Highlights from the 2010 Boston Marathon Expo

I attended the Boston Marathon Expo on Sunday. It was a great opportunity to see what’s new in running-related products. There were over 200 exhibitors at the Expo at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Here are some of the highlights:

Gatorade had a large booth, equipped with treadmills for measuring VO2max.  My fellow Times Union running blogger, Colleen Morrissey Wheatley, was one of runners invited to participate in the testing.  You can read about her experience here

Gatorade was introducing a new line of products, Gatorade G Series Pro, which is made up of five products:

  • Gatorade G Series ProG Series Pro 01 Prime Energy Drink
  • G Series Pro 01 Prime Nutrition Shake
  • G Series Pro 01 Prime Nutrition Bar
  • G Series Pro 02 Perform Endurance Formula
  • G Series Pro 03 Recover Protein Recovery Shake

The G Series Pro 01 Prime products are meant to be consumed before exercise, to provide the carbohydrates needed for extended workouts.  The G Series Pro 01 Perform Endurance formula is the same as the existing Gatorade Endurance Formula, with twice the sodium and three times the potassium of regular Gatorade.  The G Series Pro 03 Recover product has a combination of carbs and protein designed to help with recovery after strenuous workouts or races. 

The Recover product was available for finishers of this year’s Boston Marathon.  It tasted pretty good, better than most carbohydrate/protein blend drinks.  I spoke to Sports Nutrition author Nancy Clark about the carbohydrate/protein blend products at the Expo and she said that chocolate milk also works for muscle recovery and tastes pretty good.  Good point, Nancy!

PowerBar Gel BlastsPowerBar was giving out samples of their new Gel Blasts energy chews at the Expo.  The Gel Blasts are formulated a 2:1 glucose to fructose blend which studies have shown delivers 20–50% more energy to muscles than glucose alone and improves endurance performance by 8%.  They are slightly chewy with a liquid center.  Six Gel Blasts energy chews are the energy equivalent of one regular PowerBar Gel.  To send for a free sample of the Gel Blasts, click here.

PowerBar ProteinPlus BitesPowerBar also had sample of its ProteinPlus Bites, which are small bitesized servings of its ProteinPlus bars.  They are designed for people who don’t want to eat a whole protein bar in one sitting.  I haven’t had too much trouble cutting or breaking my protein bars in half when I don’t want the whole thing.  They taste OK, but they look like something my cat left behind the couch once. 

Nuun TabletsNuun had all of the flavors of its carb-free electrolyte solutions available for tasting at the Expo.  I tend to like the Lemon+Lime or the Orange Ginger, not the Banananuun.

The Cherry Marketing Institute also had a booth at the Expo with samples of tart cherry juice and dried cherries, which studies have shown to speed recovery after tough workouts and races.

There were several booths with vendors like Garmin, Polar, and others touting their lastest products, as well as all of the major running shoe and clothing companies. Vibram had a booth and was selling its Vibram Five Fingers “barefoot” running shoes. 

I ran into a guy wearing Vibram Five Fingers after the finish of the Boston Marathon.  He said that he had run the entire race wearing them and had set a PR, but that his quads were “shot”.  I’m not sure that you can attribute his quad fatigue to his shoes, since that’s not an uncommon experience at Boston.  He hadn’t taken his Vibrams off yet, but he seemed to have escaped without any blisters.  Many Vibram wearers have reported getting blisters on longer runs, even with Injinji socks

I bought a Tiger Tail massage tool at the Expo.  You can read more about it here.

If you are running the Boston Marathon or if you happen to be in Boston on race day weekend, I would highly recommend visiting the Expo.  There’s a lot to see and you can almost make a meal out of all the free food samples. Admission is free and you don’t have to be registered for the Marathon to attend.

Did you make it to this year’s Expo?  What was your favorite find?  Tell me in the comments.

Related Posts:

How to Run Not So Fast in the Boston Marathon

Top 4 Essential Running Books

Sweat a Lot? You May Need Electrolytes!

Drink Tart Cherry Juice for Faster Workout Recovery

Is Barefoot Running for You?

Tiger Tail vs. The Stick

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