I recently reread a section of “Run Like A Mother” about running and supplementation. The girls said they like the Nuun electrolyte tablets and would rather eat their carbohydrates than drink them via a sports drink. Nuun is strictly electrolytes with no carbs, sugar, etc… Our bodies lose electrolytes when we sweat (or when we’re sick which is why I always give an electrolyte drink to my kids when they’re sick). When running, if we provide our bodies with electrolytes to replace what we’ve lost via sweating, we shouldn’t have difficulties with abdominal and/or muscle cramping as electrolytes assist in muscle contractions. Sodium and potassium are what is predominantly lost.
HOWEVER, I’m lazy!! On runs from 7-14 miles I’d rather drink my calories and carbs and eat solid food when I’m done running. It’s easy. Easier than carrying the Nuun to drink and then have to deal with a package of gel, beans or gummy’s to get additional sugar and carbs. After 14 miles I prefer either leaving a box at a specific point or ideally being crewed by (hopefully) my 19 year old daughter (who is bomb at crewing me!). I want to eat something more solid like a quarter of a peanut butter sandwich, some pretzels and a cutie orange, a dark chocolate Lindt ball and some watermelon, a couple swigs of hot coffee. I want something small and easy on the stomach but somewhat substantial. When mileage is higher than 14 miles, sports drinks just don’t cut it for me but for the first 14 miles I’m lazy. I’m drinking it. Geez, it’s easy, it’s brainless and if I get up higher in miles, that peanut butter sandwich starts tasting 5 star! When logging miles from 7-14, I try to maintain sodium, sugar, carbs which I feel is much easier than catching up after you’ve hit a wall. Less than 7 miles water is fine and eating post run is yummier.
After a run – even a shorter one – the Nuun tablets are fantastic. No additional sugar or carbs (because, really, I would rather eat!!). It helps in replacing what I’ve lost, helping with muscle recovery. Along with bananas, yogurt, chicken noodle soup, etc.. it’s a great way to increase water intake with a kick!! Again, as with trying anything you eat or drink on a run or just after – try and try again.