In a blog post around Christmas I explained a lot of my fuelling strategies such as frequency, volume, and most importantly the types of food I eat to perpetually feed my tissues when running. What I didn’t discuss was my hydration strategy and why it’s such an important part of the equation. About two years ago a friend suggested I try RE7. I, like most runners had become very attached to the current hydration strategy I’ve been using which was water and Nuun. With reluctance I tried it. Almost immediately I noticed significant benefits but to be honest I did not notice the benefits on shorter runs but I did on the long grinds. My theory is that far too many runners focus on calories, carbohydrates and protein and completely forgo placing importance in the depletion of the body’s vitamins and minerals. In my experience, heightened focus in vitamins and minerals have given me a steady flow of energy and stamina to all bodily systems enabling the body to perform all day and night. A friend asked me why I don’t just take a multivitamin in which I answered that not all vitamins and minerals are created equal. RE7 is specifically designed for an athlete’s needs in mind giving you a truck load of everything you need and nothing you don’t. My dietitian Samara Feleski-Hunt was most interested in the Folic acid, Pantothenic acid, B6 and B12 which she states that the continual intake would be extremely advantageous in ultra marathoning. I like the fact that it’s sweetened with Stevia and not sugar as I don’t like to take in calories via fluids. My only issue I have with the product is it doesn’t contain sodium and in my experience I don’t need a lot but a steady drip is very useful. So to alter it I use a half a Nuun tablet mixed in per 500ml. On a daily basis I will drink one bottle a day as I find it an easy way to be assured I’m getting my nutrients while juggling my busy life as a father of three, a hectic work schedule and running big mileage weeks.
Now I know I’m going to get a lot of backlash from readers spouting research regarding studies that oppose my opinion. There are a growing amount of athletes and coaches doing science experiment after science experiment to our sport with the admirable intent to make us perform better. However in the meantime we stop listening to our built in sensors that placed the human species at the top of the pyramid. I’m not a scientist but when it comes to recognizing depletion, I’ve been there. I challenge you during your next long run to tap into the body and try to figure out what you are missing, remember that ultra marathoning is fighting the war against depletion. Inspired by my recent trip to Italy, Michelangelo was quoted on his 89th birthday: