Thoughts on fueling & hydration

Back when I first started training for distance runs, I had a lot of people constantly telling me about the importance of fueling and proper hydration on longer runs.  I was advised to find out what kind of fuel & hydration sources would be available on the course and to train with those, since it’s not wise to try something new on race day.  Instead, I bought a hydration belt and decided to carry my own fuel & hydrating liquid with me, and only drink water on the course.  Over the past year, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with my go-to’s for fuel & hydration: Orange GU and citrus fruit NUUN hydration tablets.

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While training for my most recent half marathon, I also added in a new fuel source: orange Jelly Belly Sport Beans.


For the most part, these have served me well.  The NUUN has just enough flavor to not be boring, but not enough flavor to make my tummy hurt (and no added sugar!) and the GU gels are really, really easy to eat while running at race pace.  The sport beans, while a bit harder to eat on the run (I find it really hard to run and chew at the same time, LOL), seem to give me a better burst of energy in the short term, so I like them for the last couple of miles in a race.

But, I don’t really like all of the artificial ingredients and refined sugars in most of the fuel sources on the market.  So Santa brought me some new things to try.

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I had never heard of Skratch Labs hydration before I opened my stocking on Christmas morning.  Santa brought me the orange flavor, of course.  Apparently, it gets good reviews in some of the online Paleo communities that Santa reads.  I decided to try out both new things on yesterday’s 5 mile run.

Overall, I liked the Skratch Labs product.  It was tasty and is made of all natural ingredients.  I don’t like that it has sugar in it, though – it’s 80 calories for 16oz – but at least the sugar was raw cane sugar and not refined sugar.

I was not as happy with the Honey Stinger chews.  I had asked Santa for Honey Stinger gels, but he either couldn’t find them or didn’t remember exactly what I wanted to try.  These were tasty, but VERY hard for me to chew while running.  I do like that they’re organic and more natural, though.  I still want to try the Honey Stinger gels… but not until after my races next week.

For the New Years Double, I’m sticking with my tried-and-true GU, NUUN, and sport beans for the end.

What do you use to fuel?  What do you drink while running?  Any suggestions of things that I should try after I get through my races next week and start training for the next events?

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One thought on “Thoughts on fueling & hydration

  1. I like the Gu Brew lemon lime along with Endurolyte capsules to help ward off cramping. I’m a Gu girl and as long as I hydrate well they don’t mess me up too bad. Have you tried the Clif gels? Mocha is yum-o.

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