Posted by: Joe English | June 7, 2007

Training & Product Recommendation: Hydration and replenishing electrolytes with Nuun

One of the biggest issues that you’ll face in long distance races is managing your hydration. As the race gets longer, and you sweat for hours, you need to take in more and more fluid to fight off dehydration. Once you start getting dehydrated, you’ll start to experience a marked loss of performance, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle cramps.

And when you sweat you are losing more than just fluid – but electrolytes as well. Electrolytes are minerals that help you absorb fluids into your cells. Once you’ve lost enough of your electrolytes you stop being able to absorb plain water. This leads to a cycle in which you may be drinking tons of water and just peeing it straight out – not helping you at all with your hydration.

The answer is typically to use a sports drink, such as Gleukos, Gatorade, Gu2O, or Accelerade. These products provide you with fluid and electrolytes, but they also contain energy in the form of carbohydrates. That’s a good thing, because in a long race you’re working hard to replenish your energy stores. I’m a huge, huge, fan of Gleukos, because it is so easy on the stomach and does such a great job keeping me well fueled.

But, in a really long race, such as an Ironman triathlon, ultra-marathon, or adventure race, you’ll be taking in fluids and food for hours on end. What I’ve found tends to happen in these long races is that you start to have a difficult time tolerating all of the sweets and sugars in sport drinks and energy gels. Personally, my stomach and taste buds can only handle so much of the sweet stuff.

That’s where Nuun comes in.

Nuun is an electrolyte replacement product that does not contain any sugar. It’s essentially a non-energy electrolyte drink. Nuun (pronounced “noon”) is delivered in the form of a tablet that you drop into a bottle of plain water and (voila) it fizzes up and turns the water into a well-balanced electrolyte solution. You carry a small plastic tube of the tablets and can make gallons of the fluid with just one tube of twelve tablets.

What’s in Nuun? Nuun contains all of the critical electrolytes – sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. According the company’s web-site, it contains the following:
Sodium (carbonates) 360.0mg
Potassium (bicarbonate) 100.0mg
Calcium (carbonate) 12.5mg
Magnesium (sulfate) 25.0mg
Vitamin C 37.5mg
Vitamin B2 500mcg

Nuun is very helpful in fighting off not only dehydration, but over-hydration (or hyponatremia) as well. Because of its electrolyte properties, you can drink it without the risk of diluting the sodium content in your blood. This means that there is much less of a worry about over-hydrating, which can be as serious (if not more so) than dehydrating.

In my longest races – such as Ironman Arizona and my ultra marathons, I’ve used Nuun and I just love it. I can carry the Nuun tube in my hip pack and drop a tablet into my water bottle as I fill it at an aid station. This past weekend, running two marathons in San Diego, I used Nuun to keep myself well hydrated through 52.4 miles of running.

So Nuun is a product that I think you should highly consider trying out. It’s a great addition to put into your fuel bags as you head off to your next long race. Added to great products like Gluekos and Gu, it will help keep you performing optimally and keep the ugliness of dehydration at bay.

For more information click here (http://www.nuun.com/ )

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the company that makes Nuun in any way and I have not been paid (or even asked) to provide a recommendation of this product. I just like the product that much.

Coach Joe

Running Advice and News with Coach Joe – a blog focused on marathon racing, training and motivation. Bookmark us at https://coachjoeenglish.wordpress.com or use your favorite RSS feed reader to get the latest news and articles. Running Wild is also now available on Facebook and My Space.

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Responses

  1. […] You can read my original review of Nuun by clicking here. […]

  2. […] What’s in Nuun? Nuun contains all of the critical electrolytes – sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. According the company’s web-site, it contains the following: Sodium (carbonates) 360.0mg Potassium (bicarbonate) 100.0mg Calcium (carbonate) 12.5mg Magnesium (sulfate) 25.0mg Vitamin C 37.5mg Vitamin B2 500mcg […]


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