Monday, August 5, 2013

Frog Fuel - A Review

A couple months ago Nicole Kesten approached me about a product review of FrogFuel. I had never heard of it before, but did a little research to find out more about the company and I was thoroughly impressed.

A quick bio of Frog Performance:

Started by two friends while stationed with SEAL team-1, Jeff and Alex were unimpressed by the protein and energy supplements that were currently available. They came together to create Frog Performance and to create a product that would maintain energy levels while performing at their peak level. They had five requirements when they created the products:

Product Quality: Professional Grade. FrogFuel is the same medical-grade protein used by health care professionals in various fields including wound and post surgical care. It’s a complete protein with all amino acids that has been fortified and enhanced.
Effectiveness of Product: Immediately Effective and Efficient. FrogFuel is broken down with an enzyme during production allowing it to be absorbed in its entirety rapidly by the user. Collagen protein provides support to skin, muscles, joints, hair, and even teeth.
Convenient: Minimal Size, and Ease of Consumption. FrogFuel is super-concentrated allowing for 15 grams (all bioavailable) of protein in 1oz without mixing on demand.
Suitable for Different Missions: Regular or Energized Protein. 80mg of caffeine provides energy to stay alert, focused, boost metabolism when needed but not so much to cause jitters.
Durable: Extreme Temperatures and Environments, Shelf Life. FrogFuel can be stored unrefrigerated in hot or cold temperatures unopened for 2 years. The packaging is durable and small enough to be carried with ease and without worry.

If that alone isn't enough to pump you up, then check this out:

I'll admit, I was pretty pumped up and ready to walk myself down to the US Navy Recruiting Station and demand that I become a SEAL. Then I remembered that I'm already a member of the premier fighting force, the US Army.

Videos and words are all awesome, but performance is more important than flashiness, so how did it stack up?

Frog Performance sent me a pack of their FrogFuel Energized Protein Shots. Through a snafu with being sent to a 7-week school days before the package arrived at my address in Illinois I had to wait for a friend to send it to me out here. I had a few events that I was going to use for training and a couple races that I wanted to try these out with. First was the Duncan Dehydrator 80-mile ride, a 42-mile training ride and in a more race-like brick in which I rode my bike to the Southwestern Scorcher 5k in Lawton, OK. Lately I have been on a more solid food kick, so this was a good chance to cycle to something out for a try.

Duncan Dehydrator 80-mile ride and 42-mile training ride:

This wasn't a race, but by no means was I going to slouch and relax. I went into the ride with the plan to have 1 packet every 45-50 minutes. I also had 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles with 1-scoop of Skratch orange mix to supplement electrolytes lost due to the heat. As I got to 45 minutes I could feel myself start to struggle a little with fuel, my body was definitely running a little low, which I knew was going to happen and had planned for. I sat back in the paceline and grabbed my first Energy shot. Holy cow, this thing had some kick. If you're used to the bland, dull taste of Cliffshots or Gu, then you are in for a whole new experience. This thing is not boring. It also isn't thick like a typical energy shot. As soon as I opened it up I poured it into my mouth, no need to fight with the package to get the little corners and creases to give up that much needed nutrition.
Within 5 minutes I could feel the power return to my legs and it was much easier to take the pulls when my turn came. I kept eating 1 shot every 45-50 minutes through the ride until about mile 60 when I had to stop and eat a banana due to my stomach knotting up. Being used to more solid foods I think that the lack of substance in me was throwing my stomach for a loop. The Shots were providing the energy, but I think I should have used them every 30 minutes to increase the caloric intake. At only 60 calories per 15 grams of protein it is a great way to get fuel and protein without a giant calorie penalty.

After the race and the day after:

Usually after a hard workout I will take about 50 grams of protein either with Muscle Milk or GNC's brand of post-workout protein in order to prevent my muscles from locking up and just feeling like I have no energy at all the next day. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that my legs felt fresh when I woke up the next day. I didn't need to hobble into the shower and ease myself into stretching as my hamstrings and quads uncoiled themselves. I actually put a fresh kit on and rode my bike 15 miles and felt absolutely great. 

After the Duncan Dehydrator 80-mile.

Brick race/Southwestern Scorcher 5k:

Plan for this day was to ride at a race pace the 10 miles to the race, take a FrogFuel shot after the bike and run the race at 5k race pace. I had been consistently running below 20 minutes for the 3-mile runs we do every Monday here in class. I knew that I was capable of a sub-20, but would I be able to break that 19 minute barrier?

I didn't eat much before I started riding because I wanted to see the effects of the FrogFuel during the race. This left me with a 60-calorie shot and a bottle of water for the 10-mile bike and 5k. In the past I haven't been able to push very hard when I haven't eaten much beforehand. This time I felt great. From the start of the race I was off at a very good pace, running a 5:58 first mile. I had a small hiccup and had to turn around to pick up my ID's and sunglasses that had fallen out of my back pocket. Even with this I was able to keep a 6:20/mi pace through the 5k and run a 19:47. At no point did I feel like I was running out of energy. My body felt great and performed exactly how I wanted it to. I didn't feel like I needed to eat more beforehand and I didn't need to stuff my face after crossing the finish line.

Day after:

Another day of feeling great!! The protein in FrogFuel continues to impress me. Not only do I feel great during the race, but I don't have to plow through chalky protein powder after the race and hope it's in time to get to my muscles before they start cramping up. I didn't feel the need to stretch for hours, nor did it take me 5 minutes to get up from a chair.

Finish line of the Southwester Scorcher 5k.

Final thoughts:

I really like this product. I'm even willing to overlook that it was made by a couple of guys in the Navy. It kept me fueled during my workouts and helped me to feel great afterwards by providing the protein needed by my muscles. I would definitely use this product again, but would supplement with some solid foods to keep my caloric intake up a little higher.

  • Easy to get out of packaging, don't need to fight with it to get the fluid into your mouth.
  • Great, loud taste! (could be a negative if lots of flavor causes you to squirm while in the middle of a workout)
  • Protein helps promote recovery while you are working out and helps to stave off the next day soreness.

  • $2.00 per packet, a bit on the high side of nutrition and the smallest amount you can purchase is 24, so you're looking at $48 each time.
  • If you're looking for more calories you'll need to supplement with something.

Buy or pass?
Definitely a buy.

Thanks to Frog Performance for helping fuel me to my best 5k performance and a 4th AG and 5th OA finish at the Southwestern Scorcher 5k. Great product, hope to see more from you guys in the future!

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