SPIZ is the ultra endurance energy drink mix that you’ve probably never seen at your local bike shop, or maybe never even heard of at all.
I discovered it a year or so ago when I was doing some online searching about avoiding cramps during cycling. In a list of tips, someone mentioned the product SPIZ, and it made me curious. So I ordered a canister of it.
One thing that you might not be able to tell from this photo is that a can of Spiz is easily twice as big as a typical can of energy drink. It’s enormous! A can of SPIZ has a net weight of just under 3 pounds, where a can of HEED by Hammer Nutrition has a net weight of just over 2 pounds. You’ll get 32 scoops out of a can of HEED, and 40 scoops out of a can of SPIZ. SPIZ is not cheap though. It costs $42 per can.
Let me start out by telling what Spiz is not. It’s not a typical kind of carbohydrate-only energy drink. So if you’re looking for something that’s just a sweet drink with electrolytes to get you through a shorter ride, then a chocolatey tasting drink like Spiz might not be your thing. Although I can say that I’ve used it in those circumstances, and it works just fine, I prefer the taste of something like HEED for shorter rides.
If you order a can of Spiz directly from the manufacturer, they send you a bunch of printed material with the can with a huge list of people who have used Spiz for major ultra endurance events, and more technical information about the drink. One Race Across America finisher used Spiz as the vast majority of his caloric intake for the entire race, just eating a small amount of solid food at some point during the race.
They also have a fairly substantial testimonials section on their web site, with emails from all kinds of different ultra endurance athletes. From Ironman competitors to ultra distance runners to a guy who won a 24 hour treadmill race, running 152 miles while using it. It mentions on the can that you can use it as a meal replacement, and there’s even a testimonial from someone who lived on it when they had their jaw wired shut.
What I like most about Spiz is that it also works great as a recovery drink. If you look at many of the recovery drink options like those from Gu or Hammer Nutrition, you’ll notice that they typically have a profile with a combination of protein and carbohydrate. Spiz has a similar profile, because it uses a high quality whey protein. I will typically just use a single scoop as a recovery drink for most longer rides that are not incredibly difficult, because that gives you about 125 calories, and I don’t want to consume too many calories. After a major ride or race, I will consume two scoops.
I’ve reviewed Hammer Nutrition’s Perpetuem, an energy drink designed for long events. It also has a combination of protein and carbohydrates that will keep you going when you are doing an event that lasts many hours. Some research indicates that this combination of protein and carbohydrates lets you more effectively use the calories that you consume.
As I mentioned earlier, the taste of the chocolate flavored Spiz is very chocolatey. In fact, I just switched to vanilla with a recent reorder, because I’m not a huge chocolate fan to begin with. I saw on the Spiz site that some people like to mix the chocolate and vanilla into a single flavor, so I might try that.
Here’s how the manufacturer describes the ingredient list of Spiz, in an abbreviated form.
1. Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Concentrate
2. Chelated Minerals
The chelated minerals used in Spiz are the most bioavailable form of minerals currently available as well as being the most expensive. SPIZ contains only the highest quality chelated minerals from the most well respected name in mineral manufacturers, Albion Laboratories.
3. 100% US Daily Values for vitamins per serving (except for vitamin D)
4. Short, and long-chain glucose polymers, along with smaller amounts of sugars.
This helps to energize the exercising individual with a supply of both long and short-acting carbohydrates.
5. Covalent Bonded L-Glutamine has been added to the formula for the following reasons:
Helps maintain blood sugar levels which can be very important in maintaining energy levels during exercise.
6. High sodium/potassium concentration
Sodium and potassium losses lead to Hyponatremia (low sodium levels) and less frequently in long-distance athletes, Hypokalemia (low potassium levels). High intakes of sodium and potassium prevent these electrolyte disturbances and will prevent muscle cramping.
I’m going to try Spiz as my primary energy source on my next two long races, the Austin Rattler and the Dirty Kanza 200. I’ll report back after those!
Anyone else using SPIZ? What have your experiences with it been? Leave a comment!