"33Fuel transformed my performance first, then it transformed my life. This may sound like exaggeration, and as one of the company co-founders, it may also sound like shameless self-promotion, but bear with me because I think you'll like this. Some of you may also recognise yourselves in my former self.
"In 2011 I'd been a serial ultramarathon runner for several years and was loving it but my performance had hit a major plateau I just couldn't break.
"Regarding nutrition I was using a ton of high-sugar products I hated, yet believed I couldn't do without and - even worse - which I seemed to need in ever-increasing quantities.
"Regarding performance I was surviving races, but on horribly unstable energy levels that rocketed up and down as I rode the rollercoaster from sugar high to sugar crash. My mental state rode the same rollercoaster too, which made the already tough game of endurance even harder. Even worse, I had all manner of stomach issues and race recovery took forever with dead legs hanging around for a week or more after big events.
"As for overall health, I was supposedly a super-fit ultrarunner yet I caught every bug going. Someone only had to sneeze near me and I'd get a cold. Flu season was genuinely a season for me as I lurched from one dose to the next - my immune system was shot. I remember visiting friends when one of their kids had a mild stomach bug. She laughed it off in 24 hours, I caught it and ended up in hospital on a drip.
"Step one on the road to recovery at the end of 2011 was dropping all sports nutrition. Gels, bars, protein shakes, they all went in the bin and were replaced with real food - bananas, nuts, sandwiches and water. This provided an immediate and noticeable improvement.
"At the same time, along with 33Fuel's two other co-founders, Erica and Dan, we began our first trials with tons of recipes, formulas and methods to pack the most potent natural endurance foods on the planet into a new type of endurance nutrition. These were the products that would become 33Fuel's Pre and Post Workout Shakes and Chia Energy Gels.
"Which is where the performance tipping point really hit for me at the start of 2012. Using the Shakes and Gels regularly for all of my training and racing the performance plateau I'd been stuck on simply vanished.
"My energy levels at last had stability, letting me push steady and strong for 24 hours and more. The horrible peaks and troughs I'd suffered before were gone, replaced with a strong and reliable baseline instead. Not only did I look forward to my nutrition during a race, the stomach issues I'd thought were a normal part of endurance had simply disappeared. Races hadn't suddenly become easy, but it felt like an invisible handbrake had been removed and I was happier and faster right away as a result.
"I took an hour off a previous year's 50-mile PB on the same course and in similar conditions, despite no change in training. I ran a tough and testing lead-in to that year's A-race, the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) via the Transgrancaria and Lavaredo Ultra Trail events and just got stronger and faster from one to the next.
- Deep in a freezing & sodden UTMB night Erica preps a fresh Shake as Warren works towards the finish line
"Recovery times were halved and despite eight races in as many months, I didn't get sick once. As we further refined and tweaked the products throughout 2012 we knew we were onto something too good to keep to ourselves. What had begun as a fun experiment had become something much bigger and by late 2012 we took the plunge, with 33Fuel opening for sale to UK customers via our first website.
"By now 33Fuel had transformed my performance, but this is where it also began transforming my life.
"Because no matter how fit I'd ever been I had never been able to break free of the asthma inhalers I'd needed since the age of three. Closing in on 40 the chances of growing out of it were basically nil - that either happens in teenage years or not at all as a rule. So while I was in the best shape of my life I was still gulping down eight daily doses of powerful steroid inhalers.
"But as I continued my daily use of our Pre and Post Workout Shakes, for the first time in my life, I began forgetting to take my inhalers and getting away with it because the asthma never came. Where all previous attempts to wean myself off the inhalers had uniformly been met with a sharp and breathless reminder I was still an asthmatic within 24 hours or less, here I was going days, and then weeks without touching them despite still training hard.
"Fast forward to today and I've not used an inhaler in years, and nor have I got ill once despite a work schedule that is off the charts and which co-exists with a decent training schedule too.
"While I'm not wild enough to say our Pre and Post Workout Shakes cure asthma I can honestly say their addition to my daily diet was the only significant change throughout my transition period and beyond.
"The simple takeway is this: good fuel is everything. Put crap in and you can only ever get crap out. Put the most powerful foods into your body however and you may just find - as I did - that the sky's the limit."
Warren Pole, co-founder 33Fuel™
What's your 33Fuel story? Email contact@33Shake.com to tell us how 33Fuel has changed your performance either in writing or in a short video clip - we'd love to hear from you!
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