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Monday, January 16, 2012

hydration happiness

As runners, we all have our preferences for what works for us.  We test things out and we decide whether they work or whether they are simply not made for us.  Sometimes it takes a very long time to find the perfect thing, weeks or even years in some cases.  (It took years for me to find the right hand held water bottle - I do not want to know how much money I have spent on water bottles, thankyouverymuch).  And sometimes it is love at first use (oh if it were only that way every time!).  But usually once we find what works, we stick with it because we know we can count on it.

From what we put on our feet, to what we wear on our bodies, to what we eat before we hit the trails, to what we consume while we're running, to the best thing to eat and drink for recovery after our workout, to how we carry all that stuff that we need to bring with us while we're running - there are so many options out there and it is quite a journey to figure out the best combination of choices for us as individuals.  It can be overwhelming to think of it all.

But what we put on and what we put in our bodies is important - it all adds up to helping us perform our best and feel our best whether we are out there for an easy run, a long run, a speed workout or a race.

Perhaps the most important and the trickiest element to get figured out is the right nutrition and hydration scenario for our bodies.  We are all different and have unique preferences but there is one inarguable fact - we must stay hydrated in order to perform at our best.  This is true whether we are running or taking a rest day.  Dehydration feels like crap.  If we are under hydrated our bodies will let us know - we will feel tired, our pee will be dark, we may get a headache (always happens to me), we will be grumpy, we will feel thirsty.  It sucks.  In order to avoid dehydration we need to make drinking fluids a priority throughout the day.

I tried EVERY sports drink on the market before my last marathon training cycle.  I am not lying when I tell you that my stomach could not tolerate a single one of them.  The high amounts of sugar always messed my stomach up and left me feeling so sick and SO. incredibly. frustrated.  I knew I was capable of a better performance, but kept stumbling when trying to figure out how to hydrate and fuel properly.  What's more is I would drink water all day the day before my long run or my big race, but still somehow go into it feeling dehydrated.  As a nursing mother this time around I knew I would have to get this problem figured out if I had any hope of training and running my best.

So, this past summer when I was introduced to Nuun - sugar free electrolyte tablets that dissolve in water and taste good - I knew I had to try them out.
my Nuun stash
I was not disappointed.  Nuun was my fairy godmother of hydration.  It completely changed my approach to hydration.  From the first time I tried it, I was hooked.  I love the way that it tastes and because of that I became MUCH better about being sure to drink enough liquids throughout the day, whether I am running or not.  I have made it a habit (one might call it an addiction?) to drink a certain amount of Nuun every single day and more than that on days leading up to my long run or my big race.

Because of Nuun I am never - and I do mean NEVER - worried about being dehydrated.

hydrated = happy
In order to keep myself accountable to my hydration needs, I fill up my water bottles in the morning and make sure to drink them by the end of the day.  As a busy mom of three I know that if I don't do this, I may not remember to keep drinking throughout the day.  So this is just the system I came up with to keep myself in check.  I have two 24 oz. Nalgene bottles that I love to use.  One tablet of Nuun dissolves in 16 oz. of water (it takes about 2 minutes) - so I drop one and a half tablets into each of my Nalgenes when I prepare them.


On days before my long run or big race, I will drink both bottles and refill them each once for a total of 88 ounces of Nuun in a day.  I also drink water so I know I am getting well over 100 ounces of fluid on those days.  This seems to be plenty for me because when I do it I never feel dehydrated.  I have heard that we should drink half of our body weight in ounces (so if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water) in order to make sure we're properly hydrated.  I think this is just a general guideline though and that it is different for everyone - we all have unique hydration needs and need to listen to our bodies.  My body feels really great with closer to 100 ounces in a day so that is what I try to aim for especially before a tough, long workout.  Nuun has actually written up tons of awesome information on the importance of hydration on their web site - you should check it out HERE.

I'm so grateful to have discovered Nuun, a product I know I can count on to help keep me hydrated.

Have you tried it?  What are your favorite flavors?  It would be hard for me to pick just one - I am partial to Grape, Strawberry Lemonade, Tri-Berry and Tangerine Ginger.  But I also really like Banana and Citrus Fruit, too.  Have you ever mixed the flavors?  What are your favorite combos?

18 comments:

I love Nuun. My problem is, I always forget to drop it in my water. I have about 5 tubes laying around right now and unless I put in a hard run, I forget to reach for my Nuun. I love your idea of filling up 3 water bottles in the morning with the Nuun. I am going to try that seeing as my day is going to start get busier here in the next few weeks. Awesome review!

