“Motivation remains key to the marathon: the motivation to begin; the motivation to continue; the motivation never to quit.”
Disclaimer: I received a MEStrength Sample Box to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Certainly, by now, if you are an avid reader, I don’t have to tell you that I’m a sugar free runner. That said, I can tell you that 90% of the food and drink items geared towards runners contain sugar. And loads of it.
One of the reasons why I stopped my subscriptions to the monthly boxes was because the samples were all sugar laden. They’d sit in a basket on my desk for months before they succumbed to the circular file. What a waste. I wouldn’t even feed the stuff to my kids. Sugar. Blech!
There are other ways to hydrate and fuel. One of the best ways is good ol’ H2O. Sometimes, however, I agree that you do need a little something extra. Electrolytes can be effective, especially during very warm or very hard workouts and runs. The trouble is, once again, there is more sugar in the mixes than there are electrolytes. If you do find one that is sugar free, I can almost guarantee that the sweetener is Sucralose, which in the end is just as worse as the real deal. I’m still at a loss as to why these companies don’t just make sugar free mixes…kind of like Sugar Free Kool Aid…so that the consumer can decide if they want a sweetener and if so, choose their own.
When BibRave gave me the opportunity to brag on MEStrength, I grabbed it. Yes, I already knew about the product and I have been using it regularly. I have tried numerous hydration products, but this is the one I’ve stuck with. And I have a few reasons why it is my electrolyte of choice.
First and foremost, no sugar, no carbs. I don’t need them. Being fat adapted means my body relys on my fat stores to get me through a long run. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need other nutrients or mineral in my hydration. Sure, water is great, as I mentioned before. But occasionally more is needed.
MEStrength contains 5 essential electrolytes that your body needs for ultra high endurance events. It also contains a healthy dose of creatine. If you don’t know how good creatine is for you, I suggest you google it. Or listen to the Ben Greenfield Podcast. And no, you don’t have to guzzle creatine like the body builders do. A modest daily dose will do to get all the benefits that creatine can give, one of which is retaining your strength for the long run and ensuring brain health as you age. This is a biggie.
Creatine also helps the body to build ATP (Adenosine Triphospate). ATP is what allows your muscles to continue to fire through endurance events, as well as help elivate muscle soreness (DOMS) after you are done.
You can read all about what you can find in each packet of MEStrength here. But here are the highlights:
- 5 grams of creatine per serving
- 30mg of usable calcium
- 30mg of potassium
- 60mg of sodium
- 15mg of magnesium
- 15mg of phosphorous
I don’t think any running professional or coach, or doctor, for that matter, will argue that all of these are essential elements for any runner.
MEStrength is sweetened with Stevia. And it isn’t overly sweetened. It is just enough to make the product palatable to those who don’t tolerate unsweetened beverages. Why don’t they use sugar? The presence of sugar in any product can actually hinder the rate at which your cells hydrate. The sugar slows the process down by redirecting the water in the mix out of the intestines first in order to transport the sugar. You don’t want that. You want that hydration pronto. You drink when you are thirsty. Your hydration should not only quench that thirst, but quench your hydration as well…instantly.
I also love that MEStrength comes in individual packets that transport easily. They can be tucked into a pocket or hydration belt (or sports bra) and you can mix them in a water bottle at any time, or right at the water stops of any race. Easy.
There are 5 flavors. And they are all very good. Choose Fruit Punch, Grape, Lemon Lime, Orange, or Kiwi Strawberry. And you can mix it up with UCAN Superstarch easy enough if you choose the unflavored. In an instant, you have the best hydration you can get for a long run. Some days my hardest decision is choosing one flavor over the other.
Don’t take my word for it, though. If you are aiming to become a sugar free runner, or not, try MEStrength. It contains everything it should to give you a boost of energy without the artificial stimulants, and everything it shouldn’t so your body can absorb it and utilize it immediately. No lines, no waiting. Who’s got time?
Each packet mixes with 20 oz. of water. That is a lot. I mix it and pour half into my take along hydration bottle, and pour the rest into my pre-race bottle that I sip on the way to the run. I usually don’t drink all of it, so I finish it on my drive home.
MEStrength offers a 10 packet sample size box which contains 2 of each flavor. I know you’ll find it hard to choose a favorite. I went with Kiwi Strawberry for Grandma’s Marathon. Must have been the right choice!
You can order MEStrength from Amazon, and other select retailers in the Chicago area, or directly from their website.
Which product do you use for your hydration fluid? Do you carry it with you or do you rely on the hydration stations at the event you are running?
This is Part 2 of a two part series. Part 1 is here.
I began to take in the scenery, as here it opened up to the water. It was a beautiful day despite the heat. I was happy to even be able to see the lake. For the first run, it was just too foggy to see anything. So, I took it all in this time, looking for the familiar sight of the finish line. I heard you could see it from here, but it was pretty hazy. Still, I recognized these miles from my first Grandma’s. I remember ditching my sweatshirt somewhere around here in 2013. Even today, the clothing left at the side of the road was remarkable. I realized that all of it must have come from the half marathoners as they started an hour earlier. More than likely, it was a little more chilly for them.
Well, to be honest, this marathon sucked. It was the worst marathon I ever ran. The weather was brutal, I started out way too fast, and I pushed my heart rate way above where it should have been. Yet, somehow, by the grace of God, I finished with a Boston qualifier, and my third best marathon time. I have no idea how that happened.
This year, for the 4th of July, I’m going to do something a little different. I’m going to run half marathon. Ever since I ran the Mississippi 10-Miler on my 50th birthday, my perspective has changed a little bit about holidays and special days, in general. It seems to me that on days like these, you should be doing something that you really love to do. I really love to spend time with family and friends if the opportunity is available, but I really love to run as well. And if the remainder of the day is meant to be spent with family and friends, eating and drinking, and sometimes partying hardily, it makes sense that a morning run is the best way to start the day.
Headbands have never been my thing. I think my head is shaped weird. Any time I put something around it, it snaps off the top like a rubber band and takes half my hair with it.
I’ve always been envious of women who can wear headbands. I know that they have many advantages, like keeping the stray hairs that don’t fit into your ponytail out of your face. Or protecting your forehead and hairline from the harmful effects of the sun.