Sunday, April 26, 2015

Plus for Nuun - Initial Test

Several week ago, Nuun Hydration announced a new product line they would be introducing soon.  This product, Plus for Nuun, is an additive that you add to your regular Nuun (Active or Energy) to significantly increase the electrolytes in fuel that you use during your endurance events.

A quick blurb from Nuun HQ about Plus for Nuun:

About Plus for Nuun
Plus for Nuun is a fueling additive to your usual preferred nuun (nuun active or nuun energy). By adding Plus for Nuun to your fluids you gain an extra electrolyte boost, as well as specially blended carbohydrates, that will help your body absorb nutrients more efficiently and thus fuel you faster. The combination of proper hydration, efficient fueling, and the specific carbs used, are especially helpful during long endurance efforts, and in field testing many athletes reported a lower RPE, lower heart rate, and faster average page while using Plus. 

When I saw the news about Plus for Nuun, it intrigued me since I use Nuun Active for my longer training runs and was interested in how Plus would help during my runs.  To my elation, Nuun HQ sent me a couple tubes of Plus for me to try!  Today, I gave Plus a try on my 16 mi long run.

Real quick, some info on how to use Plus for Nuun.  In 16-24 oz of water, mix in a tablet of your favorite Nuun (active or energy).  Then add 2-3 tablets of Plus for Nuun.  The Plus for Nuun are larger in size than Nuun Active tablets, so don't be surprised there.  They come in a slightly larger tube due to their size.  There are 12/tube - 6 servings if you add 2 to your regular Nuun.  Also, Plus for Nuun are flavorless, so your hydration will have the same taste as the flavor you chose from Active or Energy.  Then use pre-workout or during your training or race as you normally would.  Note that for endurance training, you will need to consume fuel from another source, since this will only be about 50 calories - it is meant for the hydration, electrolytes, and specific carbs.  Here is a pic that gives more details on what Plus for Nuun provides:

Now, on to my initial test.  I use Nuun Active for my hydration and this morning, I chose grape (yes, I like to vary the flavors...).  I added 2 Plus for Nuun tablets to my Nuun.  Before I get in to my specific experience, I want to lay the ground work for my training and health leading up to my run this morning, because I think it factors in.  This past week has been a "bad" week for sleep, stress, and training for me.  I only got in 2 days of training prior to this morning, didn't get near enough sleep for the week, and was very negligent in staying hydrated during this time, especially since my allergies had also kicked in.  Needless to say, I was going into this long run tired and dehydrated - not a good combo.  Good test for Plus for Nuun, in my opinion!

On to the run...  My run was a little over 16 miles.  I typically take a drink every 2 miles or so and consume a Gu every 6, so I kept that same rhythm during this run.  I also sipped on my Plus'd Nuun while I got ready for my run.  My pace, overall, on this run was slightly slower than what I have been doing, but I think that was more due to the preceding paragraph and my week leading up to this run, rather than any testimony of Plus for Nuun.  I should also note that my heart rate was about the same as what it had been on previous long runs.  Again, I do not think my week leading up to this run gave Plus for Nuun a chance to be looked at on even ground with previous long runs where I did not use Plus for Nuun.  The weather this morning was a humid, 65 at the start. The sun quickly came up but the temperature stayed pretty constant, and I finished in 67 degree temps.  It was the humidity that I was most concerned with since we are just now getting into humid conditions here in Alabama.

Here's what I can say about my run today.  Within the first 3 miles, which would included my pre-run Nuun and a drink at the 2 mile mark, my massive headache was completely gone, even with the higher temps and humidity.  Within 6 miles, I felt completely hydrated and I stayed that way for the rest of my run.  My legs might have been tired, but my hydration was back in check, even with coming in to this run being dehydrated.  I was not expecting that, to tell you the truth.  I figured it would sustain me during the run, but I did not expect to feel so hydrated *during* the run and so quickly into the run at that.  That was nice!

Given that Plus for Nuun got me hydrated so quickly and kept me hydrated, I was able to finish at a significantly faster pace that what I started out with and I was able to finish without a dehydration headache!!  Whoo hoo!!

So, based on this initial test where I threw some bad joojoo at Plus for Nuun coming into the run, I have a very good feeling that I will be continuing to use Plus as a training partner during my long runs.  From this test, it appears the "Fuel Faster" is quite accurate for Nuun's new product.  I will follow this review up, hopefully in a couple months, after I have had the chance to use Plus for Nuun for some more long runs in different conditions (both weather and body).  I am also going to see if I can get some of my teammates to give it a try as well.