Hydration & Fueling for Marathon Success

For those of us running a fall marathon – or any marathon – there are so many variables that can help make your day a successful one. Some factors are out of our control, such as wind, heat, and humidity; but there are also things that we can control that have a big impact on race day. One of the most important things, aside from solid training that we do have control over is proper hydration and fueling.


If you’re reading our blog you probably already know that proper hydration and fueling help contribute to athletic success, but here are a few example of how they help.

Proper hydration and fueling will:
• Prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
• Settle your stomach
• Fuel your muscles and mind
• Prevent dehydration

But how much should you eat and drink, and when?

The answer to that question varies greatly from athlete to athlete depending on age, gender, weather, acclimation to weather, fitness, and diet. Because personal needs vary greatly we highly recommend testing different methods to learn what works best for you.

For training sessions 2 hours or longer here are our recommendations:

• Timing is crucial! Aim to eat 2-3 hours before longer training sessions.
• Choose foods low in fiber and protein and high in carbohydrates. Aim to intake 200-400 calories with electrolyte-rich fluids – this will help deliver nutrients for proper absorption.
• Begin your workout in a euhydrated state (positive water balance, or “well-hydrated”) Achieve this by maintaining good hydration status in the days prior to your long run, or race. Aim to intake 12-16 oz of fluids at least 1 hour beforehand (1,2).

During your workout:

• Aim to consume 100-250 calories per hour in carbohydrate rich sources (25-60g) (1,2).

Aim to drink 16-24 ounces of electrolyte-rich fluids to aid in fluid retention and to promote proper muscle function (2). Monitor signs of dehydration including fatigue, headache, cramps, and increased heart rate.

After workout:
• Refuel within 30 minutes of exercise with a carbohydrate and protein rich drink. Be sure to follow that up with a meal within 1-2 hours post-workout
• Hydration should be ongoing throughout the remainder of the day with electrolyte rich fluids.

If you have any questions about proper hydration and fueling for marathon training comment in the field below! We’ll do our best to cover common questions in future blog installments.

Additional Resources:

1. Fink, H.H, Burgoon, L.A, Mikesky, A.E. (2009). Practical applications in sports nutrition. (2nd ed., pp 220-254). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC. 

2. Clark, N. (2008). Sports nutrition guidebook. (4 ed., pp.183-185). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

3. Noakes, Tim. (2012). Waterlogged. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

4. American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM). (2011). Selecting and effecticly using sports drinks, carbohydrate gels, and energy bars. Retrieved from: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-sports-drinks-carbohydrate-gels-and-energy-bars.pdf




Nuun Ambassadors take on Hood to Coast 2014

Hood to Coast, a.k.a. the mother of all relays, is a 200 mile running relay from Mt. Hood to Seaside, OR. Nuun has been a long-time sponsor of Hood to Coast and we love to run a relay, so we invited our biggest fans to come run with us: our Ambassadors. Here are some of our favorite photos that capture the unforgettable times we all had.










night exchange

night finger



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Fueling For Your Workout

It can become a very complicated process, deciding what and when to eat during a workout or race, and the answers to those questions are highly variable. Nutrition needs for athletes vary based on fitness level, environmental conditions, activity type, and duration. So depending on the workout, the location, and the weather your needs for certain nutrients may increase or decrease.

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Then, once you figure out what and when to eat, the next question is: how much?  Taking in the right amount of calories for your body will help you increase your endurance output and performance.

But one of the biggest issues athletes face is being able to stomach gels, bars, chews, or food during exercise. Athletes reporting gastrointestinal distress caused by fueling while exercising is extremely common and these issues can be caused by quite a few factors including consuming too many calories at once, overwhelming the body with nutrients, the composition of the product, and the amount of product consumed.

Below you will find some guidelines that will help you determine fueling needs for you next workout.

Under 60 minutes

Anything under 60 minutes will most likely not require any additional caloric intake. Most individuals have enough stored glycogen to get them through a training session of this caliber. Hydration should remain constant; if the heat, humidity, or your effort is higher than normal, add some electrolytes to your drink to stay properly hydrated.

