Hydrating with nuun

All being well I should be on honeymoon right now on the South coast of Italy!  This is a scheduled post.  I promise to catch up with all comments and emails on our return.

A couple of weeks ago I was sent a bottle and three tubs of nuun tablets from the lovely guys at nuun.

nuun bottles

After salting up to the point where my t-shirt and shorts both turned white at both the Conti run and Shires and Spires over the past few months, and with my 70 mile race fast approaching this parcel literally couldn’t have come at a better time!  Check out that thick salt line from the Conti Run on my shorts in the picture below!

Salt loss - ContiI am an incredibly heavy sweater when I run, and the amount of sweat I seem to have lost just lately in the intense heat we have had this Summer has been unbelievable.  The heat has also made it very difficult for my body to want to eat.  Lots of sweat + very little food + lots of water = a dizzy Mary.

nuun actually invented the electrolyte tablet ten years ago.  I love that they are calorie, carb and sugar free.  I often find that energy drinks are too sickly sweet and struggle to drink any more after twenty miles or so.  I can always handle sweet or savoury at the beginning of a run but as I warm up the sweet becomes less and less appealing and my body no longer craves the savoury.

In the heat it’s hard not to continually drink water.  You constantly feel dehydrated and you’re always told to ‘keep drinking’ but in actual fact drinking too much water is really dangerous.  Hyponatremia is the term given to when you have drunk too much water and have decreased the levels of sodium in your blood.  Allegedly there have been more deaths through hyponatremia in marathon runners than there have through dehydration.  I was incredibly scared at the Conti run when I lost hearing in one ear, felt dizzy and lightheaded and had to lie down on the side of the track for several minutes at a time.  Looking back, I know that I drank too much water on another hot day, and I didn’t get enough sodium back in my bloodstream – either through food or through specially formulated drinks.

nuun actually offer twelve different flavours of their tablets; lemon and lime, tri-berry, cherry limeade, lemonade, strawberry lemonade, orange, kona cola, lemon tea, citrus fruit, grape, fruit punch and tropical.  I was sent the lemonade, tri-berry and citrus fruits flavours to try.  I’m loving the sound of strawberry lemonade and grape though.  And with all the watermelon I’ve been wolfing down lately perhaps nuun would like to produce a watermelon flavour?  I’m pretty sure I alone would keep them in business if they did!

Although there are several drinks available which help replace everything lost through sweat, I liked that the tablets took up hardly any space in our kitchen cupboard and in each tiny tube there were 12 tablets – 12 runs of drink!  (On a normal run at least…I used seven tablets at the Grim Reaper 70 miler last weekend!)

Finisher at Grim 70

I was a little worried that my heavy salt loss would affect my run at the Grim but alongside a careful selection of food I filled my nuun bottle with water and a lemonade tablet on each lap and not once did I feel weak or dizzy despite some faint salt lines appearing on my clothes.  I didn’t get bored of drinking the same flavour over 21 hours and I felt fully hydrated throughout my race.  Despite falling asleep before stretching at the end of the race I did not cramp at all.  70 miles without stretching and no cramp?!  (I did stretch as soon as I woke though…it seemed too good of a thing to last!)

I shall definitely be stocking up on nuun for my future long distance races and look forward to trying more of their flavours!

nuun – Twitter | Facebook

How do you replace electrolytes when you work out?  Which is/would be your favourite flavour nuun tablet?

8 thoughts on “Hydrating with nuun

    1. I’ve not tried the zero tabs before but have seen them in the shops. The beautiful weather we’ve had this Summer has made me want to get out on a bike again…

  1. I use Viridian’s sport electrolyte fix on intense workouts and long runs, and absolutely swear by it. For my first marathon I only used coconut water, without realising how low the sodium content in it was and I got the worst post run headache I have ever had in my lfie, I couldn’t move my head. Since using the electrolyte fix I’ve had no probs.
    Lauren (@poweredbypb) recently posted…Berlin Marathon Training Week 9My Profile

    1. I’ve not heard of that before. And I wouldn’t have thought about the sodium in coconut water either. Glad you’re sorted now. It’s all about trial and error when it comes to running.

  2. I always use the nuun tabs- my fave flavour is the tropical but at the moment wiggle don’t stock it. The tri-berry or strawberry lemonade are my second choice. Also, they do a watermelon flavour (I have seen it on their facebook page) but I suppose it is only in the USA at the moment and not the UK.
    I heard an MT interview with someone (newsreader possibly) who collapsed and was hospitalised for days after a marathon as she drank too much. It does annoy me with all the water stations at races because in a 5k or 10k or even a half most people could run those taking on no fluid at all. Replacing the salts is the most important thing though. Glad you have found something that helps with your ultras too, and have a lovely holiday :)
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Awesome OttawaMy Profile

    1. I need to try all the other flavours. I loved the lemonade one though and am interested to see how the strawberry lemonade one tastes. Watermelon has just arrived to the UK this weekend! Did you see?

  3. Nice! I’ve previously tried the High5 tablets but never nuun. Incidentally I’ve got some to review as well so will be comparing with High5. If I have a really big race the next day and I know it’s going to be warm I even drink some then not just on the day. I’m lucky I’m not a big sweater or a salty sweater but Ben is a heavy sweater so finds these really helpful. I find the High5 don’t taste that nice – a bit like weird chemical squash but weaker. So I’m interested to try these nuun ones!

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