File this little gem under "things that make me a better athlete".
My amazing Ironman girlfriend Angie introduced me to NUUN back in December and I am nothing short of hooked. Like, heroin hooked. So hooked that I found myself counting out my remaining NUUN this morning before work... "Do I have enough to get me to Portland on the 15th?" 37 NUUN was the final tally X 15 days until Portland = Whew! I WILL make it!
My personal NUUN wasteland...
(Side Bar: Let's ask Angie - Does it annoy you when "Ironman" is included within 2 words of your name when I write about you? Because I think your accomplishments are stellar and due the respect of the Ironman reference. Please advise)
Back to NUUN.
The topic of hydration and endurance running has become a bottomless well of reading for me. We all know that we need to drink water - simple, right? I don't drink sodas (unless mixed with fine Bajan rum on the weekends) and I am careful to match my coffees with equal amounts of water to make up for the caffeine dehydration. I thought I had it all under control. Then I learned about Hyponatremia or "water intoxication". This is something for endurance athletes to actually worry about. When you drink only water and lots of it, it flushes the electrolytes (sodium, potassium, etc.) from your system and you can, for all intents, drown yourself on a cellular level. Even if it doesn't get to the level of Hyponatremia, flushing your electrolytes during a long run can really effect your performance. Bonkity Bonk Bonk!
NUUN tablets come in great flavors and the list is growing by the month (Tangerine Ginger and Tri-Berry are my favs). Just drop them into any ol' water. They contain only 8 calories per tablet and are only slightly sweet - more tart. Brendan Brazier of Thrive infamy contends that conventional sports drinks are absolutely ridiculous for many reasons but the one that hooked me was that when you are exercising, your pallet changes and sweet becomes even sweeter and does not refresh on any level. I found this to be true during my half marathons that were sponsored by Powerade and the like... it tastes absolutely horrible. The body really responds to something a bit bitter or tart - hello NUUN!
When I began to run longer distances I was so eager to "get it over with" that I couldn't be bothered to drop water along the route, carry water with me OR do the dreaded leave water in the car and run loops. I know me. When I see my car during a run I am most definitely getting in it and driving home to a green shake, a cool shower and a nap with my mutt. Since NUUN entered my water - and my life - I take the time to place water on the route in strategic locations (read: when I am most likely dying) and I can actually feel myself revitalize with the water. Sounds crazy and I'm not even a NUUN spokesperson.. yet!
For the full scoop, check out NUUN at www.nuun.com. It's a fun company and growing FAST. There is a market out here for people who are sometimes bored with water alone, don't have a desire for 12 tablespoons of sugar, aspartame or splenda in their electrolyte replacement drink, and those of us who just enjoy the yummy bubbles!
Eat Kind, Lauren