Three (NEW!) Things Thursday

For my recent marathon on May 16th, I put three brand new (to me) products to the test… pretty much breaking the rule of ‘nothing new on race day.’ Oops! Fortunately, they all worked out just fine!

1. SaltStick Salt Capsules

I’m not a big fan of sports drinks and would much prefer to stick with plain old water. I find it more refreshing and it also helps keeps things simple. For electrolyte replacement, I have used E-load Zone Caps in the past, but they only contain 51mg of sodium per capsule. I found that I had to take one approximately every half an hour, which made them inconvenient to carry and I also lost track or forgot often.

Enter: SaltStick!

Each capsule contains: 215 mg sodium, 63 mg potassium, 22 mg calcium, 11 mg magnesium, 100 IU Vitamin D (to aid in calcium absorption).

I planned to take one before the start and one half way, and I also ended up taking a third in the later miles as a precaution when I noticed so many runners going down with cramps. (It was a warm and unusually dry day, which meant we were sweating and losing salt more than we were used to.)

I didn’t have any cramping issues (at least not until I stopped moving) and the three capsules were a cinch to carry and swallow.

SaltStick also says:

Buffered salt composition that helps digestion and absorption;

Contains only WHAT YOU NEED. No herbal, trace, questionable components added. Gluten free. No sweeteners of any kind. Vegetable-based.

2. Fuel Belt Waistpack

I’ve been using iFitness and SPIbelt but I’ve been finding that they just aren’t holding enough stuff for my really long runs. I decided to order the iFitness Ultimate Race Belt with elastic slots to hold my gels, but unfortunately it did not arrive in time (in fact, it just arrived yesterday, a month after ordering – FAIL!).

Fortunately I found something at my local store -the Fuel Belt Waistpack.

It has a nice big pocket (4.5×7″ – a larger version is also available) with two compartments which easily held 5+ gels, a packet of Chomps, my iPod Shuffle and salt caps with room to spare. The adjustable waist band fit comfortably and the pouch settled nicely on my lower back without moving around.

My store only had plain black, but it is also available in Tangerine, Hibiscus Pink, Kiwi Green and Surf Blue.

3. Nathan Quickdraw Plus Handheld

I’ve been using the thermal version for several months now and adjusted to carrying the 22-oz bottle very quickly. I much prefer it to fuel belts, which add uncomfortable bulk and weight to my mid-section – the last place I want or need it! I absolutely love carrying the handheld and don’t find it cumbersome at all. I decided to go for the Quickdraw Plus so I could lose the extra fabric and bulk around the bottle (the “thermal” qualities are hardly worth it). This was an excellent choice! It feels a bit lighter and served me well on May 16th (and has been ever since)!

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Products in Motion:

Have you tried anything new lately?

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48 thoughts on “Three (NEW!) Things Thursday

  1. Thanks for the great product reviews! I was very interested to hear about the salt stick caps. I hadn't heard much about them before. I love the products in motion pic!! πŸ™‚ You are so smiley!!

  2. I've just recently gotten the Ultimate Direction's version of the hand bottle carrying thingy. Very useful on shorter runs, having tried anything beyond 8-9k with it as it feels like it would cause discomfort and pain in the arm/should for long runs.

  3. i have the iFitness belt and I feel like it is super small. If my phone were bigger it would not fit in there! I also want to try that handheld! I think it looks like a much better way to carry water than a belt!

  4. Thanks for the great reviews! I've been curious about the Nathan handheld. I recently got an Amphipod handheld water bottle, and I've had trouble with it leaking!

  5. Great product reviews! I must try out the Salt stick caps…I almost got sick with gatorade by the end of the marathon…and I don't fancy the high fructose corn syrup in it. And the handheld…I don't like carrying water bottles in my waist either.

  6. I'm such a creature of habit, I never try anything new! I guess I figure if it ain't broke…Anyhow, hats off to you for trying something new on race day. Especially the salt stick! You are brave.

