The best days are when I get running stuff in the mail. Today I got my Nuun electrolyte tablets. I’ve been obsessed with drinking Nuun (pronounced noon) for about 8 months now and I cannot get enough of it! They are flavored and lightly carbonated with electrolytes, B12 vitamins all under 5 calories. Basically a Gatorade without all the added sugars, calories & artificial coloring <—but hey, blue teeth are sexy! Win, win right?
Fueling with liquids and gels during my longer workouts are becoming just as important as the shoes on my feet because I sweat a lot and lose nutrients! (See above pic) I don’t want to hit a wall, or have my body slow down on me if it’s running on empty. Check out your race’s website and see what brand of drinks and food will be provided on the course. Then take the time to experiment with those liquids and foods during your long runs. Don’t wait until race day to decide to start drinking Cytomax or Gatorade if you’ve never used it in training. The porta-potty surprise should not be part of racing, and crapping your shorts is NOT cute.
I’m finding that if I have a traditional sports drink, like Gatorade or Powerade, and then try eating a GU packet, I get an upset stomach. I can do one or the other, not both. (This is where Nuun or plain ol’ water steps in for me.) GU Energy Gel is a carbohydrate/amino acid/electrolyte blend (my favorites also contain caffeine). They are 100 calories and easy to eat and digest while running. The first time I ate this I thought it tasted like snot–I was beyond grossed out. Now that i know what to expect, i actually like it and it’s an easy way to get in a decent amount of calories and the packets are small enough to carry or fit in a pocket.
There are plenty of other brands and options you can use. Clif bar doesn’t just make protein bars, they make good gels (i’ve tried them!) and Shot Bloks, which are basically oversized fruit snacks. Definitely a good option if you can’t deal with the gel texture. Gatorade also makes chews and they are delicious! When you visit a major race expo you will get the chance to sample a lot of different types of nutrition brands.
Sometimes these endurance supplements can get pricey, like $1.50+ for a gel and same for a sports beverage. To fuel on a budget, try squeezing honey in some water to use as your sports drink. You can always try peanut butter or candy as an energy source. I have used swedish fish and sour patch kids in the past. My only issue was chewing. It ordeal for me. I was seriously annoyed spending the extra energy chewing. #Runnerprobs
Favorite sports nutrition drink or gel?
Anyone have a recipe or candy to use instead? Share it!