If you are an ultrarunner you have no doubt viewed the VESPA advertisement in UltraRunning and/or witnessed other runners using VESPA at races.
I first noticed VESPA two years ago as the caption FAT IS YOUR FUEL caught my eye. I read the advertisement and then thought I’d do a bit of research at a later time.
During the past few months I’ve taken an in depth look at VESPA. I was first intrigued because I learned that VESPA works very well when following a paleo diet. I have been eating a paleo for athletes type diet for quiet some time.
Following are the two statements that caught my eye and caused me to look into the product more thoroughly.
“The key to sustaining athletic performance lies in optimizing the body’s ability to metabolize fat.‘
‘VESPA’s key ingredient is an all natural amino acid complex derived from the Asian Madarin wasp and works by shifting the muscles to metabolize a higher level of fat during physical activity thus stabilizing and conserving glycogen.’
At first glance I incorrectly thought that VESPA was a source of energy. It is not. It is not a fuel or an electrolyte. It works by optimizing your muscles’ ability to derive its energy from a readily available source: fat. One still needs to ingest energy and electrolytes when running long distance.
During the past few weeks I have had conversations with other athletes using VESPA as well as many conversations with Peter at VESPA.
There seems to be a huge synergy between VESPA and the OFM diet /training approach. OFM = Optimized Fat Metabolism. The more I read of Phil Maffetone the more I see this. As a ‘fat phobic’ it was difficult for me at first but I am seeing the light.
Peter has walked me through the beginning process and will be guiding me as I get further into my training program.
Because I don’t take part in the high carbohydrate fueling regimen that most athletes do I am not having difficulty transitioning to a solid paleo/primal nutritional program. On hard workout days I’m adding in fattier cuts of meat and a few additional egg yolks post run. I made sure to add fish oil with each meal. I begin hard days with cream and berries.
VESPA allows a jump start to the fat metabolism and since I am not in a heavy training cycle the required energy is not putting a high demand on my body. I’m in a building phase right now; a perfect time to transition to VESPA and a solid paleo program allowing optimized fat metabolism.
By eating in a paleo manner the basal blood insulin levels will go way down and insulin sensitivity way up. This has the effect of stabilizing blood sugar. For races and race training I would consume some carbs/sugars back into the diet so that glycogen stores are topped off but not so that they will cause a spike and a large insulin response such as digesting with fat/protein.
After transitioning the energy levels are much more even. By burning a higher percentage of fat recovery is quicker, with less soreness and muscle catabolism. This allows me to train harder.
My training, racing and nutrition pieces are coming together for 2011. Ready. Set. Go!