Words by Sam Brand: @samuelnealbrand
Hey everyone. First things first, please let me introduce myself; I am Sam Brand, a professional cyclist, living with type 1 diabetes – racing on a global scale to inspire, educate and empower everyone around the world affected by diabetes.
I only began cycling in 2016 having graduated from university and switching my focus from Triathlon to full-time cycling. My parents might say it was to avoid a full-time job, but the opportunity to push my limits and to show what’s possible with diabetes was something I couldn’t turn down. That opportunity moved quickly, and in 2018, less than two years after my first race, I had turned professional and was selected for the 2018 Commonwealth Games for the Isle of Man. A journey I could have only dreamt of. Whilst living this journey, it is of utmost importance to me to include the diabetes communities – change my small part of the world, one smile at a time.
As a professional athlete, beyond the time, spent training and pushing my limits, there are a lot of routine shifts, a lot of travelling, multiple time zone changes, different (fantastic) cultures and an abundance of tastes. This is absolutely a privilege – but it comes with some challenges, and for me, one that’s notable is the way my gut handles these dynamic alterations; with a few recent races I’ve ended up with an overly sensitive stomach. It happens.
Let me take you back a few months and whilst travelling home from one of these races, combined with a little more than normal airport layover time and having the urge to wander, I came across the fantastic Remedy Drinks. Now if you’re reading this, you’re probably already a huge Remedy Fan but I happened upon the fantastic tasting Kombucha. Now, when people hear ‘Kombucha’ they might often think hipsters and millennials but seeing the benefits on the can itself with ‘Live Cultures’ and naturally ‘No Sugar’ and in the circumstance with my gut – I decided to give it a whirl. Wow – not only did it taste incredible, the way it supported my digestion felt astonishing. My second thought was ‘I need to get a fridge full of this’.
Whilst home, and training, I aim to make sure that my digestion is as stable as possible and implementing naturally sourced ingredients with little to no sugar is not only better but imperative to me. This has helped me to adapt better when I do travel and race.
Currently, my racing calendar has me racing throughout Europe having just returned from the Tour of Denmark as well as the Tour of Limousin in Nouvelle-Aquitaine (Southwestcentral France to you and me). Over the next few weeks, my racing will take me to some classic one-day races in Belgium. As you can see, this is a lot of different countries, cultures, tastes and changes. Something I focus on during these changes is keeping as much normality I can control as possible. For that, there is a Remedy.