Poor PERFORM-ance

Poor PERFORM-ance

17/10/2013 in Focus Aid, General

After the race last weekend I was cleaning my equipment and when I pulled my straw from my aero bottle I saw this:
All summer I have trained with the following products: Ironman Perform powder, Gu Roctane, Gatorade, and Gu Brew. Never did my straw change colors that look like this one after using the fluids at Ironman last week.

This caused me to put a call in to a chemist at a hydration company and shared my pic. Their first question was, “Did anybody else have the same issues the with the Perform that day?” This lead me to ask around to some that also raced last weekend and I found everybody I talked to had major issues with it causing nausea, vomiting and other GI issues.

When the conversation resumed the chemist said that there are a few possibilities which caused these problems. The problem may include one of the following:
1.) The sugar in the drink was not the same sugar used in the powder (that I trained with over the summer). They state that this is very likely, but if the drink was made properly it should taste the same and one’s body should react the same whether it is powder, concentrate or premixed beverage. This is why the companies spend millions on testing products of different formulations.
2.) The drinks came from a bad batch. This is highly unlikely since the problems were so widespread with multiple athlestes taking bottles from different aid stations.
3.) The sugars that were used were a low grade sugar. This would explain getting sick but not the staining of the straw.
4.) The product was skunked, not expired, but skunked. If the product was left out in the hot sun and repeatedly heated up to a high temperature and cooled that complex sugars will start to decompose and their molecular compound will change. This may have been the reason that the Yellow dye stained your straw and whey everybody got sick.

Sharing knowledge, good bad or indifferent, and knowledge is power…


  • amphkingwest 14:50h, 17 October Reply

    ‘Skunked’ – Poor PERFORM-ance |Andrew Starykowicz http://t.co/yuygZEgtoF

  • bobseebohar 16:43h, 17 October Reply

    I find this interesting…but not surprising. http://t.co/r6B7P1vnyu

  • IronMikeTri 16:54h, 17 October Reply

    GI issues in Kona? Was the on-course Ironman Perform skunked? http://t.co/6vmGn06jI5 #triathlon

  • blairidavies 16:55h, 17 October Reply

    @ClaireSSTri – http://t.co/uqjxqx6A9K GI Issues?

  • sportscoachtalk 17:05h, 17 October Reply

    @ProfTimNoakes Sticky hydration problems lead to poor Ironman performance – tnx @bobseebohar http://t.co/JVCjxUkAte

  • David Griffin 18:23h, 17 October Reply

    Those Ironman drinks are nasty. More sodium that an anything else. Poison!

  • StrengthCoach21 19:31h, 17 October Reply

    Poor PERFORM-ance http://t.co/aipXOMDPNQ

  • Jeremy Brown 19:48h, 17 October Reply

    I stopped using that stuff a couple years ago when i noticed it stained all my bottles and my white kit. That can’t be good for your guts.

  • cdog781 20:11h, 17 October Reply

    Poor PERFORM-ance http://t.co/TZV88Gs4le

  • wirelessJake 20:46h, 17 October Reply

    Starykowicz (and others) got “skunked” fluids? – Poor PERFORM-ance http://t.co/qcO7Ni0XWt

  • Steve Handwerker 20:48h, 17 October Reply

    Rule Number One: Never do anything different on race day from what you train with.
    Rule Number Two: Always use your own race nutrition/drink/gel/bars and take only water on the course (or pretzels, bananas or oranges if you are accustomed to those; but no gels or drinks). That means bring your own tablets or powder-in-ziplocks to mix with the water.
    Rule Number Three: Anything can happen on race day, and how you adapt and overcome is what will make you succeed.

  • Dianna G 21:51h, 17 October Reply

    I’m not anywhere near a pro-level racer, and I don’t question anyone’s use of sports drinks, racing fuel, etc. although I no longer use these kinds of products when training or racing. That said, Hawaii has a problem that is becoming more and more apparent (and could be the source of your “skunking” scenario). Numerous times I have witnessed the improper transportation of food, including dairy products that MUST be refrigerated on the back of an open flat-bed truck on a 90 degree day. Pallets of perishables sitting in the sun between the truck and the loading dock, slowing making their way into the stores. Sitting in the store, waiting to be loaded into the refrigerated cases. So, yes, unfortunately, this could have happened to your products if they came from a Hawaii vendor. I’m not saying that all Hawaii vendors and transport companies operate this way, but I’ve seen it happen enough and have had food go bad so quickly once brought home from the store that it makes me suspicious. Sorry to hear it impacted your race.

  • Janosoto1 22:58h, 17 October Reply

    Too many GI problems in Kona? Here’s something to think about….. Who takes care of what your drink when you race? http://t.co/3S2SGWkQuY

  • Jordan Rapp 23:41h, 17 October Reply

    Actually, no. None of those things. You just biked too hard.


  • triafca 08:36h, 18 October Reply

    Poor PERFORM-ance http://t.co/VPkB5jGEBT @ironmantri #nutrition

  • thesagmonkey 11:39h, 18 October Reply

    RT @Lead_Media: Interesting notes on #Ironman World Champs from Andrew Starykowicz. http://t.co/1ADTsglwIj

  • Wiggler 14:29h, 18 October Reply

    Last year I thought the water tasted off, almost like wax from paper cups had melted a bit contaminating the water.

  • BPMSport 06:23h, 21 October Reply

    Interesting points arising from Andew @starykowicz blog regarding Kona. Lots of people with GI issues this year http://t.co/Oh38dfFa5Q

  • Zo Mendoza 08:39h, 02 November Reply

    Incredible and honest portrayal of your IM Worlds experience .As an Sports photographer and writer I can see how your strength comes from within beyond the physical capabilities .Your spirit will make you even stronger .Hope to see that in you in Kona in 2014. All the best….Zo

  • Dyronman 15:02h, 02 November Reply

    It wrecked my imcda this year too. :(

  • Chris Daniels 22:37h, 07 November Reply

    This makes total sense. Sounds like Rapp just can’t hang with the big dogs and is trying to make up excuses. It’s ridiculous in this day and age that we have to use a substandard, mass marketed, mass produced product such as Perform at a World Championship event. I don’t care how much they pay or how many supporters who get paid by IM try to do damage control (Rapp). If PowerBar was serious they would take more care in the delivery of the product to the end user. They are too busy schmoozing at the expo trying to market their candy to the kids who don’t know any better. Andrew I suggest you consider separating your nutrition and hydration i.e. Stick to your Gu and Chomps and use a more proven hydrating formula like plain water or even something like Osmo.

  • MyRealCornfession | Watts Up Karin? 06:54h, 20 March Reply

    […] went on to excuse away his literal meltdown in Kona with a picture of his hydration system’s straw. It was yellowed, you guys. The on course-nutrition in Kona was clearly “tainted” due to the […]

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