Friday, February 01, 2008

OR-Enlyten Electrolyte Strips

One of the most intriguing and smallest products at OR were Enlyten Sports Strips. I prefer to drink water on the run but know I need electrolytes especially on a long hot run. I really like the portability.

Enlyten Strips are very small,  dissolvable strips you place between your cheek  and gum. Enlyten sponsored research  claims  electrolytes are thought to get into the blood stream faster through the buccal area (5 minutes) than through the gastric and intestinal channel (30 minutes). Great to stop fast on coming cramps. 

 3-6 strips before your workout and then 2-4 per hour during exercise, then 3-6 post exercise. They are tasty and dissolve within about a minute or so. Robert Radoff, the National Sales Manager explained that his somewhat slower (than say a Listerine strip) dissolve insures the electrolytes have a chance to be absorbed and not wasted.

The strips are in use by several NFL teams as well numerous college and high school teams.

Word of caution. A fresh cassette is packed tight so if you plan to use during a race make sure you consume the first 3 or 4 before the race. 

OR-CEP Sports Compression Socks

As an aging but striving to go fast runner I am always intrigued by gear which holds the promise of improving performance.  

Compression socks are now showing up on top tri-athletes and world class marathoners such as Paula Radcliffe, the world marathon record holder. At OR I ran into a German company CEP Sports introducing a compression sock which research has shown may improve performance in endurance events. OK these knee high socks are a bit goofy but in the 2 runs to date in a sample I have found them incredible comfortable and soothing on the lower legs.

The company's testing at a German institute has shown that time under load=running time in a staged test was approximately 5% higher than with normal socks. Maximal VO2 consumption increased by 3%. Circulation in the lower leg increased by 30-40%.  I think this increased circulation should help my plantar heels as circulation is known to help the condition. As I nordic ski I found the increased circulation and thus warmer lower legs particularly promising. Models exist for alpine skiing where I can also see the utility. 

 CEP recommends leaving the socks on for half an hour after workouts to help with recovery. 

Other compression socks exist  but CEP claims their consistent circular pressure and medical grade materials and construction make for a more effective and longer lasting sock. The company is just introducing the product in the US and is in limited distribution. From the CEP website dealer list I see they are available through Hannulink Tri-Gear. They are pricey at $59.90. Other compression sock companies include SLS3 and Oxysox.