well above the recommended mixing ratio of one scoop per 20
ounces: I had put 3 scoops in 24 ounces of water. So it was "worse"
than my worst case: If anything was going to trigger my stomach, this
Nothing happened, other than I had one of my fastest recoveries ever: I
was ready for a strength training workout after 20 minutes and another
bottle of water. And that workout also went well, showing that the APX
was quickly absorbed.
Now, I don't recommend doing a 2-hour run without hydration or
nutrition! This run was designed to test my joints and metabolism
(as well as APX), and was run along the Mission Bay path, where there
are about 2 water fountains every mile.
After well over a year with APX as my only calorie + electrolyte drink, I
can only give it my highest recommendation. It has made a real
difference in how I train and recover. More importantly, I no longer
fear pushing to the point where taking nutrition used to become my worst
APX is available just about everywhere locally, including at the
following TCSD Sponsors (where your TCSD Member Discount applies):
Moment Bicycles, Hi-Tech Bikes, Pulse Endurance Sports, and The
APX is available in single-serving packets and in 26-serving resealable
bags (scoop included). After the TCSD discount, APX costs about $0.77
per scoop (130 calories), making it a good value compared to the
And one last detail: All APX profits go to charity. The company was created as part of a sponsorship effort (much like Rudy), and has never stopped.
For more information. please visit the APX site: http://www.APXSportDrink.com/