As an NCAA Division I swimmer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Taylor Spivey posted some speedy times, especially in distance freestyle. But despite the impressive resume, she was living with near constant GI distress and had developed ulcers. With depleted energy and even trips to the hospital, Spivey’s stomach issues were threatening to derail her athletic career.
Spivey knew she had to do something. So, as she made the switch from swimming to professional triathlon post-college, she also shifted her approach to fueling. No longer could she just grab a random gel packet for a run or sip on a basic sports drink during tough training rides. Spivey needed nutrition that would boost her workouts and performance in racing—and be gentle on her sensitive stomach.
Enter Science In Sport. A U.K.-based company founded in 1992, Science in Sport is one of the world’s leading endurance sports nutrition brands, offering a range of endurance fuel including gels, drink powders, and bars. It’s a favorite among many elite athletes around the world, with 34 medal-winning athletes or teams using Science in Sport’s products during the 2016 Rio Olympics. It is also the official energy gel and energy bar provider for USA Triathlon, and has similar partnerships with professional cycling team Team SKY, British Cycling, Cycling Australia, USA Cycling and British Triathlon.
At the suggestion of a friend, Spivey tested out Science in Sport’s GO Isotonic Energy Gel and was immediately impressed by the result.
“Up until then, any sports gel I tried negatively affected my performance,” she says. “I tried Science in Sport, and for the first time I didn’t have any stomach issues.”
It didn’t take long for Spivey to link up with Science in Sport as a sponsored athlete, and she has since worked in a variety of their products to her daily fueling routine. Aside from the isotonic gels, which has a unique concentration that’s absorbed easily and quickly by the body without the need for additional water for digestion, she swears by the GO Energy Bars and REGO Recovery drinks as well.
“Science in Sport products are all around delicious. They have a mild taste and a wide range of flavors,” she says. “And when it’s difficult to access or tolerate normal food, they fill in the spaces between standard meals.”
Today, Spivey is on the shortlist for the 2020 U.S.A. Olympic team in triathlon and travels across the globe competing in draft-legal, Olympic-distance racing. Most recently, she helped Team U.S.A. to a second-place finish in the ITU World Triathlon Mixed Relay event in Edmonton, Canada. Hopping from city to city presents its own set of issues for an athlete with a sensitive stomach, but, with the help of science in sport and her nutritionist Liz Fusco, Spivey is as confident as ever that her fueling plan is dialed in.
“I am constantly fine tuning my race nutrition and I have made some huge improvements,” she says. “And on the days I get it right, I race my best.”
Taylor Spivey’s Race Day Fueling Timeline
- 3-4 hours before the race:
- A meal of plain white rice, chicken or eggs
- 1 hour before the race:
- 1 150mg GO Caffeine shot
- 20 minutes before the race:
- 1 GO Isotonic Energy Gel
- During the race:
- 1-3 GO Isotonic Energy Gels, 1 bottle of GO Electrolyte, 1 bottle of water
- 1 bottle of REGO Recovery