It has been four years since I started training for longer distance races. In that time I still have not found nutrition that works for me. It is like trying to find Jimmy Hoffa. You know he is out there, but you just don't know where.
Here are some of the things I have tried over the years:
GU Energy gel in most of the flavors. I was able to get over the texture -- come on ladies (and some gents) we all know what texture I am referring, but it was the way it sat in my stomach. I've tried it several times. Finally, I decided it just doesn't work for me. **Can I tell you how hard it was not to put in a "I don't swallow" joke here? Wonder how many times my blog will be found now!?
Shot Blocks didn't do it for me either. Or Sport Beans. Get stuck in the teeth. Too sweet, hard to get out of the packet when running and not fun to eat when they are warm. However, I could get over all that, but what really did it for me was they make me thirsty. I would drink too much water and then feel bloated.
Red Li Hing Mui Seed. What the hell is that, you ask? Here are the ingredients: plum, sugar, salt, licorice, aspartame and coloring. This is a snack from a friend who lives in Hawaii. This is what she uses when out on a long run for nutrition. It is a plum seed that is coated in sugar and salt. You tuck the seed in the side of your mouth, like you do tobacco, except you don't spit. It is the weirdest flavor -- at first it is sweet --and you think it isn't so awful. Then it hits you. The salt. It is overpowering, but still it has that sweetness! Your mouth start watering like crazy which only intensifies the flavor! I could only keep it in my mouth (insert joke here) for about 5 minutes. It is definitely an acquired taste. If anyone would like to try, let me know. Still have two packets sitting in a drawer. Bet they have a self life of Twinkies.
Chi Seeds. A woman in my running group a few years ago would put chi seeds in her water. The seeds would get gelatinous -- that word just sounds gross, doesn't it? She said it tasted like ice tea, but the chi seeds were good for energy, blah, blah. Okay. I would try it. As you can tell by now, I will try anything (insert joke here). But I couldn't get over the texture of the gelatinous seeds. I was like drinking tapioca pudding. Didn't notice any energy boost either.
And finally, salt packets. Another runner told me she would pour a salt packet on her tongue, drink some water and she was good to go. Doesn't sound good does it? It isn't. During a long run of 17 miles, I stopped, opened the packet of salt I had from the glove department of my car, dumped it on my tongue, drank some water and nearly puked. Check this one off the list.
Next on my list is trying Stinger Waffles. I've read rave reviews about them so maybe, just maybe I've found my Jimmy Hoffa.