Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Elete Review

When choosing hydration supplements, electrolytes, energy gels and food there is a plethora of choice. With this in mind a product has to be pretty good to be noticed, although with that said there are several average products available. Further to this don't even get me started on suger free low calorie energy drinks!

My intrigue was grabbed when I was asked to try Elete as an alternative to the other electrolyte supplements That I have used. Prior to this I have always used Gu Brew or Nuun tablets. These are fine but a bit of a faff and bulky to carry in a pack. In addition I find that when they are dissolving it can cause bottles to leak whilst running and with bladders some time it can create a slight gunky residue. If someone can offer me a product that removes these issues then I'm always interested. It was proposed that Elete would offer this alternative.

The website for the product certainly does not hold back in its belief of the product. They have a host of testimonials for the product and are proud of the fact it's 100% natural product free from sugars and additives. This in itself is something that intrigues me as I am mindfully during an ultra I can naturally gravitate to pumping my body full of sugars.
The Elete website claims;

ELETE REDUCES AMOUNT OF WATER NEEDED TO HYDRATE BY MORE THAN 40%

This is a major bonus if this is accurate as there can be a tendency to guzzle water when running. With Tim Noakes new book, Waterlogged, advocating for drinking only when thirsty and being mindful not to drink too much, a product that can cut the need for water by 40% should potentially serve to benefit runners. In addition 40% is a lot in weight. If we work loosely on the basis that a litre weighs a kilo and as a runner I have been carrying 2litres of water at any one time then I am saving myself 800mls or 0.8 of a kilo. That is a lot of weight.

The contact us page also shows the company to be based in Forest Row. A little village in Sussex that I happened to grow up in and in fact the address is opposite a building I used to deliver a newspaper to. This relates in no way to the product but reminds me it's a small world.

Like any product the company is always going to be prone to "bigging up" the product. After all it would be shoddy marketing to say "yeah our products ok. It could be better" or worse still and a fact that should apply to a lot of products, "yeah our product doesn't work but you suckers will by it at an inflated price because it has a catchy name and is endorsed by an Olympian." The question to be answered is whether Elete delivers what it promises or is another fad.

Initial Impressions

The product appears to be simple and kept in a simple packaging with clear instructions for usage. It can be bought in varying
Sizes, but the little bottle is perfect for carrying during an Ultra. At 25ml (making up 10ltrs) it is the perfect sized bottle to cover the duration of a sizeable ultra. The larger Bottle can be decanted into the little bottle making this an excellent product to transport. Compared to some electrolyte tablet tubes or pots of powder you could carry Elete and forget you have even got it with you.

The product appears to have been careful and positive consideration towards function. A couple of drops squeezed into the lid provides an accurate measurement. This is likely to be a welcome convenience at aid stations. Potentially no more fizzing tablets causing leaks in bottles.

The initial impressions are almost too good to be true. Is this a diminutive product that packs a big punch or another product jumping on the running bandwagon and promising a lot but delivering very little?
The initial impressions are a 10/10 but let's see if the experience whilst running is the same.

Running Experience

As a runner I have found myself experimenting with different electrolyte products, but always settling on a product rather than being 100% happy with a product. I have always found there to be something not quite right with various products. It has varied from not sitting well in my stomached to be completely unpalatable or very sugary. For me flavour is always a huge compromise and I am far happier just drinking water.

Don't get me wrong a sugar hit can sometimes be a godsend, but for me that's what the flat coke at aid stations is for. When I'm running I like to have one drink on the go not combinations of drinks. Water combined with Elete allows me to do that. Elete are proud of the fact there product can be added to any liquid. For me the fact it blends seamlessly with water is a big enough achievement. For others being able to add it to a cup of tea might be a huge attraction.
When I have been out running I can honestly say I have been able to drink to thirst and run efficiently and effectively. I would not know that I was drinking anything other than water. Well based on taste I would not know. Physically I have felt great and less fatigued than when using other electrolyte substances. I have felt well hydrated and enjoyed my running.

The claim of drinking 40% less fluids is not something I would have been sold on as a claim. I have always been someone who sweats a lot, regardless of the garments I am wearing. In addition I have always needed a lot of fluid. Over a 2 hour run I have historically needed between 2 and 2.5ltrs of fluid; made up of electrolyte drinks and water. Less than this has seen me feeling groggy, slow and often with a dry mouth.

Prior to composing this review I was not aware of the claim of a reduction in fluid consumption by 40% This was intentional as I wanted as minimal influence on review whilst I was running to feel. Following several runs it is noticeable that my fluid consumption has dropped dramatically, but I have felt great during every run. I have not felt groggy, or as if I have a dry mouth. These changes coincide directly with testing Elete.

The following is four examples of recent runs using Elete;

1. 2hr run - 500ml consumed (previously 2-2.5ltrs)
2. 80min run - 300ml consumed (previously 750mls-1lte)
3. 90min run - 400mls consumed (previously 750mls-1ltr)
4. 2hr run - 600mls consumed (previously 2-2.5ltrs)

I recorded the above information as I had become aware on the first run that I had a lot of water left in my bladder. I must stress again I have felt better consuming current levels. Even conservatively these figures are well above a 40% drop. My fluid consumption was always high others may not achieve such a sharp drop, but my experience is that Elete's claim is potentially justified.

The impact on my running has only been positive. I can now confidently carry significantly less water. This of course also means significantly less weight in my pack. Elete in effect has become more than just a electrolyte supplement. It has also become a weight saving device.

From my running experiences I can't fault this simple product. It's an easy 10/10

Conclusion

Elete is an excellent product and has become an essential element of my training and racing kit. I would urge any runner of any level to give this product a try.

The final benefit of this product was when I was struck down by the Norovirus. I could not keep any food down. I utilised Elete in cold water and it assisted in me feeling better. So this product would appear to have multiple purposes. From the perspective of runners if you are someone who throws up during races then Elete may be an even more essential element of your race kit.

Overall this simple little product really does carry a big punch.

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