Thursday, 15 May 2014

Running Nakd!

I've been experimenting with nutrition while running ever since switching to a predominantly plant based diet over the past year. Most of my nutrition while running during this period has been raisins, bananas, dates and the odd energy on really long outings. 

I find a real discomfort in taking energy gels or bars. They are more often than not made from total crap, you can usually find a plethora of very inventive ways of refining sugar, sweeteners, chemicals, obscure flavourings and food colourings. 

All this is the kind of stuff I'd be unwilling to eat on a day to day basis, so using it as fuel on a long run where I was expecting good performance was an oxymoron to say the least. 

I find that raisins are easy to eat and I have no problem with digestion or stomach ache in the later stages of a marathon when I fuel on these. However they can be quite tricky to get out of the little box. When you are at the limit of physical exertion and in your groove, trying to manipulate a few raisins out of a tiny box can be all it takes to slow you down or upset your pace. 

Pitted dates being much larger are almost exactly the perfect running fuel. Except I haven't found a functionally good way to carry them while running. When I put them straight into my fuel belt they get sticky and messy. If I wrap them before hand the unwrapping can be tricky while running. Just like their minuscule cousin (the raisin) this can slow the pace down.

Bananas I believe are the ultimate running fuel, except the transportation process is a bit taxing. Bananas being quite moist don't usually require any water to wash them down, they are very easy on the stomach and provide great release of energy over a long period. However, they don't fit into a fuel belt and I hate holding anything when I run. So bananas must be kept for fueling stations. 

Keeping all the above in mind, I went in search of a good fuel source. One that can be accessed easy on the run, that won't cause a mess or require gulps of water to wash it down. And more importantly something that has actually some nutritional value and worthwhile eating. Something that would provide energy without messing up my gastrointestinal tract. 

Not easy to eat while running

After a few failed attempts of experimenting with home made flapjacks and various different fruits, I found the ultimate endurance fuel source.

What did I find?

Nākd bars! To quote their web site '"nākd bars are a great way to eat nutritious healthy food without compromising on taste!" I couldn't agree more.

They come in various different flavours and all bars are dairy and gluten free, mostly compromised of raw fruits and nuts. They are quite moist which makes munching while running that much easier. Since it's all raw, real food, they don't repeat on you and they won't send you on a sugar roller coaster. 

They are made with 100% natural ingredients and do not contain any hidden sugars, syrups or trans fats, so you can eat as many as you like! 

The added benefit is the packaging. Wrapped in a nice little sleeve which is very easily opened and peeled. You can take a bite, replace the sleeve and place back into your fuel belt without creating a mess or altering your pace.

I've been fueling on these over the past month and I'll definitely use these during my upcoming ultra marathons and marathons this summer.

Where do I get 'em? 

I buy mine in Dunnes Stores, Ireland. If they sell them in Dunnes, they sell them everywhere. I frequent 2 coffee shops on a weekly basis and both sell them too. I've bought them in Tescos Ireland, so I'm sure any major supermarket in the UK stock them too.

You'll probably find them wedged in an aisle that sells strange alternative foods like quinoa, buckwheat and pinto beans, just like I did. You know the aisle where you are likely to find a mother wearing dungarees and ox blood doc's, with hemp laces. She'll be pushing a 2 year old around in a shopping trolly while explaining to him or her (it'll be hard to tell) the cause and effects of anti-disestablishmentarianism. Her bike and basket will be outside, "tied up."


So totally worth a try!

Before I sign off I'd like to send a big thank you to the person or person's in Iraq who are reading this blog. I have no understanding what life is like for your, however I really appreciate the many 'clicks' you've given me over the past month.

This month saw my 'clicks' breaking the 20,000 barrier. With the majority in the USA, UK and Ireland. So thank you to all, the stats inspire me to keep on trukin',,, I mean bloggin'.

Run far, run fast but most of all RunSensible!