Last year I completed my first marathon but had some major fueling and stomach issues. I've tried a lot of different things this summer so I thought I'd put together a little summary of the things I've tried, what worked, and what didn't work.
First, let's talk about hydration. Lot's of people can't do Gatorade. I've always been able to handle it in the past. However, when mixing it with other fuels in my stomach, the Gatorade usually makes a re-appearance. I love it for recovery after I'm done running, but I've learned that I can't use it while running. As a quick note, the handheld I keep referencing is from Fuel Belt and is the 10oz model.
What did work?
1) Gu Roctane Ultra Endurance powder (review found here)
here. (If you ever find this at a store, let me know!)
2) Gu Brew
3) Nathan Electrolyte Tablet
Southwest Half Marathon packet. I figured since I had luck with the tablets, I should give it a try. For most of the summer, this has been my go-to. It has gotten me through a lot of hot hot days and has kept the stomach monsters at bay. I would mix 1 tablet with a pint glass full of water and then pour what would fit into my handheld. After the run, I'd drink what was left in the pint glass in addition to whatever was left in the handheld. Sometimes I would also break a tablet in half, put it in my handheld, and fill the rest up with water. The tablet package is kind of expensive ($8 at the local running store) but you get a decent amount of tablets inside. I would say it is worth the price. I also recently purchased the lemon lime flavor. I'm a fan but I don't love it as much as I love the orange.
RNR Expo. I just recently hosted a Zipfizz giveaway after having their product and really enjoying it. I used on a run for the first time and enjoyed it even more! I don't know if it is the mix of vitamins or the fact that my stomach is now adjusted to the flavor orange, but this didn't give me any stomach rumblings. That is always a positive!
5) Honey Stinger Chews
Live Half Full had recommended them to me back at our first Chicago blogger meetup. I tried them and really liked them. They are small and easy to chew while running. They aren't too thick so they are easy going down. They taste delicious and are also organic. A lot of those strange chemicals are not found in these guys which I think is part of the reason my stomach seems to like them. Available at Sports Authority and Dicks Sporting Goods, they are also easily accessible.
6) Gatorade Chews
Palos Turkey Trot back in November. I enjoyed their shape (flat and square) and thought they were easy to consume. I bought a few packs at the Shamrock Shuffle expo and enjoyed them on long runs. They helped me to my PR half marathon in April as they didn't upset my stomach along the way! These have become more popular and are now available in running stores. With Gatorade's new marketing, it is confusing to tell which things are for before and which ones are for during a workout. If you're looking to give these a try, make sure you find the ones that say "perform" instead of "prime." (I reached out to Gatorade to see if they would do a giveaway for these guys with no luck.)
What kind of fuel works best for you? Have you tried any of these products before? As you may notice, Gu is not on this list. I just cannot stomach the gels. The taste, the texture, the rock in my stomach. No dice.