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?