Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Hydration Police + A GIVEAWAY

Ok so I’m venting first before we get to that giveaway, but it’s about time we did another one don’t you think? How’s a $100 GNC Gift Card sound? Interested? Then read on my friend. Read on.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that I have issues, specifically hydration issues. Ever since my first marathon in Detroit a few years back in which I ended up with a wicked case of hyponatremia (Fancy Nancy’s word for low blood sodium), I’m a little bit sensitive when it comes to the issue of hydration because, to put it bluntly, to not be properly hydrated blows massive chunks in a major way. In fact, it can even be life threatening.

So when I saw this little article called What You Need to Know About Runner Hydration  posted by Active.com’s Facebook page last week, I took a little peek and found myself fiercely annoyed, partially with the article, but more so with many of the commenters (my apologies if you happened to see that article too and commented. I surely am not referring to YOUR comment ;-).

You can read the article for yourself if you like, but the basic premise is this: drink when you’re thirsty, no more no less. Badda boom badda bing. You’ll be good to go. Now here is the point where I’d like to pick apart various aspects of the article and a few logic problems in even some of the arguments made by “the experts” such as this statement from William O. Roberts, M.D., past president of ACSM and long-time medical director of the Twin Cities Marathon. "Slower, back of the pack runners who aren't sweating as much don't need to replace so much fluid." (I’m sorry, has he not ever taken a look at the back of the pack? Not only are some of these people sweating MORE than the ones up in the front, they are doing it for a longer period of time and because it takes longer for them to complete their race they are often doing so during a hotter portion of the day which would make a person what? Say it with me now…sweat more. HELLO?)

And this by Timothy D. Noakes, M.D., a professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and author of The Lore of Running, speaking on why thirst should be the only indicator as to when you should drink, “It is the only system used by all other creatures on this earth. Why should it not also be ideal for humans?" (Um…I don’t know…maybe because humans actually know that they’ll be running for another 15 miles and that the weatherman said the temperature is going to reach 90 degrees while they’re out there doing so?)

But rather than go through each and every point where I said to myself, “yeah, but…” let me just for the sake of space, move on, because when I finished the article what was even more frustrating was the FB comments in which I was introduced for the first time to the hydration police. Did you know there is such a thing? I had no idea.

Now, in case you’re like I was, blissfully unaware of their existence, let me fill you in. Apparently, there is a whole slew of people who have the one the ONLY answer, for all of us silly runners on exactly how we should hydrate. Never you mind that these hydration laws vary from officer to officer.  The important thing is to just drink more in your daily life and use nothing on your runs…or drink exactly 16 ounces of water before and 16 ounces after….or use ONLY Coconut Water…I mean flat pop (that’d be soda for those of you who are not from MI) and nothing else as nothing else stands even a remote chance of meeting your hydration needs. (Note to reader: I did not actually go re-look up the comments and cite the hydration laws specifically as commented. If you would like the accurate law for your area from your officer, please check the Active FB page, find the post and contact your officer specifically. I can not be held responsible should you find yourself charged with the breaking of a hydration law and subject to a penalty of…well, I don’t know, but it’s probably something like being forced to suck down a few Gu Packets of your least favorite variety with no water to wash it down or something like that. Hydrate at your own risk ;-). Apparently, these people are THE official source for proper running hydration for EVERYONE. Any other ideas on hydration are just wrong, at least according to the self appointed fluid patrol anyway.

PEOPLE! This is so stupid! If there is a hydration law it’s this: Everybody’s different, and thankfully the Active article is salvaged at the end when it admits just that. What works for me, may not work for you or your cousin’s uncle’s sister (which would probably be your aunt then eh?). People vary in size, sweat rate, the amount of sodium in their sweat, what their stomach can tolerate, and on and on. Runs vary in length, duration, and weather conditions. Science changes. Technology improves. What’s true today isn’t always true tomorrow. So when it comes down to it, really each one of us has to figure out what we need on a run by testing it out. There is no one size fits all answer for how to hydrate on a run which is unfortunate because it IS vitally important. Trying to adhere to someone's surefire hydration rule when your body is telling you otherwise is not by any stretch of the imagination a wise move.

