If there’s one thing that really frustrates a endurance athlete… that would be hydration for sure. Why? Well, there is a delicate balance between taking in enough fluids for your cells to function normally, and taking in so much so that your body rejects it. I’ve been on both ends of the woes of hydration.
I’ve had two experiences with running out of fluids on a long run. The first time it happened I was only a mile and a half from home and it was a very hot day. I was extremely dehydrated and starting to feel like I might pass out, so I stopped into a restaurant called the Sunrise Cafe (which ended up being a Philipino reestaurant) and asked for water. I was wearing a sports bra and shorts, dripping with sweat and everyone was staring. The lady behind the counter gave me a cup mostly full of ice, which I immediately chugged. Twenty seconds later as I walked out the door= worst brain freeze of my life! A few months later I had a similar episode, and ended up stopping at Starbucks two miles from home. They were a little more accepting of my situation and I didn’t get as many stares.
On the other end of the spectrum (which is much worse in my opinion) are the times when your hydration beverage of choice just does not settle well. I’ve had a few episodes of reverse peristalsis (puking, for those of you who didn’t pay attention in Biology) which has always been related to an excess of sugar. I sweat a lot, and unfortunately it can be quite difficult to make up for the amount of fluid and electrolytes lost on those hot, humid summer days. In order to encourage drinking, I usually pick some kind of low calorie version of a major brand, like G2 or Propel. Well, I hadn’t found something that actually settles my stomach, tastes good, and keeps me hydrated until I tried Nuun. What an ah ha! moment! Nuun is slightly fizzy (in a good way, don’t worry, it doesn’t cause loud belching), and for some unexplained reason it settles in my stomach unlike water and Gatorade (which just sloshes around, and sometimes finds its way back out). I had previously tried the grape flavor, which I really liked, but I hadn’t tried it in training yet. I also tried their orange flavor last week (there are 11 tasty flavors to choose from). For this past long run, I tried the strawberry lemonade flavor which was flipping fantastic. I felt great, and ended up averaging my marathon PR pace for 20 miles! I think that PR is going down…
So, to wrap things up (I tend to be long-winded, I know), if you are interested in trying out Nuun for yourself, check out their website. You can also follow @nuunhydration on Twitter!