Disclaimer: Please note that these are my opinions and views alone. I am not sponsored nor compensated by any of these products mentioned in this article. I am not a medical professional. If you have specific questions or issues regarding nutrition, please contact a medical professional.
I have been asked how do I fuel and hydrate during a training cycle. I am not really an expert. All of us are different. What may work for me, may not work for others. Most of the time it’s a game of trial and error for me. I test out some things a couple of weeks into training and usually stick with what works.
The key thing I know is to stay hydrated throughout the week. I drink an average of ten glasses of water a day. For some, that may seem like a lot and boring. I have learned that it does help to keep hydrated during the week to prepare me for long runs . On Fridays, I a try to slip in a tablet of Nuun (pronounced “Noon”) in my water to kick start the electrolyte intake. What is Nuun? According to the website,” it’s a self-dissolving, sugar-free electrolyte tablet that dissolves in your water.” I discovered Nuun, while training last year for the first half of The SF Marathon. Unfortunately, Gatorade , Gu-Brew and Power-Aid doesn’t sit too well with my stomach. So during a shopping trip to Sports Basement, I bought a tube of the Lemon Tea flavor. From that purchase on it has been my constant hydration companion. It hardly gives me any trouble and it’s breaks up the monotony of water. What I love about it: portable, sugar-free, a variety of flavors and most important happy stomach! My favorite flavors are: Tropical, Fruit Punch and Citrus Fruit. Do you see the tropical theme here? Nuun will be the electrolyte on course for The SF Marathon this year! Awesome!
Photo courtesy of Nuun website
Besides hydration, fuel is important while running. There are all sorts of products out there. Gels, chews, bars and whole food. So many to choose from so little time. It takes time to figure out what works and doesn’t. My magic combo this year has been Chocolate Outrage Gu Energy Gels, Chocolate Haze Pocket Fuel Nut Butter and Pomegranate Passion Fruit Honey Stinger Energy Gels.
Photo courtesy of PocketFuel.
Photo Courtesy of Honey Stinger
Photo courtesy of Gu Energy Labs
Now, I don’t use everything at the same time but I do like to have variety. For runs longer than 5 miles, I take four Gu’s and either a package of chews or Pocket Fuel just in case I get tired of gels. I start my fuel thirty minutes before a run and then every 40 minutes while running. I find this timing works best for me. It saves me from getting delirious and hangry (hungry and angry) while out on the road. What I love about all these fueling options are that it gives me the energy and nutrition that I need. Gu is not sugar-free but has just enough to not send me into sugar shock. PocketFuel is pretty gentle on my stomach and is a good whole food option. Honey Stinger has fun flavors also organic and gluten free.
The most important thing is it to try all sorts of things. Practice fueling and hydrating while on your long runs. Logging the miles during training is important . Practicing your fueling and hydrating is also key. It is during this time you will figure out what works, so come race day, no surprises.
Hope this helps!
How do you fuel and hydrate while training?
Do you prefer gels or chews?