60-90 minutes

Many athletes fall into this range for weekday workouts.  Depending on the exercise intensity, most individuals do have enough stored glycogen to maintain performance. However, if you feel like you may need some calories or fuel, try a 5-10 sec mouth rinse with a carbohydrate-based sports drink. Research has shown that a mouth-rinse with a sports drink will help maintain blood glucose levels and performance within this time frame. Hydration is also key and water alone will not suffice by itself during training of this duration. Add a tablet or two of Nuun to water to help replenish lost electrolytes stores.

90-120 minutes

When you begin to hover over the 90 minutes of continuous exercise, most athletes will feel better mentally and physically with some sort of caloric intake. The rate of intake still varies greatly from person to person so it’s best to practice different strategies to find one that works best for you. Use product usage recommendations as a starting guide and experiment with different amounts of fuel during similar workouts for comparison. For 90-120 minutes of continuous exercise, look to intake anywhere from 100-200 calories per hours total that comes from both fluids and solids.

2-4 hours:

When training begins to ramp up, and the time spent on the bike or on the run increases so does your need for hydration and calories. The amount of electrolyte-rich fluids you should intake will remain the same, look to intake about 16-24 oz per hour to prevent any adverse effects of dehydration. The calorie intake per hour will increase however to the 100-250 calories per hour range. Some athletes may even feel that they may need something closer to the 200-250 calorie range.


The key message is a to experiment with different caloric sources, and find something that work for you. Remember, needs for certain nutrients are different from person to person; therefore, what works for your training buddy might not work for you. It’s important to find caloric sources that a rich in carbohydrate – as that is the primarily fuel you body will be utilizing to maintain performance.


Additional Resources:
Jeukendrup, A. (2004): Carbohydrate intake during exercise and performance, Journal of Nutrition, 20:669-677.
Clark, N. (2008). Sports nutrition guidebook. (4 ed., pp.183-185). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
Jeukendrup A, Rollo I, Carter J. (2013). Carbohydrate mouth rinse: performance effects and mechanisms. Vol. 26. No 118, 1-6. Retrieved from: https://secure.footprint.net/gatorade/stg/gssiweb/pdf/118_CarbohydrateMouthRinse-Jeukendrup_SSE.pdf
Proeyen K, Szlufcik K, Nielens H, Ramaekers M, Hespel P. (2010). Beneficial metabolic due to endurance exercise in fasted state. J Appl Physiol 110:236-245, 2011. First published 4 November 2010. Retrieved from: http://jap.physiology.org/content/jap/110/1/236.full.pdf

Team Novo Nordisk and Nuun Hydration Announce New Partnership

July 10, 2014 – Seattle, Washington – Nuun, the top-selling electrolyte sports drink in bike, run and outdoor specialty stores announced a new partnership with Team Novo Nordisk, a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists, triathletes and runners, spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. As the Official Hydration Sponsor, Nuun is providing hydration products for all Team Novo Nordisk athletes in their training, racing and recovery.

Team Novo Nordisk is comprised of nearly 100 athletes from over 20 countries, who will compete in more than 500 events worldwide this year. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes.

Team Annoucement photo crop

“Everyone at Team Novo Nordisk is excited to be partnering with Nuun,” commented Southerland. “We’ve been fans of Nuun for a long time and our athletes love to use their products.”

“Sponsoring and partnering with Team Novo Nordisk is truly a privilege for us at Nuun,” said Kevin Rutherford President and CEO of Nuun. “When the team approached us and shared they are avid Nuun fans, we immediately said yes to working together. We admire their dedication to the sport and their inspiration to many that are affected by diabetes.”

The Team Novo Nordisk professional team began racing with Nuun tablets at its first Amgen Tour of California in May of this year. “I use Nuun for both training and racing,” said Team Novo Nordisk professional cyclist Martijn Verschoor (NED), who was an integral part of the teams’ historic success at the Amgen Tour of California. “The fact that it doesn’t have any sugar and is loaded with electrolytes really appeals to me.”

Nuun has established itself as the premier sports hydration drink of choice for endurance athletes. Nuun continues to revolutionize the sports drink market by offering simple and self-dissolving electrolyte enhanced drink tabs without sugar. Ongoing research, testing, and consultation with elite athletes, coaches, and customers is integral to the brand’s innovative approach.

Team Novo Nordisk will be using the full line of Nuun products including Active Hydration, All Day and the new Energy, a clean, no-sugar alternative enhanced with five B vitamins and 40mg of caffeine.