drink up

I struggle a ton with hydration.  Not just with running even.  Generally, it is a struggle for me to drink enough to keep myself hydrated on a daily basis.  Even when I was breastfeeding, I was terrible at drinking, well, anything.  I force myself on a daily basis to drink so much water by a certain time every day, otherwise, I would probably go the entire day without drinking anything.

But, poor hydration becomes much worse when I’m intensely training for something, whether it’s a speedy 5K or a marathon.  I just can’t seem to find the right balance with how much water, sports drink, etc. I need before, during, and after my training runs and races.  I think this is one of the biggest reasons why my 2 marathons were less than stellar.  (Actually, I OVER hydrated for both of those races, dealing with an extremely sloshy stomach during the majority of both of those races.  But, still, really bad hydration on my part.)

Since I mostly run shorter races, I don’t really have to worry so much about hydrating during my races or long runs, for that matter.  I’ve been trying to do my long runs without any fluids, just to see if I can make it through the race without stopping for water or Gatorade.

My biggest problem is hydrating after my races and runs.  Even in cold whether I sweat, so I know I need to replenish my fluids, but I just can’t seem to drink enough.  And unfortunately, my electrolytes get so off balanced that I end up with an upset stomach for the rest of the day.  It’s really no fun.

It’s been my goal during this training period to try to figure out what’s going to help my replenish those fluids and electrolytes so I don’t end up sick the rest of the day.  Water is always my number one go-to fluid.  I drink it, well, like water!  It’s my favorite drink, but it’s just not going to get me the salt and potassium (electrolytes) I need to keep that nasty tummy issue away.

I’ve been experimenting with a few different options.  Obviously, Gatorade is one of my favorite choices.  Always has, always will be.  I mean, it’s job is to replace just those things and it does a fabulous job of that.  But, I’ve really been trying to avoid fake sugars found in G2 (sucralose) and some of those artificial colors (ick).

I also bought some Nuun Hydration tablets at the running store a few weeks ago.  Only 4 calories and as easy as just dropping it in some water.  I bought samples of grape, fruit punch, lemon lime, and strawberry lemonade.  The strawberry lemonade was by far the best of the 4, and I loved the carbonation!  Really helps my tummy!  But, again, fake sugars being the culprit, I wanted something more natural.

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Grape Nuun Hydration tablet in my 26.2 mug after my 11 miler this weekend.

So, I turned to coconut water.  I’ve tried coconut water in the past, but there was something I just didn’t like about it.  It has a flavor that takes some getting used to, even the fruit flavored varieties.  But, when FOCO Coconut Water arrived on my doorstep, my hydration nightmares were over.

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Seriously, guys, this is some of the best tasting stuff ever!  I love it even more than Gatorade!  With a variety of flavors like pomegranate, mango, and pineapple, it slides down so easily, making it so much easier for me to drink enough after my long runs.  And, it’s cured me of my upset tummy issue!

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I’m actually really sad that I’m totally out of it, because it was just that good!  Looks like my Amazon account is going to be getting a workout this week so I can stock up on some before the half marathon next weekend!

Do you struggle with hydration before, during, or after long runs?  Anyone else deal with an upset stomach from electrolyte imbalances?

**FOCO Coconut Water sent me a case of their product to review on my blog.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.**

  • I definitely struggle with hydration. I eat well after a run, and I drink tea and water. I think I need something with electrolytes like nuun tablets or just plain gatorade!
    Amanda recently posted..Flower City Half Training: Week Eight

  • Candy

    Hey there…found this post by doing a google search this morning. I’ve been having terrible stomach issues during my longer runs. I’m doing another half marathon in three weeks, and did a 10 miler in training last saturday. Do you only drink the coconut water AFTER your run? Or do you have some during? I’m thinking my problem is electrolytes….as I didn’t drink anything during my run.

    Thanks for the info and help! I got some Gu to try during my runs too. Any experience with that as far as stomach problems?

    • Kristen

      I don’t drink anything during my runs – I have issues with overhydrating and end up with a sloshy stomach. I had the same problems and figured out that electrolytes were my issue. Anything over 8 miles, I make sure I drink either coconut water or a Gatorade after and that usually helps.

      As far as Gu, I’ve only used it once when training for my first marathon. I really didn’t like it so I think I only used it once or twice. I know that you absolutely HAVE to drink water with it because if you don’t, it will really upset your stomach. Hope this helps! Happy running!