There may be torrential rain outside my office right now, but I think it's fair to say that the usual issue for me at the moment is staying cool in the summer sun. I overheat and also burn very easily in the sun, so I generally spend the summer months (even in the UK!) trying desperately to drink enough water and remember to apply my factor 50 sunscreen, even when I'm only going to be in the sun for approximately two minutes. I quite often burn just walking 4 or 5 minutes down the road at lunchtime from the office, which obviously I handle like a grownup by sulking as I apply aftersun later on..
I feel like I overheat particularly easy too, and the summer sees me drinking even more water than usual - and I'm pretty good with 2 litres or more every day anyway. When I recently saw nuun tweeting about needing bloggers to try out their hydration tablets, I was rather enthusiastic with my reply. I've already tried a few nuun flavours so I jumped at the chance to try some more, and the lovely folks over there sent me a little package that weekend. Ironically I ended up running home from the Royal Mail delivery office with my parcel on a horribly warm morning, so that highlighted my requirements nicely.
So how did I get on? Last week arrived and I knew that my ill advised 3pm Sunday afternoon run in the sweltering heat was going to need a fair amount of hydration. Enter nuun:
For runs that don't require a whole hydration pack, I use my trusty Hilly waist belt bottle carrier. Happily it seems to fit most sizes of bottle so I popped in my new nuun bottle and an orange tablet, and I was good to go. A word to the wise - let the tablet completely finish fizzing before you put the bottle cap on. I was impatient and didn't quite do that, so I got a bit of orange nuun squirted in my face when I opened the bottle on my run and the pressure had built up. I like to keep things classy on the run at all times!
Five miles in the sun was a great example of how much nuun can help because I felt pretty thirsty almost immediately, and I felt better as soon as I started sipping. I run with plain water fairly often and I'm savvy enough now to notice the difference. I finished the whole bottle 4.5 miles in, which says it all because I normally don't take water for a run under 7 miles or so.
I know that hydration tablets aren't a new concept, but they're worth mentioning as a great aid in the summer. I forgot to take any with me for Giants Head Marathon in June and I felt pretty dehydrated by the end, despite all the water I drank en route. It took several days afterwards for me to feel (and look!) hydrated again - not good.
If you're new to the nuun love, they report that they invented electrolyte tablets over 10 years ago and they're designed to aid the replacement of fluids when you've been sweating. And let's be honest, I also sent my younger brother off to uni with a pack to help out with post-night-out headaches. I needn't have worried because he hasn't drunk so much as one cider in months, and has instead used nuun on his summer runs as well. Good lad.
The tablets are calorie and sugar free, to keep hydration and fuelling separate. 'Calorie free' normally gets my back up, but I agree that I'd rather sort my calories out separately with fun run snacks like jelly babies and Snickers bars, so it works for me and means my dentist can relax occasionally.
I always advocate with running products that you don't need to spend the earth, and they need to work for you. I find that nuun tablets agree with my stomach and don't give me any issues, and I like most of the flavours I've tried. I also like a good caffeine kick, so having the option of (clearly labelled) caffeinated options is a winner for me. Lemon tea is my absolutely favourite! Of course you can make DIY hydration drinks but personally, if I'm slogging it out on a hot day, I like having the option of a selection of nuun tubes in my kitchen. One tube of 12 nuun tablets is usually £6 so we're talking 50p a drink as they're designed to be added to a 500ml bottle. I think that's pretty reasonable, especially if you get a good deal or you start asking difficult questions about just how much my last pair of running shoes cost.
So there you go - time for me to go top up my water and desk snacks, now that we're on the subject.