gu energy gel & nuun hydration

with 6 weeks until my first half marathon (heavenly half in shaver lake….i’m coming for you!), it’s time for me to refine my pre-, during-, and post-run nutrition plan. after running three races so far this year (two 10k’s, one 4 miler), i definitely feel confident in my pre-race nutrition plan. my go-to: lots of week-of-race hydration, carb/protein-rich dinner the night before, and coffee, oatmeal and almond milk, and fruit the morning of.

now that i’m running longer distances in prep for 13.1, i have to add during-race fuel to my plan. after researching my options, and consulting my new tribe of running mamas on instagram, i went to fleet feet fresno and grabbed several fuel samples. first up: gu energy gel & nuun hydration!

nuun review

thoughts: i LOVED it! i sipped it throughout my 8-mile run (miles 2, 4, 6, and 8). i definitely felt like it helped me stay hydrated, and it certainly made my water more appealing. for those who haven’t tried nuun before (me!), it reminded me a lot of emergen-c packets: slightly fizzy, citrus-y, and easy to drink. after i completed my run, i drank another 16 oz of nuun. although it’s difficult to scientifically see the effects after one use, i did feel more hydrated than usual, likely due to the electrolyte boost.

grade: A

final thoughts: i will definitely add nuun to my training and race-day plan!


gu energy gel review

thoughts: i was super excited to give this a try. during my run, i really looked forward to reaching mile 4 so that i could chow down (er…slurp down?) the gel. i had never had anything like this before so i really had no idea what to expect. the flavor (pineapple) was pretty tasty. the texture definitely took some getting used to. reminded me of melted, partially-congealed gummy bears. yeah…not the most pleasant thing in the world!

i finished up the packet and continued onto my run. i immediately felt a boost, likely thanks to the sugar and carb infusion. by mile 5, about 12 minutes after i first took the gel, i started to feel really gassy and my tummy was not feeling it.

sparing you the details…it felt like i swallowed a live frog. my tummy was all over the place. gas bubbles, butterflies…the whole shebang. by the end of my run - mile 8 - i felt super nauseous. in fact, the nausea continued for the rest of the day. reminded me of my old friend MORNING SICKNESS. yuck.

grade: D

final thoughts: after my gu experience, i don’t think gels will work for this girl (or my stomach, which apparently is more sensitive than i thought). it’s all part of the process - glad i tested this out before race day. while the flavor wasn’t bad, and i do think i had a boost in energy, the gas and nausea weren’t worth it.

NEXT UP: over the next few weeks, i will test out honeystinger, cliff, tailwind, and other race-day fuel options. i’m confident i’ll find what works for me!