Friday, January 9, 2009

Dreamchasers Marathon Des Sables Running Camp - Day 4

camp is a truly a unique and fun environment. tonight after dinner we played celebrity heads. great game.. thanks tess!

in the desert we drink nuun


peter said...

Just wondering if you can explain why drinking an electrolyte solution with a laxative (sorbitol) is ever a good idea particularly in the desert. Sodium absorption is dependent on co-transport with glucose in the small intestine, which further begs the quesiton why there is no absorbable carbohydrate in NUUN. I guess if you are sucking down gels it is less of an issue, but you still may end up with diarrhea.

Hart said...

peter i'd love to hear about your experience with nuun. have you even ever used it? lots of things in mass quantities will give you diarrhea, nuun however is not one of them. have you ever gotten diarrhea from your toothpaste? yeah i didn't think so. i've never heard of anyone getting it from nuun either. sorbitol is naturally occurring, you can't say that about the fake sugars in most of these products, ie sucralose, fructose, etc.

either way i've used nuun in expedition adventure races, 100 mile ultras, 24hr mountain bike races, etc. it always works and i have NEVER gotten diarrhea. bruce grant used it to run the hardrock 100 this year and ate like 60 tablets. ya know what he got?? a finishers buckle.. you got one?

Ty Draney said...


I am also a "NUUN" guy and have used NUUN for long periods of time with no problems with diarrhea. I have a super sensitive stomach that struggles if I don't get my calorie sources from a variety of different sweeteners in gels, etc., but I drank two tubes of NUUN on ice this year during the Bear 100. Undeniably we are all an experiment of one-what may work for me may not work for you...but it just might too. On your next long run try some Orange Ginger NUUN on ice and odds are that you'll like it so much you may poop yourself anyway:)

peter said...

Matt and Ty,

Testimonials aside, you guys are fantastically trained, and probably could do well with water, Morton's salt and table sugar. By the way fructose is also quite natural as are sucrose and dextrose. But thanks for the reply, none the less.

I had a chance to talk to (I think) one of the NUUN developers at the OR show last weekend, and I feel a little more comfortable with the idea of why they chose sorbitol as a binder.
Sorbitol is found naturally in fuits, some more than others. I am a pediatricain, and we use sorbitol containing juices (pear, prune, peach, apple) as mild laxative agents frequently. They work, even in realtively small quanities of juice.

Last year at Wasatch, a runner that shall remain nameless, and who should have been well ahead of me, kept passing me. He was stopping frequently secondary to diarrhea. He was drinking Nuun. Coincidence? Perhaps. It may have been something else. He stopped taking Nuun and the diarrhea stopped. I guess the point is that it (sorbitol) can give some the runs.

So the reason I was given that sorbitol was used as a binding agent was more practical than what I had thought. Turns out that sorbitol doesn't gum up in bladder of packs as much as other sugars. I have talked to a friend who has validated this. That is a perfectly reasonable explanation. Supposedly, the sorbitol content is similar to the amount in about a cup of apple juice. Probably not enough to give most folks diarrhea.

Honestly, Matt, the reason that I thought they were using sorbitol and not dextrose was to market it as a 0 calorie agent for folks trying to lose weight at health clubs.

In any event, I was given a tube, and plan to put it to the test. I let you know if I crap because it is so great.


peter said...

PS Matt, I have 7 Wasatch finishes. Have you finished a 100 mile race?

Hart said...

peter i just sent you an email to de-escalate this. i have finished a 100 miler yes. also i don't see how being highly trained has anything to do with whether or not a substance gives us diarrhea. i think because of the increased pace we usually have more trouble eating, drinking and digesting than those going a bit easier.

we can discuss more offline.. but the bottom line for me is that there is far more risk of my morning coffee giving diarrhea than the nuun i'll be drinking all day.

please give it a try before commenting again so you have some actual practical knowledge of the product.