YES! If you are thirsty, you need to drink (DUH! Really, did we need scientific experiments to tell us this). But perhaps drinking a little swig of a sports drink that’s high in electrolytes (G2ProSeries is one I like because it’s higher in electrolytes than the average bear and I kind of like the taste, but it’s not by any means the ONLY one that works. Ok sidetracked. Where was I? Swig…sports drink…ah yes…), every mile or two works better for me because I’m generally lost in my thoughts when I run and I don’t think about being thirsty until it’s too late, waaaaaaaaaay too late and then it’s really hard for me to recover from. PLUS, I don’t like that sloshy stomach feeling I get if I have to chug a lot at one time.  But that’s just me, and it’s taken some trial and error on my part to figure it out. But let me say it one more time, everybody’s different! In fact, I am going to PROVE that to all of you out there, particularly any newbie runners, who are still scratching their heads.  Just wait and see…

Now, let’s move onto more fun things :-)

I don’t know about where you live, but it’s certainly getting hot around these parts. Other than today (which was just beautiful!) it’s been more Augustish than Junish lately and if that’s any indicator of what summer is going to be like this year, we’re all going to be in need of a few extra hydration products I do believe! Fortunately for us (go us!) Jeffrey, with GNC has offered both little ‘ole me and a lucky one of you a GNC gift card so we can do just that (OR you could just buy whatever your little heart desires. As you wish my dear :-).  So let’s get to giving away shall we?

Requirements for Entry:
1. Follow this blog (upper right corner) OR become a fan of Secrets of a Running Mom on Facebook.

2. Become a fan of GNC on Facebook.

3. Follow both GNC and GNC’s Marketing Director, Jeff Hennion on Twitter.

4. Leave me a comment. Letting me know you’ve done all of the above and also how you hydrate on a run (see…here’s the part where I show you the wide variety of ways to tackle hydration, how everybody’s different, and all that jazz).

I know that’s more requirements than I usually…um…require, but the good news is that Jeffrey said they do a lot of giveaways on their FB page and Twitter accounts and besides, seriously, I left you all the links right there so we’re just talking a few clicks and since I know you all are constantly logged onto Twitter and Facebook anyhow, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. ;-)

But I know you probably want a few ways to earn some MORE entries for such a sweet prize right? So I’ll give you a few more for doing a little PR work and promoting this contest. Don’t worry, nothing too tough. You could email your friends, post it as your Facebook status, tweet it, blog about it, put a link on your blog, mention it on a chat board in your favorite running community, whatever you can come up with to spread the word. For each different method you use, I’ll give you one more entry into the contest, limit 5, just make sure to include in your comment what methods you used.

This contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only (sorry my international friends, them’s the rules this time.) And if you’ve already won a GNC gift card in 2011, then you are unfortunately not eligible this time around. All entries must be received by 11:59:59 PM on June 24th, 2011. The winner of the $100 GNC gift card will be selected randomly by either my Tiger Toddler or my T-balling 5 year old from a giant bowl filled with all of your names on little slips of paper (we’re old school here and, hey, it’s fun for my kids). I’ll announce the lucky gal or fella the next day.

Best of luck to you all! And happy hydrating!

'Til next time...

45 comments:

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Follow you. Follow on FB. Follow both on twitter. And now, I'm trying to figure out this hydration thing too. I took my handheld on my last long run and that seemed to help a lot. For my next race, I am going to try the hyper-hydrate thing the days before the race. I just hate having to stop to pee during a race, so I'm trying to perfect this!

Angela said...

I hydrate with water and or some sort of sports drink. Usually powerade (because it it always 10 for $10 at the store) unless I am training and my totally awesome amazing coach says to use something different :-D During a race (longer than a 5k) I use my camelbak hydration pack. I like to know I have water when I want it!

I did requirements 1-4... :-D (unless sucking up gets me 1 more :-D)

btw - are we going to see a baby bump pic on this blog?

Tri-Living...Together said...

I am CONSTANTLY dehydrated. soo PLEASE count me in on this giveaway!

Laurie said...

On a run, I usually only hydrate with water from my handheld or waist pack. The day before a long run and a couple of days before a long race I load up on both water and Gatorade or the like though, which seems to help.

I did all the other requirements too. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

MAllen said...

I follow you and GNC on fb and I follow GNC and Jeff Hennion on Twitter.

I was just talking to some friends the other day about this. They have all been running longer than I have and do longer runs but they all commented that they only take water with them on 10+ mile runs. I was really surprised by that! I can't imagine running 10+ miles without water. Even if I'm only going for a 1 mile run I always take water with me. If it's really hot and humid out then I mix 50/50 water and Gatorade.

