At the Born to Run Extravaganza I received two drinks during my 60 mile attempt that stood out from the rest.
The second was perhaps the greatest thing I have experienced mid-race, and the greatest concoction to ever come out of a blender. A coconut, banana, and pineapple smoothie. Which, I attribute to fueling my body in the most magical way.
The Coconanapple Smoothie
Where to begin… Bromelian? Potassium? Magnesium?
This smoothie was not only refreshing, but it was like a big super food treat. A natural dose of just about everything a body needs while putting down big miles on a hot day. I don’t think I have ever tasted something so amazing. The aid station volunteers lugged out a generator, fuel,and a blender to the middle of nowhere. Trail Angels and amazing human beings… ‘Nuff said.
Trail and ultra events are filled with amazing people willing to go to extreme measures to help runners, but this was certainly a special treat. So, of course, I thought I would try to replicate the smoothie on a recent “big miles” day.
I bought food, loaded my vest, and set out.
I tried running, but it was cumbersome.
I do not own a generator, so I looked for an outlet.
I felt like I was on a layover in an airport with 17% battery..
I received strange looks of concern and of confusion. If they only knew.
At the end of it all….I sat, hopeless and defeated…..after a good pout I was on my way for my daily miles.
Making Magic in the Kitchen
With my run out of the way, and a bag of fresh ingredients, I continued the experiment.
🎶 Put the lime in the coconut, and cliché it all up🎶
Ahhh. A unique experience to say the least.
I will certainly be coming back to this smoothie recipe in the future, and tweak it depending on what is in season.
- 1 Banana
- 1/2 Pineapple (chopped, cored)
- 1 Cup Coconut (Chopped)
- 1 Cup+ Juice, milk, water, or yogurt to add fluidity.
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Realistically though…its a smoothie – Do what you want.
Blueberries? Apple? Go for it. Have fun.
However…as a running aid, I think I’ll stick a simpler and easier-to-carry option: Electrolyte capsules. There’s a few brands out there, so let’s take a look….
My Go-To cap of choice is Salt Stick. I get more bang for my buck with a bottle of pills over drop in flavored tablets, and mixes. Salt Stick is cheaper and easier to deal with logistically, too. I have a pretty rock solid stomach, and often break the old running rule of not trying new foods on race day. However, several times I have filled my water bottles with the available mix and wished that I had not only taken water, but dumped out the whole cooler for the sake of taste buds everywhere.
I once ran with a full bottle of drink for 6 miles because I couldn’t stand the flavor and didn’t try it before I left the aid station.
The point is I don’t need to rely on anything but water.
All I need is a tiny plastic bag, and off I go….with a negligible weight and size. Even a moderate, 10 hour 50 mile ultra would take 2 pills an hour for 20 pills a race. With a conservative single drop bag at the half way means two bags of 10 pills.
Taking in excess won’t make you faster, but taking in less will make you slower.
- Check your sweat. White crusty forehead? White patches on your clothes? Embrace your saltiness, but make sure you’re putting it back in.
- Don’t over hydrate. Know your body, the weather, and the science. You will flood your brain if you drink too much water without a good electrolyte balance. There is even a ‘thing‘ where kids try to get “water drunk“.
- If you usually drink a full 3 liter bladder on a 3 mile run and still feel wonky, you may want to rethink your hydration. Go for a run, but do not drink when you think you should, drink when you are thirsty. Listen to how your body FEELS. One study showed that when you drink as your thirst dictated, you maintain optimal performance.
Drink according to dictated thirst.
Sharing the Wealth
No, this isn’t the game of life – I am giving away a bottle of Salt Stick Caps Plus.
My dear wife is often charging her trail karma at aid stations, passing out salt caps from my bottle to runners in need. When Salt Stick asked me to write up my thoughts on their product, and give away a bottle – I jumped at the idea. Finally…I could keep my pills for me.
All jokes aside, we love helping out fellow runners and will always be ready to provide salt caps, food, or whatever assistance we can! If you see the wings, just give a shout!
How to Win:
(Do any number of the following, each adds another chance to win)
1. Tell your electrolyte experience. Comment below, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Use the hashtag #WLSS2015
Maybe you cramped up so bad you DNF’d… Maybe you did an impression of the Tin Man until someone crammed some Salt Stick wrapped in bacon into your face (I’ve seen it happen)…Let’s hear it!
2. Follow me on Facebook
3. Follow SaltStick on Facebook – Leave a comment on their FB page and mention me….or not. I’m not a cop.
4. Follow me on Instagram (let me know, use the tag!)
5. Follow me on Twitter (let me know, use the tag!)
5. Share this Review and Giveaway any way you would like – Blog post, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Leave a comment and share the link.
6. Follow SaltStick on Twitter and Instagram (let me know, use the tag!)
#WLSS2015 #wingedling #saltstick
Run happy, run safe, run hydrated.
– The Winged Ling