Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hydration! MESTRENGTH review

I've learned the hard way that hydration is an integral part of endurance training. When I first started running a little under 2 years ago, all I wanted to do was get one foot in front of the other until I crossed the finish line. I didn't know anything about gait, hydration, pace setting, cross training, nutrition...basically I was a total newb. I was luckily able to coast through for awhile without really worrying much about anything. When I ran my first half marathon I was running on pure adrenaline.  I probably could have skipped all of the water stops I was so determined to finish at all costs. This year as I began training for an Olympic distance triathlon as well as a fall marathon I quickly realized how much my hydration plan needed a revamp.

 For those of you who follow along, perhaps you remember my post about the Chicago 10k when I was so dehydrated I had a headache for days afterwords as my body tried to recover. I was in a similar situation during the Biggest Loser Half Marathon when they ran out of water on the course. Stubbornly, I finally decided it was up to me to make sure I had properly hydrated before, during and after a race or training session.

A few disclaimers here: I hate the taste of Gatorade when I'm running, it makes me nauseous and I have to water it down just to drink it which makes me reluctant to try any sports drinks. Also, the drink I'm reviewing were samples I received for free. That being said, I have finally found a drink that is both effective AND has a pleasant taste.

 My first trial for the MESTRENGTH powder packets was my boot camp class with Lita Lewis. I've worked out with her before and lost more sweat than I even knew was possible. If this drink could get me through that, well it could basically get me through anything. I mixed up a bottle full to drink before the class. The flavor was bright and citrusy without tasting artificial (ie, like chemicals). During that hour workout I was sweating like crazy as expected, but thankfully I felt great the entire time. I took a few water breaks, mostly to cool down, but overall I noticed a significant improvement in my hydration have a winner folks. I pretty much fell in love with MESTRENGTH just from that first try. After that I began incorporating it into my long runs. I'm looking forward to keeping a few bottles of this on my bike as I train for tri season next year. 

Let's get down to the nitty gritty here.  MESTRENGTH is all natural and doesn't have any of the usual additives like sugar or caffeine (it's also no carb and calories!).  Curious to see how it stacks up to some of your favorite sports drinks?  Check out this chart for comparison:

I can't stress how important it is to hydrate properly not only before, but also during and after.  It's a tricky thing to figure out what times are best, with what products and in what serving sizes.  You want to make sure that your body not only performs at the highest level possible, but also that you're recovering efficiently and restoring your muscles.  Up until now, my usual plan was drink lots of water and during the event I chew through 3 clif bloks every 3 miles.  It works fairly well in terms of energy but it didn't always keep me feeling hydrated.  Adding the MESTRENGTH into the plan really helped with both my performance and recovery. I even saved a packet to use on Sunday before the big race :)

How do you hydrate?  What other products have you tried and loved or hated?

No comments:

Post a Comment