Monday, May 19, 2014

IGNITE Naturals - INRefresh



*DISCLAIMER: The selection of nutritional/fuel in endurance training and racing is very personal and not a one product fits all situation. Because we all have different sweat rates, reaction to nutrients, need for carbohydrates and product intensities to match our level of training, we all seek unique fueling solutions. 

Just as it is for choosing the proper running shoe or sizing a bike, it is important to test a number of different products in training and under a wide variety of conditions to understand what works best for you. 


*New product always seem better. A different taste, the thought of improved performance or the "cool" factor seemingly lead to instant, perceived, improvements in performance. More often than not, the first weeks using new products your mind is in a state of 'approval', which is why I wait until I have tested a product during numerous workouts, in varying conditions and in combination with other fueling needs before determining how right they are for me and then reviewing for others.


PRODUCT: IGNITE NATURALS - INRefresh
MSRP: $11.50 (10 pack Box)

DESCRIPTION:
"
Replenish the electrolytes you need to function your best with IN Refresh.
Your daily healthy drink filled with the riches of tropical and desert plants. Each serving of IN Refresh provides your body with natural fast-absorbing hydration properties from plants while retaining their full nutritional benefits.
  • Pure Real Food Ingredients
  • Maximum Absorption & Hydration
  • Replenish lost minerals
  • Restore cellular fluids
  • Healthy Antioxidants
Flavors: Dragonfruit Lemon Lime, Tangerine Passion Fruit, Blueberry, Kona Blend, Prickly Pear"

OVERVIEW
The natural hydration/nutrition market has become crowded and competitive. Gone are the days when Gatorade was the dominant hydration product for virtually all endurance athletes

Gatorade has always seen some competition from Cytomax (could the woman on the wallpaper of their homepage look any less happy?), Accelerade and a handful of other "scientifically engineered" hydration products.

In the past couple of years, the hydration market has seen a surge in products made from all natural products and playing up the benefits of real food/ingredients. It is along the lines of what is happening in the greater food/nutrition market with the cry to limit or cut all of the synthetic and scientifically engineered products and ingredients from our shopping cart.

I have been a fan of the Skratch Labs product for many years, as far back as when it was known as secret drink mix. 

I have also noticed the rise of other like product lines,such as Osmo Nutrition and their well publicized split from SkratchNUUN and ZYM.

Recently, I was offered a sample pack of the IGNITE Naturals INRefresh product and was looking forward to trying it out and comparing against my current hydration product of choice.

PACKAGING
The sample box of product came simply packaged in a small box, no fanfare, no note, nothing to endear me to the brand, just product. (I still hold Butter and Quarq as my benchmarks for exceptional packaging while delivering a little something extra to endear you to the brand)


The packets inside the sample box are small and slim. My first thought was how does one packet include enough for one water bottle.
The small packets were difficult to open. You certainly would not want to do this while riding or with sweaty hands. The powder inside is very fine, similar to the consistency of powdered sugar, so do not open in a windy area. 

PERFORMANCE
Much to my surprise, as noted above, one packet adequately filled a water bottle. 

I very much enjoyed the variety of flavors and the actual flavor of each packet. They were not too strong and did not leave a lingering taste in your mouth during a hard workout.

After using this product through a number of workouts (running and cycling) in varying conditions (from inside on the rollers to outside cool and hot & humid) I was pleased with the performance and no impact on my stomach. 

The only drawback I encountered was during a longer ride (50 miles) in hot & humid conditions, the product did not deliver enough sodium. This is particular to my situation as I am a bigger guy and have a higher sweat rate than most.

OVERALL
This is a great product for the majority of endurance athletes. The flavors are excellent, not too sweet, and refreshing.

Anyone training in hotter conditions and/or with elevated sweat rates will need to supplement with additional sodium, but that is typical with most hydration products.

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