Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hydration with nuun

Happy first day of SPRING!  Typically this time of year, I'm anxiously awaiting a warm day, a slow teaser into summer.  Instead the Midwest has quickly converted winter (mild as it was) into summer.  Temperatures have soared above 80 all week with a sticky humidity in the air that makes me slightly thankful for the spring winds.  I'm not complaining, but it's been a fast transition.

When it comes to running, warmer temperatures require a careful eye on hydration. I used to be the runner that said, "I can't drink while I run. My tummy doesn't like it."  Then I began training for my  marathon last July.  Yup, the heart of summer heat.  I learned quickly that in order to sustain the 2-4 hour runs, I needed proper fueling and hydration. Thus began my journey of figuring out how to make it work.  Below I share what worked for me, but remember every person is different.  That's what training is for... to experiment different methods, and find what works for your body before your big race day.


Most importantly, the day before a long run, I eat well-balanced meals and drink lots of water through the day, nothing over the top but definitely more than normal.  Rule of thumb is that you should pee often and it should be light in color.  If it looks dark like apple juice, you need more water.  Tip: Lay off the water in the evening or else you'll be hunting down potty stops during your run. I've got it just about mastered that I rarely need to stop during a run, even those 4-5 hours in length.  Amazing, right?

So last summer, I began to carry a water bottle on my runs. I wouldn't even call it drinking, I sipped... often and very little.  Slowly I got my body used to consuming liquid while on the run.  I increased the ounces with the miles. I planned my routes past gas stations or parks with drinking water for refills. All this hydration was helping, but once I reached the 16+ mile distances, I was still feeling fatigued.  Something was missing.

Then I discovered nuun.


nuun is Jess-Approved!
nuun is a small drink tab that you drop into your water bottle... one tab per 16 oz of water (my handheld bottle is 20oz so that's what I use.)  The nuun tab dissolves and turns your water into a tasty drink spiked with electrolytes - without the extra sugar.  Unlike most sports drinks, nuun has only 4 calories per serving.

What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals that break down into small electrically charged particles called ions.  They are everywhere in your body that is liquid... blood, cells, cell surroundings.  They regulate your body's fluids by helping to maintain a healthy pH balance and create the critical electrical impulses essential to physical activity...  think muscle contractions.

Why are electrolytes so important?
Electrolytes are critical for any kind of physical performance.  You should be vitally concerned about replenishing them as you are with replacing lost body fluids.  The two go hand in hand.  Ever notice when you get done with a sweaty workout that your skin feels (and tastes) salty.  That's because sodium is among the body's most important electrolyte.  Now that doesn't mean douse your pre-race food with salt.  If you are eating a well balance diet, your body already receives an ample supply of sodium.  

Our bodies do amazing stuff.  For shorter workouts, our kidneys kick in to regulate the electrolyte balance in our blood despite the changes happening in your body. However, once a run gets longer than two hours in length (my benchmark), the body's supply of electrolytes drop substantially.  This will leave you first feeling fatigued and then like you can't go on. Not one more step.  Some call it "The Wall"... You don't want to hit that.

I have added nuun to my water for long runs ever since last summer.  No scientific results here, but I noticed an immediate difference in how I felt during the later miles.  I sipped on nuun throughout my first marathon and am delighted to say that I never hit this 'Wall' that so many speak of.  Trust me, it can be avoided.

In addition to long runs, I use nuun in my water during strenuous workouts. I'm pretty darn good at 'reading and listening' to my body needs.  Today, I rocked track intervals through sticky temps, a beating sun and 20 mph winds. Honestly, I was completely wiped out today after 9.6 miles. I downed two bottles of nuun  - one during my workout and one after.

Guzzling down my nuun after today's hard track intervals!

FAVORITE FLAVORS!  
nuun comes in over 10 flavors.  They're adding more all the time that  I haven't tried them all... but I do keep rebuying Grape and Strawberry Lemonade. Orange and Tri-Berry rank pretty high for me too.  What's your favorite nuun flavor?


JELLY BEAN PRIZE!
I was delighted when nuun came on board to help sponsor the Jelly Bean virtual race.  One lucky winner will score a nuun prize pack (4pk of nuun, t-shirt and water bottle).  In addition, every single runner in the Jelly Bean will receive a special discount code for the nuun store!!  Like you needed another reason... get signed up for the Jelly Bean here

HOOD TO COAST RELAY TEAM!
Not only is this the coolest relay race ever, but to run on the nuun team would be amazing!  nuun announced yesterday that this year, they will be sponsoring THREE female blogger teams for the great relay race.  Hubby and I were busy last night creating our 'big idea' for my application. Have no doubt, I plan to make you laugh with it!  More details here.  Do you plan on applying for the nuun HTC team??

** Opinions expressed above are completely Jess.  No product was supplied by nuun for my review. 
I am not a doctor.  Please consult your own physician before making changes to your nutritional routine.

16 comments:

  1. Love me some Nuun! Love it. right now I am drinking Nuun Strawberry Lemonade because from October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013, Nuun will donate $0.50 to Susan G. Komen™ for each tube purchased. Since I am planning on doing this walk this year, I figure every little bit helps.

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  2. Grape nuun is my fave (although I've only had grape and orange) and I have yet to drink during a race since I have't tried it on a long run, but I had it waiting for me after my ahlf and it was perfect! Great prize Jess!

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  3. Grape and Strawberry Lemonade are my favorites as well, at least of the ones I've tried. Grape is at the top!

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  4. NICE I have yet to try nuun!

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  5. Right now my fave is Tropical. I LOVE it!!!

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  6. love me some nuun! i just bought 5 new flavors at the race expo this weekend-currently loving the cola flavor (which is crazy bc i gave up soft drinks about 5 years ago) and the lemon tea. also bought orange, fruit punch, and lemon lime. i am totally applying! i’ve been brainstorming as well...

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  7. I. Love. Nuun. So delicious. I usually drink tri-berry or citrus because they are the only flavours my local store carries that I like. I've tried the orange but it reminds me of Tang. I'm on a strawberry-lemonade and grape kick right now though because I finally got my hands on some at the Disney Princess Expo. So yummy!

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  8. I love the strawberry lemonade!

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  9. Love Strawberry Lemonade!! So glad I discovered nuun!!

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  10. Strawberrry lemonade and grape are my fave...

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  11. Grape is the best!!!! I want to apply for Hood to Coast but I can't think of any way to do it. :( I'm not creative at all.

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  12. i like the pink lemonade! tastes great after a good, long workout. unfortunately i haven't had any long, great workouts lately, but i did just get back from a nice, 5 miler pushing my son in the jogger...better than nothing huh?

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  13. I LOVE NUUN! I wish I could apply to be on the team but this year the timing doesn't work for me! Growing up in Oregon I was use to hearing about the Hood To Coast run...now that I'm a runner I realize what an incredible race it is!

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  14. I love nuun! I'm definitely applying too. :-) I can't wait to see your idea! And tropical is the best, have you had that kind?

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  15. It is definitely a pipe dream of mine to apply for hood to coast!

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  16. I will have to try nuun! Also, I remind myself to sip water every time my garmin beeps (at least every mile)!

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