Essential Sports Nutrition


Product Review - CarboRocket Half Evil Sport Drink

Fuel Smarter Go Farther. 
Next Level Nutrition For Athletes.
CarboRocket Salt Lake City, Utah

About the Company from the website: 
Founder, Brad Keyes, an avid endurance athlete, literally couldn't stomach anything during training and racing. Come race day, vomit was almost guaranteed. He would then spend the rest of the day, useless, curled up in a ball on the floor, much to the chagrin of his wife and kids. After figuring out it was his nutrition that was causing the problem, Keyes began his journey of researching and consulting with top nutritionists and exercise physiologists. This led to him testing ingredients and formulations (on himself and unsuspecting friends) and ultimately their first product, CarboRocket. Finally, something that could be used all day for hydration, fuel and electrolytes that didn't cause any stomach or familial distress! The current sports drink market is saturated with chemical-filled, poor-tasting beverages. CarboRocket is the next generation of sports drinks. The latest sports science research combined with the best tasting, all-natural, proven ingredients makes CarboRocket the perfect alternative for hydration and nutrition needs. 

  • CR 333 - Half Evil All-In-One Endurance Drink 
  • CR Hydration Electrolyte Drink 
  • Re+HAB Post Workout Recovery Drink 
  • Rocket Red-Pre-race/workout Superfoods Drink 
  • RocketLytes-Electrolyte Capsules with ginger and peppermint 
Label Claims:
  • All Natural 
  • Gluten free 
  • Vegan (Black Cherry Half Evil 333)
  • BCAA's

Nutrition Facts: CR 333 - Half Evil All-In-One Endurance Drink​ (Lemonade + Caffeine)
  • Serving Size: 3 scoops 
  • Calories: 333 
  • Total Carb: 82 g 
  • Fiber: 0 g 
  • Sugar: 21 g 
  • Protein: 0 g 
  • Sodium: 427 mg 
  • Calcium: 217 mg 
  • Potassium: 210 mg 
  • Magnesium: 110 mg 

Usage: Start with 2 scoops (222 cal) per 20-24 oz of water, consume 16-28 oz per hour depending on heat and activity level. Adjust calories depending on need. 

Claimed Benefits per website: 
  • 333 calories in 1 bottle that tastes and drinks like 100 calories 
  • Simplifies your training and race nutrition 
  • Mixes instantly 
  • 4500mg blend of Branched Chain Amino Acids and L-Glutamine 
  • 1600mg of electrolytes 
  • 50mg of caffeine (lemonade and raspberry only) 
  • Black Cherry is VEGAN and caffeine free 
Product Flavors:
  • Orange
  • Grape
  • Black Cherry
  • Raspberry + Caffeine
  • Lemonade + Caffeine 

I have been trying out various CarboRocket products in training (bike and run) and I really enjoy the Grape, Raspberry and Black Cherry Half Evil 333 flavors. I have been using 2 scoops per bottle (26 ounce) per hour of training and the powder mixes well (no clumps) and has a very light consistency, no strong aftertaste and not overly sweet. I also like that you can adjust the scoops to your workout needs - I have been using 1 scoop in a 10-ounce flask for running and 2 scoops per bottle for cycling.

Discount code: 
TRIMARNI for 25% off


Should you swish or swallow?

When was the last time you felt a sudden drop of energy during a workout but after a quick sip of a sport drink, swig of a gel or chop of a chew, you felt an instant pick-me-up?

Because skeletal muscle glucose uptake during exercise is not an instant process, it's important to consider the practicality of sport nutrition products as it relates to meeting your fluid, electrolyte, carbohydrate and motivational eeds.

Because of the time that it takes to digest and absorb nutrients (nutrients must move from the mouth to the small intestines, where absorption occurs), this is one of the primary reasons to rely on well-formulated sport nutrition products (instead of real food) in a convenient/portable form, to supply your body with a steady intake of "fuel" regularly throughout training/racing.

Ironically, when you consume sport nutrition, your muscles don't receive a quick jolt of energy, but instead, your brain was rewarded by something sweet (glucose), giving you a well-needed motivational/energy boost.

Although fatigue can be delayed through regular consumption of sport nutrition products during training/racing, it's the perception of glucose, rather than the metabolism of glucose in the body, that often gives you the instant energy boost as soon as you sip your sport drink or put some type of sugar in your mouth. In other words, in addition to ingesting calories, electrolytes and fluids, you can keep your brain communicating with your muscles to keep you moving during moments of low energy/motivation by swishing and spitting your sport drink (or sucking on an energy chew).

A lot of athletes question our strong desire to wear a hydration belt/pack when running - regardless of the volume/intensity of the workout/race. 

Well, it doesn't take much (sugar) to keep you going when you could be giving up due to low energy/motivation in training and racing and your low moment can be very unpredictable. I can't tell you how many times during a long distance race or intense workout that I was glad to have my fuel available around my waist when I needed it (between aid stations/intervals) due to a sudden drop in blood sugar or just a low moment. Just a sip, swish and either spit or swallow, and I found myself with an instant boost of energy to keep me going in the face of fatigue.

To learn more about this topic "Swish or Swallow" you can check out my article in the March/April issue of Triathlete Magazine.