I am a NUUN convert as well. Strawberry Lemonade, Lemon Tea, Lemon Lime and Grape are my favorites! I love them all though.

I just bought some yesterday and I like the flavor. I think it will be a nice change from plain water.
Do you ever drink it while you are working out, running, or in a race?
I'm curious if it works well for racing. I'm always been a water girl because so many things don't work for me.

I just bought some yesterday and I like how it tastes. I think it will be a nice change from plain water.
Have you used it on a run or in a race?
I'm curious to know if it works well in a race setting. I usually do water because so many things don't work for me.

I just started using nuun -- thanks to a stocking stuffer -- and love it as well. Orange is my favorite so far. I'll have to find the strawberry lemonade; that sounds yummy. I love that it doesn't have all the sugar of most sports drinks. I haven't tried drinking it while I run yet, but I do love it for before, after, and any time I'm just thirsty. Prefilling bottles for the day is a great idea. I did a much better job drinking water while I was nursing than I do now that I don't have the stranded-on-a-desert-island thirst all the time.

I love nuun! I always take it along for my long runs. My husband and oldest son also take it to their swim practices. My only bad experience is that, unfortunately, "Santa" brought my oldest son the "Kona Cola" variety (at his EMPHATIC request) and well... yuk. I think Evan thought it was going to taste like Coca-Cola. Not so much... I plan on finishing it off, but it's not my favorite flavor. I'd have to give Strawberry Lemonade that honor.

I hate to say it, but I am not a fan of Nuun. It contains sugar alcohol which is a detriment to my stomach. I much prefer a natural type of hydration, like coconut water, and I'm okay with the extra calories. While running, G2 has plenty of electrolytes but doesnt upset my stomach like regular Gatorade. So many people swear by Nuun and I know I am in the minority, but sugar alcohol just doesnt agree with me!

I've used nuun a couple of times and really like it. I wish it was not quite so expensive but I definitely need to use it more because I get bored with drinking water all day. I use 24 oz water bottle too and fill it up and drink 3 bottles a day. It keeps me accountable and hydrated.

Hi Missy -- I mostly drink it before and after my runs, but I do drink it sometimes during a workout especially at the track or in the gym. I also drink some of it on race day before my race, but have yet to bring it on a long run or with me in a race. The nutrition/hydration/electrolyte replenishment scenario that I've found works best for me while on a long run or during the marathon is plain water throughout and accel gels every 45 minutes.

Allison - your story cracks me up! I got the Kona Cola one to try out and I have to admit ... not my favorite! I have had the tube in my cabinet for a couple of months and everyone in my family has tried it and we just don't dig it!

Elizabeth - have you tried the three natural flavors from nuun? They do not have the sugar alcohols and they are really good. I especially love the Tangerine Ginger flavor. It might be my most favorite of all. It is even good as a hot tea! Anyway you might find that your stomach tolerates them better.

I love Nuun! I tried it a couple of months ago after I saw a few people talking about it on twitter! Loved it! I alternate water and nuun throughout the day - I really like your idea of filling up your waterbottles at the beginning of the day. Sometimes I can't remember how many times I've filled them up so I don't know how much water I've drank!
I am a huge fan of tropical and fruit punch! Haven't tried the Kona flavor yet b/c I'm cautious to buy a 4-pack in case I don't like it!! LOL
This is a great post - especially for those that are new to longer-distance running and aren't aware of their hydration needs!!!

I just got some of this! I can't believe you drink that much water. I think I would have to sit in the bathroom all day long! You've motivated me to go drink a jug...

Filling up the bottles and putting them in the fridge is BRILLIANT! I need to start doing that. I think Grape is my favorite Nuun. I discovered Nuun during a relay and found it worked really well for me.

I'm a HUGE Nuun fan as well. My bro in law got me hooked a few years ago. I've never tried mixing the flavors but that is a good idea to try!

Gatorade kicked my butt this week in Houston - boo. Gonna start weaning in a little Nuun and see how I do. Fingers crossed.

Nuun is where it's at baby!!! SO happy you discovered it! Loved running on Team Nuun for Hood to Coast!! Great company and great product!! Yay for hydration!

I always have issues with hydration. What a great idea to fill all bottles in the morning. So simple, why didn't I think of it? I will try that out :)

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