Tag Archives: Reviews

And I too jumped on the nuun bandwagon

If you are a runner training for anything, you have at some point heard about nuun.  I have even tried buying it when they were having a super sale, but sadly they won’t ship APO/DPO/FPO (hey, those serving our country overseas deserve some hydration too, don’t you think?), so there was no way for me to get it.

Jocelyn, who I almost met when she came to the Philippines many months ago, was super nice and sent me a couple of bottles of nuun to try out, and I finally got it last Friday, right before heading to Shanghai.  I was curious, so I tried it out right away on my way to the airport.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.  I’m a big airborne fan, and totally believe that if I take a couple of tablets when I feel that familiar scratching on my throat, I can prevent a cold, but tasty airborne is not.  So since they’re both similar looking tablets, I was expecting nuun to taste very similar to airborne.

Thankfully, I was wrong!  So far I’ve only tried the orange flavor (she sent me that and a citrus fruit one), and it was refreshing and not at all overpowering.  Wish I had tried it back in my marathon training days!  Considering I’ve had my share of dehydration (even without running involved), I’ll definitely be guzzling some nuun from now on.  Add me as another convert!

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Yum, Bohemian Spa Wafers!

I know, I know, between travel and (lack of) running, talking about wafers all of a sudden might sound confusing.  But remember these friends of mine, Tomas and Lenka?  They just started their own company selling Czech wafers in the US, called Bohemian Spa Wafers.  And they sent me TWO free boxes (yay!).  At no point they mentioned saying anything about it on the blog, but I tried it, loved it, so why not share here?  Maybe that way I can get more free wafers?  (I kid!)  (Sorta)

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I’ll be honest, I saw their website and checked the price for a box.  $7.99 for a box of wafers?  Ouch!

But then, I got the box home and these things are HUGE.  Like bigger than my face huge.

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Now 8 wafers, each bigger than my face (and I don’t have a particularly small head) for $7.99 no longer sounds like a bad deal, right?

And the most exciting part?  They were DELICIOUS!  Light and airy and super yummy.  Tomas gave me both the hazelnut and coconut flavors to try, and the hazelnut was my favorite!  (My parents and Karl munched on them too and also loved them!)

Right now you can read more about them or buy them online through this link or if you live in the DC area, it’s on sale at a few stores (with hopefully more to come in other areas).  Check them out!  They come in hazelnut, coconut, chocolate and cinnamon (and you can get all four flavors for about $28).  Or like them on facebook as they’ve been posting trivia questions once in a while, and you get a chance to win a free box or two if you’d like to try them as well (yes, I’ve been totally answering the trivia.  Again, yum!).

If you’ve tried them before let me know what you think!  (Or even if you heard of them before – I had never heard of these wafers until Tomas introduced me to it.  And yum!)

Update:  Tomas read what I wrote and is sending me more flavors to try!  Score!

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Hydration Review: Nathan Sports Belt

Being the organizer of a running group, a lot of people ask for my experience on hydration during the runs.  I personally don’t like carrying anything on my hands, but know friends that are perfectly fine with the hand held bottles.

Last year, when I was training for the Rock n Roll Half during the summer in DC, I had no choice but to find a solution for that myself.  I did a lot of research online, and was convinced I didn’t want anything on my back (the camelbak I wore for biking was definitely not an option, since my back was always a sweaty mess at the end of my commute), and finally settled on the Nathan Speed 4 waist belt.Nathan Speed 4 Waist Pack with Four 10-Ounce Nutrition Flasks

For a while, I was debating between the FuelBelt and the Nathan.  The FuelBelt is the one I see most often around DC, probably because it’s the only one that’s sold at the local running stores.  I read pretty much every review for each of the fuel belts out there, and they both seem to have pretty similar reviews (mostly happy customers).

Why did I choose the Nathan one?

Personally, I thought the Nathan was a bit less horrid looking.  Sure, the FuelBelt comes in all sorts of colors, but the belt’s base color is black, and well, it’s just kind of ugly, specially in a bright summer day.  The Nathan was also about 15 bucks cheaper at the time.

But the main thing that persuaded me over to the Nathan belt, way more than looks and price, was that it held four 10 oz bottles vs. four 8oz bottles from the FuelBelt.  That’s an extra 8oz of water I’d have on a run with me!  A BIG difference when I’m logging 10 miles on a hot summer day.  (Have I mentioned that the endless miles of DC trails offer no water fountains whatsoever?)

The belt doesn’t bounce at all.  Sure, it shifts sometimes, but so does anything you put on your waist for a long period of time, but there’s no bouncing.  The longest run I had with it was 11.7 miles, and though my sports bra chafed the heck out of me, not once did I have any chafing issues with the water belt.

But, let’s face it.  It’s not  a fun thing to wear.  When all the bottles are full, it’s heavy.  You don’t really feel the weight on your hips, that’s actually spread out pretty well and doesn’t bother you, but once you start running, your whole body feels heavier because of the extra weight you’re carrying on your hips.  It’s an incentive to drink the water, no doubt.  The slosh-slosh sound is also a bit distracting, but that’s unavoidable when carrying water around.

I love how the Nathan has two separate pockets for stuff.  That means I can put Gu packets in one, and also put the empty Gu packets back in there (another thing missing from the trails?  Trash cans!) without worrying about my keys or cellphone getting gooey, since they can be stored in another pocket.  The pockets are not huge, but just big enough to store what you need for a long run.  A big plus!

The big major letdown of the water belts?  (Regardless of brand.)  The lack of insulation.  There’s really no way around it.  I always freeze my bottles overnight, but within a half hour of the run, the water is lukewarm, an hour in and I’m basically drinking tea.  Unflavored tea of all things.  It’s disgusting.

If you use one of the bottles for Gatorade like I do?  Then you have Gatorade flavored tea.  Believe me, it’s just as gross.  The other bad thing with carrying Gatorade with you is that all the sloshing causes it to foam up.  So towards the end of the run, you’re drinking Gatorade foam.  Hot Gatorade foam.

This year I decided to try out a small Camelbak to see how it feels (if only for the insulation!).  I tried it a couple of times, and I’ll be posting a review soon.

Have you tried water belts?  How do you like them?

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