Forward Foot Strides said...

Follow you!

Forward Foot Strides said...

Sorry, disregard my last comment, I will do all of the above!

Holly @ Rust Belt Runner said...

I follow!

Holly @ Rust Belt Runner said...

I hydrate for about 24-hours before a race. And even better if I do the same before a training run. The key I have found is constant hydration over a long period of time.

runnanna said...

Great post!I have trouble running in the heat. It's good to hear ideas from everyone. Everybody IS different ! I know that if I only drank when I was thirsty...I'd be in big trouble!

SupermomE12 said...

I follow your blog and like you on facebook. I liked GNC on facebook. I don't Twitter. :)

How I hydrate depends on how far I am running and if I am running or racing. I have done a lot of trial and error. For me, Hammer Perpetuem and some water get me through a marathon. For a run in warm weather that is 3-12 miles I just carry water. For anything 13 or over I carry Perpetuem. I carry a 22 ounce handheld bottle (with a strap so I don't really have to "hold" it) and I stay really well hydrated throughout the day even when I am not running.

SupermomE12 said...

I posted on my blog too
http://seemomrunfar.blogspot.com/

Zoë said...

Hi! New follower here! Love your blog layout...I'm a pink and polka-dot lover too! :)

I completed all the steps by following you, GNC and Jeff on Twitter and Facebook.

I definitely carry a water bottle of some sort on runs longer than 6 miles. I usually do water with a little bit of Crystal Light Pure Fitness added for some electrolytes. SInce I'm a nursing mom, I get thirsty pretty quick! Thanks for the giveaway!

Added link to my blog:
http://www.runzoerun.com/p/giveaways.html

and to the Running Giveaway listing site:
http://runnerswag.blogspot.com

Tortoise said...

You are my favorite running blogger!

I am now following you and GNC on Facebook. I'm also following GNC and Jeff Hennion on Twitter.

As a morning runner, I generally get up an hour before my run so I can drink plenty of water well in advance of running. To stay hydrated during my run, I usually have about two ounces of water every two miles, using my fuel belt. If I'm out for more than an hour, I try to have a gu or part of a powerbar energy about half way through to replace electrolytes.

I promoted your giveaway on my facebook page, as well; so, I would love to be entered in to the giveaway twice.

Ellen Holley said...

I'm a follower of your blog

Ellen Holley said...

I liked you on facebook and left you a message

Ellen Holley said...

I liked GNC on facebook

Ellen Holley said...

I followed GNC on twitter

Ellen Holley said...

I followed Jeff on twitter

Ellen Holley said...

I also have hydration issues. I have started running earlier in the AM and taking water with me. I recover with Powerade and cool showers. I drink and drink and drink all day long. I actually keep a bottle of water in my purse so I can sip everywhere I go. I use less salt now and am taking cool showers just because a nurse friend of mine told me that hot showers dehydrate your skin. Well if it dehydrates the skin.... isn't that part of our bodies, duh... Well, I look forward to reading other comments on how others keep hydrated.

AubreyLaine said...

I follow you via GFC!
littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

AubreyLaine said...

I like GNC on facebook!
littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I follow your blog.

I'll get back to the requirements in a minute but was that "...cousins's uncle's sister" reference a wink to Monster's Inc? heeheehee (It's bring an obsecure relative to work day!)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I am a FB fan of GNC.

shelly cable

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I don't tweet. Ugh! My husband says enough is enough! on social networking. he thinks it takes over my life monday through friday.

In the heat I carry a small handheld usually just water 6ish miles and under (if at all). Longer runs depend on distance and time of year. I will drop unopened water bottles along my longest routes, carry handhelds or use on pack. If I have the stroller I can carry anything I might need...and often do! I ran out on a half marathon with the stroller ONCE. I won't let that happen again. It was terrible.

Sarah A. said...

HI! Love your blog. I "like" slash follow both you and GNC on FB. (I don't twitter). Anyhow! AGH! Working on hydration issues myself. Did a 10 miler Race last week. Appearantly, dehydrated. Calves cramped up. I typically carry a handheld water and GU. Realized on THIS run around mile 7, GU is not for me. (GU works for many, just not me). So, with a Half Mary just a mere 2.5 weeks away, I am scrambling away learning as much as I can on Hydration and nutrition. Either way. Love the blog. And any suggestions... welcomed!

