At last year’s Snowdon race the Irish team and the rest of our contingent had been kindly invited by Matt Ward from MST to join the press conference with Kenny Stuart. During the press conference there was a sampling of a new energy drink called Orbana.
Over the last few years I have grown fairly cynical when it comes to anything new: I always follow the latest developments in gear, training and nutrition but scrutinise the credentials closely to ensure I find it scientifically sound.
This has led me to use a fairly narrow set of nutritional supplements basically a joint and heart Synergex complex (from www.healthspan.co.uk), Accelerade 4:1 sports drink (the first energy drink to contain protein) and the regular shot of tea, coffee and honey in good time for the race. Otherwise, a multi-vitamin and good diet were the mainstays of my routine.
After all, the greatest performance enhancer is training, everything else pales in comparison. But that doesn’t mean that everything else is not important, quite the contrary. When you work very hard to get to a certain level it is a pity to lose out on 2-5% extra performance because of poor recovery, suboptimal nutrition, bad running shoes, wrong coaching advice and other “details”. You need to train smart, hard and then pay attention to every other detail that can affect your race on the day.
So when I tried the free sample Orbana had send me at the Leinster Novice in Adamstown this autumn and had a great race, I was at least curious. The taste was nice (orange, lemon, and pineapple), it didn’t upset my stomach and throughout the race I kept asking for more energy and it kept coming. Could it have made a real difference? For starters the reviews on Amazon were good, but what’s in it?
What’s in it?
Studying it in more detail, I noticed for the first time that the ingredient list does distinguish it markedly from other similar products. The concentration of the “healthy” content (vitamins, minerals, electrolytes) is much higher than in competitive products and it’s unique in containing creatine (well-known to sprinters and power-lifters). But the real innovation is the addition of amino acids, the building blocks for proteins; adding these your body can decide for itself whether it wants to use the amino-acids for energy (late in exercise/races) or use them afterwards to build protein for repairs.
Finally, I liked that the product had no preservatives, additives, or stimulants (such as caffeine). While caffeine is a great stimulant, I don’t like to be taking it all the time due to the volatile effect it can have both on your energy levels and your digestive system. I discussed the product in more detail with Jason Kehoe who had been a fan of it since Snowdon and had used it regularly. I was satisfied that it would be a lot better for both my health, weight and performance to replace the regular “Lucozade” with this and planned to order it in for myself.
West Wicklow ROAR
To our chagrin the product was no longer available for import in Ireland, and suddenly two dots connected in my head. The big idea that I have been talking about for a while would benefit greatly from being able to offer a healthy energy product that could reasonable claim to be the most effective energy drink on the market.
So long story short, we are bringing this product to Ireland and will be at the West Wicklow ROAR tomorrow, manning the TA02 drinks station,to dispense drinks and talk about the product before and after the event for anyone who’s there. As for what the “bigger plan” is, I can’t reveal that just as of yet, but it should launch soon and I hope a good few of my readers will find it interesting.