After the recently held Milo Marathon Elimination in Manila, I realized that I still have the crack to register a new personal best in a full marathon distance. By finishing in 03h3749s, a time that has been elusive to me for the past races, I was able to qualify for the finals this December. After the race, I immediately dug deep into my archives to find what made the difference and found out that a dedicated and strenuous training was the key. Having been immersed on that kind of training, my body needs food supplement to perform at its optimum. And believe it or not, sports gel played an important role.
I also registered a fairly respectable finish time at the inaugural event of the Run United Philippine Marathon a year ago. Inside the loot bag were five capsules of Enervon Activ multivitamins. Since I have been using the orange ones, I disregarded those black thingies and shelved them in my pantry. But when my orange supplies ran out, I switched and tried the Enervon Activ. This black multivitamin softgel capsule consisting of minerals, ginseng and royal jelly was formulated by Unilab to help promote an active lifestyle and was introduced during the RUPM 2012 season. This multivitamin worked wonders for me, thus I called it the black magic.
During the Clark-Miyamit Trail Ultramarathon of last year, it was the black magic that I have been taking daily during my training runs and ultimately during the race itself. They propelled me to a strong finish of the 50-mile event that covered 16 hours of mountain trail running, lahar and river crossings. It has been a bold testament that this product from Unilab had a proven advantage. I, myself, believe in the product, and had been using it since then.
A year after, Unilab had once again introduced another product designed for athletes, the Active Health sports gel. It is a product that had been carefully studied and formulated for two years by the people behind Unilab. It is the first and only sports gel manufactured here in the Philippines with the approval of the Food and Drugs Administration. Designed to develop a fast and sustained energy, it contains maltodextrin and 60% of complex carbs for lasting energy. It also contains electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients lost from sweating to avoid the dangers of dehydration and muscle cramping.
Since the nearest marathon event will happen soon, and had no more time to do my longest run, I intended to try my free sample during the MH Urbanathlon Race. It is a 21km running event with obstacles along the course. Midway during the run I consumed my berry mix flavored gel and felt in love with its flavor. It was not sugary, and the consistency was fine with me. Because I usually take the raspberry cream flavor from the imported brand that I use, the berry mix flavor became an instant favorite. But just like the other brands it is best to consume the gel with water. A day after the race, I went on a two hour spin and consumed my other sports gel. I guess the gel did wonders since I finished my run strong and wanting to do another for the day ahead. The tiredness that usually occur a day after a race was nowhere there.
I always carry 4 gel packs during marathon and I take them at kilometers 16, 22, 28 and 35. I'm trying to get about 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour, since that's about the maximum the body can handle, so taking a pack for every 6 to 7 kilometer intervals is just fine. The Active Health Sports Gel serves 29 grams of carbohydrates in each pack.
I hope Unilab will come out with some other variants and add a caffeinated one or two in their line up for that last final take. I always reserve a caffeine-flavored one during the last hour of my marathon run.
As a result, I still felt strong during the last stages of the run, considering the obstacles that we hurdled, an indication that this product is at par with those imported brands. I was even relieved from hunger that normally occur during long runs. Since I always intend to run light, slipping a couple of gels inside my pocket during training runs will be an added advantage. And I can also stash 8-10 gel packs inside my hydration bag without any added weight during ultramarathon races.
Since all energy gel products are almost identical in benefits, the verdict still will come from the athletes themselves. I believe the Active Health sports gel will surely give the imported brands a run for their money.
And beacause the product came from a trusted source, the very same company who introduced me to the black magics, which is a part of my daily life, I can foresee that the Active Health sports gel will play an important role in my running life as well. I can't wait to try them during the Run United Philippine Marathon 2013 and the succeeding marathons therefater and register that new personal best.
See you all at the starting line.