Unless you were blessed with a stomach of steel, figuring out your training and race day nutrition is almost like a game of Russian roulette. Determining what food sources will help keep you running strong…and which will send you sprinting for the port-a-potties…can be a painful, frustrating experience.
Over the last few years I’ve determined two key factors in my own race day nutrition:
1)” The running buffet” – my GI system prefers small amounts of calories over more frequent intervals, versus the 100 or so calories once every 45 minutes to an hour, as recommended by so many endurance fuel products.
2) Conventional food vs. sports nutrition – I seem to be able to better digest more traditional foods, such as fruits, crackers, pretzels, etc while on the run, whereas sports nutrition items such as gels tend to wreak havoc on my digestive system.
Last fall, I discovered those pureed fruits in a pouch that were designed for toddlers (basically, baby food they can feed themselves), and I started incorporating them into my training and racing nutrition regimen. There are a number of brands on the market, many of which I have yet to try, so I was more than willing to do a review when I was contacted by Fruit.0, makers of a certifed organic, natural, fruit puree snack.
|Fruit.0 atop Mt. Monadnock|
– 100 Calories
– 0 Calories from fat
– 30% / 8% Vitamin A (mango flavor/banana blueberry flavor)
– 80% /15% Vitamin C
– Made in USA
– Shelf life, 1 year after packing
– Shelf stable without refrigeration
– 100% fruit, no sugar added
– No preservatives
– No colors or flavors added
– USDA organic certified
-cost: approximately $2.50 per pouch
Banana Blueberry Blackberry : Organic Bananas, Organic Blackberries,
Organic Blueberries, Organic Lemon Juice
Concentrate (for pH-level adjustment)
Mango Pear Pineapple: Organic Mangoes, Organic Pears, Organic
Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Organic Lemon
Juice Concentrate (for pH-level adjustment)
|The other half of my trusty media/review team.|
Now, here at Relentless Forward Commotion headquarters (a.k.a. our tiny little apartment and the huge expanse of outdoor wilderness we play in), we don’t just sample products and review them based upon first impressions. We take them out into the field, and beat the hell out of them, and then report back.
As was the case with our Fruit.0 pouches, Geoff and I each taste tested them straight out of the box (after work snacks!) and then took them outside. Fruit.0 accompanied us to the summit of Mount Monadnock earlier this week, then then on a 7 hour / 15 mile /multiple summit hike of the Seven Sisters this weekend.
Please keep in mind, I am reviewing this product as an endurance athlete, though there are numerous other uses for this product.
The product tastes good. So many made-specifically-for-endurance-athlete products DO NOT TASTE GOOD. Granted, these were not designed specifically for endurance athletes, and thus do not contain massive amounts of sodium (typically the cause of the funky taste). But the fruit.0 were a refreshing snack on trail.
100 calories per pouch is very comparable to many sport-specific nutrition options (such as gels or chews). Being that the product is already pureed, it is incredibly easy to eat/suck down on the trail. Because let’s face it, chewing is hard when you are running and short of breath.
The packaging is convenient for carrying, and resalable, so those of us on the “running buffet” plan can take a few sips of the puree, close the package up, and tuck it back in our bag for later. No utensils necessary.
No junk. Organic, no sugar added, no preservatives. I would give this to my kids without a second thought. And minimizing the artificial ingredients that enter my own body isn’t a bad idea either.
My only real complaints about this product is the packaging, and this is not specific to the fruit.0 line, but instead almost the entire pureed fruit market, is the giant knob on the top of the packaging. It just seems unnecessarily wasteful. Can you recycle these things? I suppose if the concept was to make it easier for little hands (toddlers) to open the packaging , it makes sense, but really wasteful none the less. Further, it’s just more clutter in my hydration pack, which is a huge bummer.
Secondly, the fruit.0 is almost twice the size of your average endurance gel for the same amount of calories, so it makes packing and convenience a little more difficult. However, in this instance, you make sacrifices for whole foods, and the fruit.0 is certainly easier to carry than a banana an handfuls of berries.
Lastly: cost is questionable. $2.50 per package IS a bit pricey in comparison to other similar products, as well as compared to energy gels, which typically average just over $1.00 each. But again, you get what you pay for, and in this case, an all natural, organic product.
IN THE END…I was very pleased with this product, and would recommend others to give it a try if you have the opportunity.
Do you train with non conventional endurance fuel? Or do you stick to the typical gels, bars, and drinks routine?
Fruit.0 provided me with product samples in exchange for a review. All opinions posted are that of my own.