RunMom said...

Oh no @ Sarah A!!! Sorry to hear about your rough run and the fitness nutrition cramming your forced to do so close to your race. I'm thinking maybe you weren't just dehydrated but possibly also electrolyte deficient. Gu energy gels don't have a ton of electrolytes in them (Gu Roctane has more, but still perhaps less then your body was crying out for). My suggestion would be looking for a sports drink that's high in electrolytes particularly sodium. Here's some I've tried & like (but plenty more good ones out there):

G2PROSERIES: not the stuff that you can get at your local grocery store. I think GNC is the the sole carrier, although I'm not sure on that. It's a featured product there anyway. Check the sodium content before you buy. It's something like 200mg per serving. Gatorlytes is even higher up around 700mg. FYI: The flavor is pretty strong though w/ Gatorade and some people can't tolerate that near the end of their runs. I don't have a problem with it, but I know some other people who do.

EFS: My marathoning neighbor swears by this stuff and it looks TERRIFIC to me on paper. Unfortunately, I find the taste to be really chalky and I can't force myself to choke it down. But that's just me :-(

Nuun & Coconut Water: Alot of the runners I coach really like Nuun and I have a couple that seem to do really well with the Coconut Water. I've done alot of reading about both, but never personally tried either yet (although I plan to as soon as my baby is born and I'm back to running). I have read a TON about both of these products and they both get my thumbs up. If you try coconut water (which is all natural btw so an extra added plus), look for one of the varieties that's higher in sodium b/c it varies depending on the flavor.

Hope that helps at least a little! Happy hydration hunting & best of luck on your half marathon :-)

Sena said...

I am following you!

Sena said...

I'm a FB fan of GNC!

Sena said...

I followed GNC on Twitter

Sena said...

I followed Jeff on Twitter

Sena said...

I am a newbie at running, so right now I am hydrating with plain old water.

~K~ said...

new follower, liked GNC on facebk and i hydrate during runs with water..and even better, it's a plain ol' Nestle water bottle (has to be that brand b/c i carry it DURING the run in my hand and that one has a skinnier middle for me to hold on to!)

Finallyfit2011 said...

I am following you! Awesome giveaway!

Finallyfit2011 said...

I'm a fan of GNC on fb :)

Finallyfit2011 said...

I'm following gnc & Jeff hennion on twitter. Plus I linked your giveaway to my blog & Twitter to!

Sorry if I did the comments wrong. I wrote my other entries in seperate comments above - oops!!

Megan said...
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Megan said...
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Megan said...
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Megan said...

Okay, I'm a teacher, and I feel like I'm one of my students now. I did not follow directions! I posted individual comments for the previous three things. So delete those previous comments and know that I did all of them!

I need to hydrate better. I try to drink a bottle of water about an hour before running. I am not doing hardcore mileage (yet) though.

Again, I apologize for not following directions!

Katie said...

Follow your blog. Fan of GNC on FB. Follow Jeff on Twitter. For hydration on runs, I don't take anything for runs under 5 miles, for more than that I carry water in a Nathan Hydration belt, then have a Powerade Zero when I get home. Seems to work okay. I also try to drink about 90 ounces of water a day. A ton, but it pays off.

lwknop said...

I have done all of the above and mentioned this giveaway on my DM post! also posted it on my FB page :)
I haven't run more than about 9 miles and found that I didn't hydrate enough before that so I now take water with me on my runs. I will let you know how it goes when I run longer distances :) I enjoy your blog!

RunningMom said...

I follow your blog, GNC and Jeff Hennion on Twitter, and became a fan of GNC on FB.

My running hydration - I tend to be a sipper and take a sip of a sports drink (perhaps diluted though) every mile. I have also been taking a GU gel every 5 miles and rinsing that down with extra sips of drink.

My race plan, get a little something at every opportunity but I often carry my sprint bottle too.

Anna said...

I follow the blog, am a fan of your Facebook, am a fan of GNC on Facebook, follow both GNC and GNC's Marketing Director.

I hydrate on a run by always keeping water with me. I take a Camelbak Chill bottle with me on runs, don't have a fancy belt pack or anything like that at least not yet. I'll also bring a large and a small blender bottle with me to class. Larger one for just water, the small one for Propel Zero packets. When I'm home I just use the Chill bottle too.

EricaH said...

i am a follower