Over the past few racing seasons I’ve tried a few different products in the search to find one magic solution providing all of my hydration and electrolyte requirements without causing GI distress. Especially during extended durations of high intensity racing. This year I decided to try the Amito Vital Endurance products.
In my perfect world, all sports drinks would taste like lemon-lime Gatorade, so I picked up a tub of the lemon flavour of Amino Vital first. To be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed with the taste at first. I don’t know exactly what I didn’t like about the taste initially, but it really didn’t matter as it quickly faded and I found the aftertaste left behind to be quite pleasant. I also had the opportunity to try the other flavours. The fruit punch was my least favorite as I prefer my drinks to taste a little tangy and it was overly sweet for me, likely due to the fact that it contains less sodium per serving than the other Amino Vital offerings. Although it was too sweet for my taste, people who enjoy the flavour of sweeter products such as Heed melon flavour would probably enjoy the fruit punch. The mandarin orange flavour turned out to be just what I was looking for: not too strong, not too sweet, with a mild tangy orange flavour. All three flavours are very distinct so there should be one to match virtually every palate.
In terms of performance, I really don’t have any way to quantify any increases or decreases. Do the additional amino acids help? Short of double blinds studies involving well trained athletes hammering out intervals on the track, or beating themselves up on an ergometer, I don’t think there is any way to say for sure. However, I will say that during long rides on the trainer, I felt I could maintain focus during the last few intervals, especially 20 minute+ tempo repeats, much better than when using plain water, or a product such as Gatorade. Anyone who has grinded past the three hour mark on the bike trainer would most likely agree that there is most likely something to the claims behind a product that allows you to consistently maintain your target intensity as it is very easy to lose focus and let your power slide while you are staring at the wall of your basement or watching a movie you’ve seen 27 times. My racing performance was on par with previous seasons using other products, but I use GU Roctane gels which are also packed with amino acids so between the two products I am sure I am putting far more amino acids in my body than I can possibly use anyways.
In all my training and racing including cold runs in the winter, long training rides in Vegas in 40 degree heat and everything in between it worked well and caused no stomach discomfort. I can’t say that about other comparable products I’ve tried. It does come at a higher price than some competitor’s products, but I am sure the price is not out of line with what you’d be paying if you took regular sports drink and supplemented with the BCAAs, argenine, and glutamine already contained in Amino Vital. If you are looking for that edge over the competition, or just a way to keep your mind engaged through that last tough interval give it a try!