Nuun Review, Ultraman Electrolyte Strategy
Note: Video version at the bottom, for those who prefer watching over reading. Also check out Ultraman Nutrition Strategy.
I used Nuun tabs. Here are the pros: they work. During UM I had no cramping. Nuun tabs are vegan, although not raw, unfortunately. They also come in a wide variety of tasty flavours. Now the cons…
Nuun tabs are fizzy, which makes them difficult to stomach while exercising. As I remedy I asked my crew to shake my bottles after the tab dissolved. Also, while cycling, I left the bottle uncapped to release the fizz. I would also prefer fewer ingredients: I do not want avocado oil or dextrose in my electrolytes. My biggest con, however, is the taste. Oh Nuun tabs taste amazing, however, I want my electrolyte drink to taste not sweet but salty. If, while racing, I drink something salty and it taste amazing, then I need more electrolytes. Conversely, if the salty drink taste terrible then I can back off on the electrolytes. By using my tongue I can accurately gage my electrolytes needs. The sweet taste masks the ability for the tongue to decide. Too much salt, or sodium, results in both water retention and in less available water for the cells. As you can see in the weight chart, I gained seven pounds on day one. Seeing the numbers from day one I backed off on the electrolytes during day two where I gained only two pounds. Carrying excess water (due to excess sodium) decreases power to weight ratio, which is lame for any athlete. On day three, I lost five pounds, which I attribute to insufficient water and calorie intake, however, during the race, I never felt low on water or food or electrolytes. There is also the possibility my body was still retaining access sodium from the previous day.
As a fruitarian, my diet consist of no overt salts, therefore my sodium needs are relatively low, as my body is efficient with sodium. Celery, containing 80mg of sodium per 100 grams, is an excellent choice for a vegetable that is high in sodium. I often drink celery juice while training, however, for convenience, I used Nuun at UM. Also given the extreme nature of ultra events, I am skeptical whether I could consume enough sodium through celery juice. Too little sodium results in hyponatremia, which can eventually lead to death. I am still experimenting and trying new products. I will update this topic once I have further information.