Despite having a little bit of an upset stomach (late night pizza and wine decision probably wasn’t the smartest), I decided to head out for my early morning run along the river. At six, the sun was up higher than my usual start at five, but everything still looked magical and green. The weather was cool, the fog was still over the water and I saw many animals: 1 orange fox, a mole, 3 turkeys, a woodchuck and 13 rabbits- some with brown tails, others with bushy white tails. And of course, countless robins.
My spirits were high and that carried me the seven miles that I set out to do. I think my fuel choices have also influenced how strong I’ve finished my long runs. I’ve obviously changed my diet significantly since the last time I was training for a race by going vegan, but I’ve also put more thought into refueling while on the go.
As mentioned in a previous post, Energy Bits have become my fuel of choice directly before my runs and at every five miles (if I know I’m running 7+ miles). I swear that these tiny tablets have me running stronger and in return, a tad bit faster. When you are feeling physically strong, mentally you can convince yourself to keep moving for miles. It’s a great feeling to snap back into reality and think, “wow, I’m running?! How long have I been in the zone for?” For me that zone will only last for about a half mile at a time, but has been occurring more frequently.
My second favorite fuel choice these days for both running and hiking is Nuun. This is essentially my substitute for water and/or gatorade. I drink at least two liters of water everyday and head into my daily activity hydrated, but I am one of those people who sweat, a lot. I am also one of those really salty sweaters; after a hard workout, you can actually see the salt drying on my face. I just think of it as the only minor price to pay for being active. Recognizing this, I need to make sure I take in/replace enough electrolytes while working out. No amount of water will do that for me and I am NOT a fan of gatorade or other sports drinks because of the red dye and high content of sugar. No thank you.
Insert Nuun Active Hydration. They have ten flavors that are vegan, the very slight red hue in some of the flavors is from beet juice and you only need one tab for 16oz of water. Here’s the blurb from their website:
“Nuun Active Hydration is a line of electrolyte enhanced drink tablets designed to keep you optimally hydrated wherever your active lifestyle and athletic endeavors take you. You sweat, Nuun replenishes. Packed with electrolytes, light flavor, no sugars or carbs, and portable, Nuun Active Hydration is the perfect sports drink. The electrolytes found in Nuun will help alleviate cramps, help muscles function, communicate and burn energy efficiently.”
Not going to lie, I was a little on the fence about trying them because I am not a fan of flavored water. I’m also not a fan of flavored water that tastes fake or too overwhelming, especially when working out. I’d much rather prefer a fresh slice of lemon water first thing in the morning. But I took along a pack of Nuun during my recent backpacking trip up in the Adirondacks and loved it!
Since that initial trip, I’ve plopped in a couple tabs into my camelback or into the handheld water bottle that I’ve started bringing along for runs longer than 4 miles. My personal favorite: strawberry lemonade but the watermelon is a close second. And as much as I thought I’d love the lemonade or lemon tea (because they are closest in flavor to the real deal), I’ve leaned more toward the fruitier the better. I can’t wait to try the grape! Oh, and because they come in a re-sealable tube, they are easy to carry along in my backpack or put them into the same tin as my Energy Bits when running.
So there you have it, my fuel for a long run: fresh fruit, Nuun and Energy Bits. Have you tried Nuun for your long distance activities?
*I was given a free sample of Nuun to try but all opinions are my own. I loved it so much, I went out and purchased the strawberry lemonade at my local EMS. Thank you for supporting me and the posts that are sponsored.*