  7. I have serious salt/hydration issues, so I'm definitely looking into those Salt Stick Caps.And that Nathan bottle! I've wanted one for a few months… I might just have to break down and buy it πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks for the tips on the new things! I won't be carrying a fuel belt on Ironman but I am wondering what to carry in the Goofy next year. I've been reluctant to try a handheld as I find holding a water bottle cumbersome. Is it different if it is actually strapped to your hand? It would be a nice lightweight choice though.

  9. I recently bought a Camelbak and LOVE it, it takes the pressure off my waist (back) and it holds tons of water. I also use S!caps for salt/mineral replacement and they work excellently!!

  10. I love salt capsules! they are amazing! at first they upset my belly but now i'm used to them! i also use the nathan hand held- i like it for shorter runs but it gets to heavy if i'm going that far. i'm not a big drinker when i run (i should be) but i did invest in a smaller hand held thats half the size and i like that better!

  11. I haven't tried anything new lately, but am definitely interested in trying out those salt capsules. I'm not a fan of products like Gatorade, prefer water, so this seems like a good product to try.

  12. So you take gels AND the salt tabs? Right now I am using just shot bloks and plain water. I guess I get enough sodium from them (I mix in the margarita bloks which have extra sodium). Curious whether I'd gain anything from adding in a salt tab.Thanks for the hand held review. I have been using the new bottle you have for the last 2 years and loved it. Just bought an updated version and will post a review once I've run with it for a bit.

  13. Thanks for telling us about the hand held water bottle. I have been using a fuel belt and find it SO bulky and annoying. I think I may try this exact one and see how I like it.

  14. As for new stuff I've been taking Cliff Shot Blocks on my longer runs, 2 blocks at the beginning, 2 around the middle, and 2 near the end. So far so good. Also, my Nathan fuel belt is handy but I'm kind of interested in the handheld (not a huge fan of the extra weight around my waist either.)

  15. I've tried the salt tabs but I'm liking the Endurolyte tabs more! I've taken them before the start of a race and during the race and they've always worked well. The Nathan hand-held looks sturdy. How do you like the handle?

  16. Wow that was courageous to try these on race day. I'm not a big fan of gels but I could probably do the salt sticks with shotblocks instead of sportsdrink. Love the "quickdraw" name for the handheld.. tx for the suggestions!

  17. oh i love these reviews. i heart my nathan bottle, just like that one. and since going down with my own cramps at my last marathon, i've considered salt tabs but haven't been brave enough. but i think you inspired me to give them a shot! so thanks πŸ™‚

  18. I'm So impressed that it's no big deal for you to carry 22 ounces! Ha, I use a 9 oz and get annoyed by that – but its as low as they go and I've gotten used to it πŸ™‚ have yet to try Salt capsules/packets, but also haven't heard anything bad about them. Might be something to look into now that the summer has set up camp!

  19. I really need a new water system. My old fuel belt is way too big (YEAH!) but don't know if I could use a hand held to carry that much water.Time for a trip to the running store!

  20. Hmm, I'm going to keep an eye out for those salt capsules.I'm completely used to using my handheld now and I love it – will be carrying it at my race this weekend!

  21. I haven't really played around with too much salt on the runs, but should! Great review!! You also have me almost convinced to try a handheld rather a waist belt, because for the first time during my race on Sunday, it was bouncing… perhaps because of the weight I've lost, but admittedly, it was driving me crazy. Ugh. Have a great weekend!!

  22. Hmmm…I'm definitely going to look into the salt sticks. I've also heard plain old salt packets (like the little white packets from restaurants). This past half left me with some CRAAAAZY leg cramps and it was horrible. Don't wanna run into that problem ever again!

  23. I just recently started using a handheld bottle carrier like the one in your photo. I've actually had it for years but never used it until now. In races, though, I think I prefer my Fuel Belt so I can keep my hands free.You sure do look happy in your photo!

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