Why does everyone tell me to "Check your pee!" and what if it is dark-colored?
The first thing everyone says is, "Check the pee!" As a rule, a large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are hydrated; dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated. While this test can be a very good general indicator, there is often more to the puzzle. Just because your urine is clear and you get rid of a lot of it doesn't necessarily mean you are optimally hydrated. Clear urine is water that is NOT being absorbed by your body.
Nuun's special formulation of electrolytes helps increase the amount of water that's absorbed into the blood stream. And that means more of the water you drink is actually used to hydrate you instead of being eliminated because the electrolyte balance wasn't right. Don't get us wrong, good hydration doesn't mean no more urine. If you drink a gallon of Nuun a lot of that is going to come right back out... however, your body is going to get plenty of good, balanced fluids first!
How do I figure out my personal hydration needs?
No two people are the same, so figuring out your sweat rate is the most accurate way to figure out your personal hydration needs. And weighing yourself before and after exercise is the most effective way to gauge your fluid needs. Any weight loss corresponds with fluid loss, so try to drink enough to replenish that weight. (Weight gain could mean you are drinking more than you need.)
Studies have found that a loss of 2% or more of one's body weight due to sweating is linked to a drop in blood volume. When this occurs, the heart works harder to move blood through the bloodstream. This can also cause muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue and even heat exhaustion or heatstroke. For all the athletes out there, it can mean a major drop in performance, and for the rest of us, it makes for a really uncomfortable day.
What should I know about fluid loss?
Although sweat rate is the most basic and accurate way to keep tabs on your hydration needs, there are other factors to consider. Training or participating in activities at altitude increases your fluid losses and therefore increases your fluid needs. Excessive heat increases fluid loss through sweating. During moderate exercise in a cool climate an average person can lose up to 1 cup or more per hour. The same individual can lose up to four times that amount per hour in a hot and humid climate. And cold weather exercise can impair your ability to recognize fluid depletion and increase the rate of fluid-loss through respiration. So no matter what kind of weather you're in, optimal hydration is your key to health and high-performance.
Nuun's formulation is based on years of research and feedback from some of the world's top academic and practicing experts in the field of sports medicine-specifically in dehydration and hyponatremia.
Speed of Absorption
One of the most important characteristics of what you drink while you're active is the speed at which your body can absorb it. The concentration of dissolved salts and sugars determines how fast the drink can cross from your digestive track into your bloodstream, where it can re-hydrate and replenish you. Nuun produces a hypotonic solution, so your body absorbs Nuun faster than the leading "sports drinks" or even water alone.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people who are active for more than one hour get 500-700mg of sodium for every liter of water they consume. This is up to three times the sodium amount that traditional "sports drinks" provide. In addition to other critical electrolytes, Nuun provides 700mg of sodium for every liter of drink.
Nuun contains no carbohydrates for a couple of reasons. The first being speed of absorption. Ingesting drinks containing high levels of carbohydrates can slow the rate at which your stomach empties, delaying the absorbance of the water and electrolytes. Carbs also increase the osmolality of what you're drinking, delaying absorption beyond the stomach. But we know some people simply want to avoid unnecessary carbs, and it doesn't make sense to consume sports drinks loaded with them. Now, if you're participating in intense exercises lasting more than 60 to 90 minutes, you should consume carbohydrates to ensure energy levels for working muscles. But how you do that is up to you. Everyone manages energy consumption differently, whether it's with sports bars, gel or other sources of calories and carbohydrates.