- Aubree Reichel
One of these days it'll get warmer. At least, that's what we're telling ourselves.
Unfortunately, even with all the rain, consuming the droplets as they fall from the sky isn't enough to maintain adequate hydration levels. With cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels, the electrolytes lost through sweat can be difficult to notice since the rain and moisture just feels like... wet.
South Sound Running has the tools to combat mid-run thirst and dehydration in a variety of ways.
There's a couple vest options from Ultimate Direction and Nathan. Despite being a little bulkier, the vest set-up allows runners to carry everything closer to the body. Even if the weight of the full vest feels heavy to pick up, it's less noticeable once it's on. It does take some getting used to with finagling the right fit and figuring out if there's going to be chafing issues, but it's the most convenient way to carry fluids and food and other necessary items for longer adventures. Because, seriously, who doesn't need more pockets?
Also, having two bottles also means variety. Water in one side, electrolyte drink in the other, or... lemonade, or juice, or coffee, there's no shortage of options of what can go in your bottles! Mix and match to your heart's content!
The handheld bottles are great for the warmer but shorter runs. Accessibility is a big advantage to a handheld bottle since they're... right there! There's no excuse to not take in fluids since it's right in your hand. Downside: since the arms are like pendulums when running, the additional weight in one hand may create some imbalances since the body naturally acclimates to those miniscule differences. I've noticed some increased tension in my arms and shoulders after longer runs with a handheld. Solution: two handhelds, or change hands every so often to balance out!
Belts are also available as a good compromise between handhelds and vests. Like vests, the weight sits closer to the body with one-bottle and two-bottle set-ups available at South Sound Running. It also has some of the storage of a vest: Think fanny pack with a bottle attachment. Again, some finagling with sizing and where to have it sit on the waist requires some trial and error, but also a good option to try!
As far as what to put it in the hydration containers, water is always a solid go-to, but with the loss of additional electrolytes, South Sound has a couple options: Nuun tables and Tailwind.
Nuun tablets are effervescent electrolyte tablets that dissolve in water. Depending on how strong of a flavor is preferred, 16 ounces of water per tablet is recommended. Each tablet contain 15 calories or less, which makes them great for the shorter but warmer runs where additional calories are not necessary during the run, or as a supplement for additional fueling (general recommendation is 100 calories every 30-40 minutes, or 200-300 calories per hour, depending on the length of the run... again, another trial-and-error process that's part of the fun!)
Nuun can also be consumed before runs, after runs, during the day, however you'd like to get in your hydration. There are a variety of flavors available including caffeinated (derived from green tea extract) and non-caffeinated options.
Tailwind is 100 calories per serving (16 ounces of water) which is half of one of the smaller sleeves or a scoop from the bigger bag. It's easy to digest, provides additional calories and electrolytes. In warmer months, I rely on a lot more fluids to get my calories in since the humid/hot conditions cause my stomach to disagree with some of the stuff I try and feed it during runs.
The flavors are subtle and not overly sweet, and the concentration can be adjusted. I like mixing and matching a few different flavors like raspberry and lemon, or green tea and lemon. South Sound Running still has the green tea flavor still available, but not for long since the company has announced its discontinuation.