Back in May I went to the Blue70 headquarters here in Seattle to pick up my new Helix wetsuit. The suit is great. I have yet to race in it this season, but I swim in Lake Washington several times a week and the suit is really comfortable, flexible where it needs to be and warm enough that I am consistently the first person doing long open water swims in Seattle.
Blue Seventy is sister companies with Nuun, and while I was at the B70 office I decided to wonder around and say hello to the Nuun crew as well. I found them and received a warm welcome. They have a loft office with open desk areas and it seems like a cool place to work. More than that, they have a rock solid product. Iâ€™ve used Nuun in the past before races to help with hydration, but only a tab or two, just to break up the monotony of pure water. Before racing in Oklahoma City and Austin, however, I decided to listen to my doctors and load up on salt with my fluids. I added Nuun to my Clif Shot, I drank Nuun alone, I drank Nuun enhanced water by the gallon, and it felt great. I actually urinated less than I normally do before a race, I put on some water weight, of course, but it was gone by the time I started running on race day. Bottom line, I hydrated better, and didnâ€™t have trouble competing in the heat.
I tried a couple other brands of electrolyte tabs too. I mean, why stick with what works if there are a bunch of other brands that claim to be better? Hereâ€™s what I found.
Motor Tabs: I liked that they had a bit of sugar in them. It seemed like a cool way to pack an energy drink. The downside, they taste really bad. Like sugary Alkaseltzer.
Zym: Worked fine, but I preferred the taste of Nuun. Theyâ€™re just different. Certainly better than Motor Tabs. They add some extra vitamins to the mix, and have a caffeinated option too. I havenâ€™t read any studies with regards to vitamin B12 consumption during exercise, but maybe thatâ€™s good (or bad). I donâ€™t know.
Advocare Rehydrate: This isnâ€™t a tab, so itâ€™s not an entirely fair comparison, but itâ€™s low on sugar and high in electrolytes, and I used it for the same purpose. Itâ€™s equal in potassium and sodium composition, which Advocare claims is better. I’ve mostly heard arguments for lots of sodium, but not as much potassium. Regardless, it tastes really good, and I felt really well hydrated afterwards. I donâ€™t know that I would add it to my bottle during a race (Like I do Nuun now), but it certainly is a good alternative to straight water in the pre-race days.