I first became interested in Hammer Nutrition products in 2012, when I read a blog post by Tim Ferriss, the Four Hour Workweek guy. In that post, it mentioned how someone swears by Perpetuem by Hammer Nutrition for ultra endurance events.
So I bought some to try it out for century rides, and ended up also using it for the Leadville 100 in 2012. I use Perpetuem both in this form (the solid tablets), and as a drink mix, which I will review separately.
Perpetuem is Hammer’s energy product that is specifically designed and intended for longer periods of time. They say events longer than two hours. I’ve used these on shorter rides and they work just fine in general if that’s what is available.
The main difference is that Perpetuem has a little bit of protein in it, which supposedly makes a difference during longer events, but doesn’t really help on shorter events because your body doesn’t make use of the protein. (That’s my completely non-expert summary.)
Here’s what Hammer says about Perpetuem:
Perpetuem is a result of several years of research and thousands of miles of testing in a variety of endurance disciplines. Since its introduction in 2003, Perpetuem has allowed athletes to conquer the most extreme workouts and races with complete confidence! Perpetuem represents the ultimate, never-before-available link to satisfying the body’s fueling requirements no matter how long or difficult your exercise session or race.
Carbohydrates – As with all Hammer Nutrition fuels, we never add simple sugars to the carbohydrate profile. Perpetuem contains a specific maltodextrin, which provides nearly 87% of its caloric composition in long chain carbohydrates.
Protein – A calcium-enhanced soy protein isolate known as “XT” makes up nearly 10% of the caloric profile of Perpetuem, the same percentage that is cannibalized from muscle tissue during long, slow endurance workouts. This particular soy protein contains a very high amount of intact, cardiovascular-enhancing isoflavones.
Fat – A de-oiled “super lecithin” (extracted from the soybean) is ideal for consistently and reliably fueling the body and maximizing energy production from stored fatty acids.
The problem with the Perpetuem drink mix is that is goes bad after several hours if you premix it with water and just leave it in the bottle in warm weather.
The chews are big tablets. There are six tablets to a tube. Three tablets is 100 calories, so you get a total of 200 calories per tube, and about 33 calories per tablet.
If you read the reviews, people sometimes act like you are chewing rocks with these tablets. And Hammer has some kind of warning about delicate teeth in their description. It kind of made me hesitant to purchase the first tube.
But when I did, I found that they are no big deal at all to chew up. Much easier than something like Sweet Tarts, for example. The only thing I find slightly annoying is how they kind of stick to your teeth when you chew them.
I find the tablets to be extremely convenient, and very easy to get out of the tube. The top of the tube flips open, but is permanently attached so that you don’t lose the lid. You can keep it in your jersey pocket easily. It’s much easier than trying to open a Powerbar wrapper while you are riding, for example.
The downside is that you don’t really get very many calories per tube. If you want to consume 200 or more calories per hour, then do the math and you’ll see what I mean.
I’ve used these tablets on longer rides like the Leadville 100 and on the Shiner Gasp, with a lot of success. They provide a good source of energy, and cause zero stomach upset or problems for me.
I have not tried the Latte flavored tablets, but the strawberry and orange tablets both have acceptable taste. These are a very practical source of calories intended solely to keep you fueled, and not something that you would ever eat as a snack, like a Clif Bar, for example.
I like HEED Perpetuem in both forms, and recommend it for very long rides. I use the standard HEED drink on shorter rides of up to 50 or 60 miles, which I highly recommend and will also review separately.
Questions about this review? Did I leave anything out? Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment and let me know, and I will update accordingly.