How to fuel for a night race

It wasn't too long ago when I was staying up way past my bedtime to watch Karel race Pro 1/2 in  night criterium events. The start time for these events could be anywhere between 6-9pm! Oh the adrenaline watching these cyclists go round and round the downtown streets, making sharp turns and accelerating past one another, while attacking and dodging sketchy movements.

If you are an athlete training for an event, there's a good chance that your event starts early in the morning. Night races, however, are growing in popularity, for a variety of reasons. While an event may cover the same distance regardless of the start time, there are unique obstacles to overcome when racing in an evening race - specifically nutrition.

Seeing that most athletes train early morning and race early morning, there are plenty of opportunities to understand what foods will work the best before and on race day morning. As for a night race, you may struggle to understand what to eat during the day and right before you event when you are not use to competing so late in the day. Your sleep cycle may get thrown off, your mental state may be out of whack and more so, your digestive system has been trained to flow stronger at certain times in the day. All of this can make a night event very stressful!

But not to worry. Here are my suggestions to help you fuel for a night race/event:

  1. Nutrient timing - One of the most important tips for fueling for a night race is watching your fat and fiber intake in the 4-6 hours before the event. Nerves, large food portions or excessive snacking can increase the risk for GI issues. It's best to start the day with a large filling breakfast of carbs, protein and fat and then aim to eat small mini meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Never let yourself get too hungry during the day.
  2. The day before matters -  Although what you eat on race day can help stabilize blood sugar levels and top off your fuel tank, what you eat in the 24-hours before race day will most likely affect your race day performance. Eat too little or too much the day before your event and there's a good chance that you will feel low energy or stuffed before/during your event - which may lead to last-minute over-eating or under-fueling. Treat the day before race day as you would for a morning event - start off with a large breakfast and taper off your meals throughout the day so that you don't go to bed (the night before your night race) with a full/uncomfortable belly.
  3. Practice in training - Unless your race is a last-minute idea, don't let race day be the first day that you think about dialing in your pre-race/during race fueling. It's suggested to plan at last 3-4 "long" workouts in the evening (around the same time as your race - within reason) to practice your nutrition during the day, as well as before and during your workout. Not only will you build confidence in your nutrition but you will also get to know how your body responds to certain efforts in the evening. Also, consider practicing a good warm-up before your workouts that you can apply to race-day. If your body is use to performing in the morning, you may need a little more time to wake-up the body before an evening race.
  4. Don't overdo caffeine - It's very normal for individuals to use caffeine as a pick-me-up during the work day and athletes are not immune to using caffeinated beverages to function in life. Excessive use of caffeinated beverages is not encouraged before a night race - this includes energy drinks, caffeine pills and coffee. Although a cup of coffee, as part of your normal morning routine, is just fine, too much caffeine can act as a laxative (not what you want before a race) and may cause extra stress on the heart, not to mention possible dizziness, light-headedness and nausea. The best strategy for an evening race is to do a light warm-up in the morning and then plan another light pre-race workout as you would normally do in the 90 minutes before your event.
  5. Don't stress - If you are an athlete who normally experiences pre-race GI issues due to nerves/anxiety, consider adding meditation/visualization and other coping strategies into your race day regime to help reduce your pre-race worries. Even with the best training and nutrition plan, some athletes aren't equipped for night races. But hey, you won't know unless you try! 


Don't be afraid to share your struggles

In our social media obsessed world, it's very easy to scroll through Facebook or Instagram and feel like everyone but you is succeeding in life - diet, training, family, relationship, career......

Living a failure-free life is not possible nor is it worth striving for. We all struggle at times. Furthermore, setbacks bring value to life as they give life greater meaning when things go well. A failure makes you appreciate the successful moments and forces you to learn how to react to unfavorable situations.

Although it's normal to use social media to post/share your highlighted moments in life, it's important to acknowledge your setbacks and not hide your feelings when you are in a tough place. Instead of avoiding your feelings or pretending that you are ok, accept sadness, embarrassment, guilt, frustration, depression and fear in your grieving process.

For almost every athlete, a setback is bound to occur at some point in your athletic career, if not at least once per season. Sickness, injury, a life transition or a pivot from structured training can be difficult to accept, not to mention the disruption to your normal flow of life. But don't let it get you down - take action and stay strong.

As an athlete, important part of self-discovery is embracing the setbacks and struggles that you encounter and learning from the past. Accept that your road to athletic excellence will not be smooth sailing and struggling is a normal part of your journey. Fighting through obstacles and not giving up is an awesome way to write your comeback story.

In an effort to normalize setbacks as an important part of the triathlon (or any athletic) journey, I am excited to announce my new "Case Study" column in Triathlete Magazine, where I will share an athlete that I worked with on nutrition and discuss the "problem" and "treatment" plan. I am excited to share these athletes and their authentic, real, raw life- failures and all.  I am not sure how many articles I will write and for how long but I can share that my first article is out in the March/April issue of Triathlete Magazine.

I am very honored to share Heather's incredible story as my first case study column as I feel many athletes can identify with her past struggle with race day nutrition and feel inspired and motivated by her incredible comeback story. She was one incredible athlete to work with and her determination to overcome her setback was incredible. 

You must not let a setback define you or convince you that giving up is the best option. 

Sharing your struggles makes you stronger. Be real, be raw, be authentic, be you. 

No person should feel shame or guilt from failure. Instead, embrace your setbacks and don't forget to celebrate the good moments in life. 

If you can't figure out the answer to your problem on your own, reach out to a professional for help.