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hammer perpetuem packaging

Hammer Perpetuem is a high-calorie sports drink for endurance athletes. If you’re familiar with other Hammer Nutrition products, it follows the same general formula (complex carbs rather than simple sugars.)

There are two big reasons I see to buy Hammer Perpetuem:

1. If you do such long and strenuous workouts that you can’t stomach solid food, and therefore need calories in liquid form.

2. If you are a cross country mountain bike racer racing on technical terrain where it is very difficult to simultaneously eat and still control the bike.

For me, it was reason number two. I need to take in serious calories during my mountain bike races (anywhere from 2-12 hours long,) and East Coast terrain is too technical to allow me to eat energy bars comfortably.

So I tested out Hammer Perpetuem and here is my review…

First of all, I’d be shocked if you’ve never heard of Hammer Nutrition by now, especially if you’re doing any sports nutrition research online. Hammer has a huge following – it’s almost like a cult! Fans of Hammer love it so much, it sounds like they’re pitching an MLM company when they talk about it!

Rather than repeat my thoughts on Hammer in general, I invite you to take a quick look at my Hammer Heed, Hammer Gel, Endurolytes, and Hammer Bar reviews.

Health and Nutrition

Speaking on the Orange Vanilla flavor, let’s look at the ingredients:

Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Soy Protein Isolate, Energy Smart® (fruit juice, natural grain dextrin), Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Trisodium Phosphate, L-Carnosine, L-Carnitine (as Carnipure™), Choline Bitartrate, Chromium Polynicotinate.

Overall it’s a nice combination. It’s not full of a ton of junk to worry about. It’s really simple though. You could take maltodextrin, protein powder, and some sea salt and make your own knock-off if you wanted.

Anyway, the nutrition facts:

One serving of Perpetuem gets you 270 calories. In that, 2.5g fat, 54g carbs (only 7g sugars,) and 7g protein. Plus electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese.

If you equate one serving to one water bottle, that’s just about the right caloric intake per hour for most people.

Taste Test

The Hammer website mentions Caffe Latte, Orange-Vanilla, and Unflavored flavors. For my tests, I tried the Cafe Latte and Orange Vanilla flavors, mixed at one serving (two scoops) per 22oz bottle.

Cafe Latte

I sampled the Cafe Latte flavor for one ride that was a couple hours long. I just remember that it tasted a little like milk and coffee. The texture was thick like milk as well.

I don’t remember exactly how it tasted (it wasn’t bad,) but I did not see myself drinking that flavor often. (I figured the Orange would be a more agreeable flavor.)

Orange Vanilla

This is like a creamsicle flavor. It’s a mild orange like with Heed, but creamier and sweeter, thanks to the vanilla flavor. Again, it’s almost a milky flavor.

The texture is somewhere between Heed and Accelerade.

I enjoy Heed a bit more, but this is a good, light flavor without too thick a texture. I could drink this without problems on long endurance rides. (The longest time I used it was 8 hours, but I could have kept drinking this stuff for a while longer and not gotten sick of the flavor.)

Mixing Hammer Perpetuem

Hammer Perpetuem is tough to mix! Lots and lots of shaking is required. (Stirring is pointless!) Put it in your bottle and shake it up.

Heed is tough to mix, too. It’s due to the maltodextrin base. I’ve used straight maltodextrin before when making my own concoctions, and holy crap is it hard to mix up!

Good news though: while this is harder to mix than Accelerade, the cleanup is much easier. Perpetuem leaves no residue in my water bottle. So while it takes some extra prep time, there is much less cleanup time. Cool!


At $44.95 for 32 servings, each serving is roughly the cost of an energy bar. That’s really not bad, considering Hammer Perpetuem functions as an energy bar replacement.

If it’s too expensive, try making your own. I actually have ingredients on hand that would make a pretty good substitute, so I might try that for fun.

Hammer Perpetuem in Use

I used this stuff for some mountain bike rides and races ranging from 2-8 hours. Overall it worked pretty well.

I think it’s a great way to get calories during a race when you can’t stop for solid food. I had no stomach upset or gastrointestinal issues when using Perpetuem.

The flavor works well, too – it is a pretty good taste, yet mild enough you don’t get sick of it easily.

However, some other drinks (like Hammer Heed) do taste a lot better. And the texture is kind of thick and milky, so it isn’t quite as refreshing as crisp, clear water.

And if it gets warm, it really sucks. That can be a problem if you don’t have a large supply of ice and cold water at your camp site.

My final verdict is…

If you’re looking for a good way to take in quite a few calories in liquid form, Hammer’s Perpetuem is a fine choice. It’s not cheap, it’s not delicious, and it takes a lot of energy to mix it up smoothly – but it does the job, and that’s the whole point!

Official website: www.HammerNutrition.com

Buy online: www.REI.com

Product Review Details
Company: Hammer Nutrition
Product: Hammer Perpetuem
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2010-09-14
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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  1. Hello Coach Levi, I know this article is a a bit old so I hope it’s not too late to ask a question. I just found this the other day and I wanted to thank you for posting it. It’s hard to find unbiased reviews sometimes so yours is very helpful. My question is, you mention taking maltodextrin, protein powder, and some sea salt to make a knock off. It’s my understanding that a good ratio is 4:1 carbohydrate versus protein. Is this correct in your experience? And what about the sea salt? I assume a pretty small amount? Again thanks for posting and have a great day!

    • Hi Alan,

      In looking at the nutrition facts label on Perpetuem, it’s 7.7:1 carbs to protein (by weight). Hope that helps.

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