Energy for Your Workout: ‘SaltStick’ Keeps You Going!

Its hot out. No matter where you are in the country I’m sure this is the case for all of us! And with the heat comes even more reason to be more aware of hydrating and replenishing the electrolytes that we lose to sweat during an outdoor workout, walk, run, bike ride, or anything you might be doing outdoors this summer. We tend to forget about this until cramps and fatigue sneak up on us during a long run, for example. But when you have 16 miles to run you have to be ahead of the curve and anticipate! That’s where SaltStick comes in, which provides a scientifically balanced supply of absorbable sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as vitamin D.

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As a runner currently in training for the Chicago Marathon, and someone who is sensitive to the heat, I’ve found that its super important that I drink lots of water and also focus on my electrolyte levels throughout a long run. I’ve had trouble with this in the past, as far as finding the right combination to keep my energy levels up and my cramping down, so I was thrilled when I was asked to test out SaltStick.

SaltStick is mini capsules that provide electrolytes to help minimize heat stress and muscle cramping caused by perspiration, which as you know is super important in the summer (but also in the winter for sure!) and during extra tough workouts. The founder of the company is Jonathan Toker, an elite-level trail runner and triathlete who lives in Southern California. He received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute and became an analytical chemist. He developed SaltStick using his knowledge of endurance sports and chemistry!

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SaltStick

Why are electrolytes important anyway? From the SaltStick website, “Five electrolytes in particular play a pivotal role in maintaining normal human muscle function: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. A shortage of any of these electrolytes will affect athletic performance through a range a subtle to serious side effects…If, during the course of training, you ingest nothing but sports drinks (or worse, water), you will become hyponatremic (low sodium) at some point. Many sports drinks also do not address any form of supplementation of the other key electrolytes… It is in the athlete’s best interest to ensure that replacement of the full spectrum of electrolytes is replaced, and in a form and quantity the body can absorb, such as that provided conveniently in a SaltStick Capsule.”

SaltStick Ingredients

SaltStick Ingredients

As an endurance runner myself, SaltStick meets so many of my needs and comes in a small and convenient size so its easy to carry in my running waistband. For cyclists and triathletes, they even have a dispenser that goes into your bike handlebars to hold your SaltStick capsules!

Some other fun features about SaltStick:

-They’re vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, GMO free
-No sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, no sweeteners of any kind. No calories at all!
-SaltStick Caps were developed as a study of scientific literature on electrolyte loss in sweat, highly bioavailable ingredients, and field testing.

SaltStick

SaltStick

What did I think of SaltStick when I used it? I used  SaltStick during many of my outdoor runs this summer since its been a hot one and I’m marathon training. I primarily used it during my longer runs as per the recommended instructions: take one capsule with water every 30-60 minutes. Usually I took a capsule closer to the 60 minute mark which means I was using it primarily for runs more than 7 or so miles. They were so easy to keep in my running waistband and since they’re in a capsule form, it was no problem taking them out and swallowing them with a little bit of water.

In the first 10 minutes or so after taking the capsule, I did feel like I needed to drink a little more water than I was before (probably because of the salt!) so I would recommend taking this with some water right afterwards, especially since you’re hot and sweaty already! Shortly after taking a capsule, I feel re-energized especially on those tough or super sweaty runs when my muscles were starting to feel fatigued. The difference before and after taking the capsule was definitely noticeable, and it was almost as if it gave my body its “second wind.” I really loved how it seemed to reduce any muscle cramps I was having and gave me the ability to keep running and running and running!

I definitely love my SaltStick capsules and wouldn’t go on a long run without them! Its been a lifesaver so many times when I felt very affected by the heat, sweaty, fatigued, and ready to give up. The capsules gave my muscles the electrolytes they needed to finish strong! I definitely recommend it.

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SaltStick.com

Check out SaltStick for yourself–its the perfect addition for any athlete!

Disclosure: I was provided product and compensated for this post by SaltStick. All opinions are my own.

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How do you replenish your electrolytes?
What’s your favorite outdoor workout this summer?

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Filed under product review, summer running

Wedding Planning Fun: The Album Room

As I mentioned in my previous post, wedding planning is in full swing and I’ve been busy, busy, busy. But its all been really fun so far and I’ve got so many great ideas of ways to personalize the big day and to make it reflect myself and my fiance! Recently I was invited by the lovely Pippa Paulson to visit The Album Room in Union Square. The Album Room is a boutique album design service specializing in album production for family events and weddings. I was introduced to Pippa through my friend and running buddy, Katherine, who recently had her wedding album created there (and let me tell you, it’s beautiful!).

Samples of the beautiful books!

Samples of the beautiful books!

Although I’m not ready to start thinking about specifics about my wedding album (one step at a time!), my fiance and I are trying to come up with some fun and creative ways we can make our wedding unique and individualized to us. One of my main goals for my wedding is to try to make it really reflect who we are as a couple. For example, we have these amazing photo’s from our engagement shoot in Amsterdam and I want to be able to incorporate them into the wedding somehow. Pippa gave us a great idea…. she suggested creating a Photo Album Guest Book for our guests to sign! I love the idea because it’s different than you’re everyday guest book, incorporates memories of ours and after the wedding we will have this special album we can keep forever and ever.

These photos aren’t of me and my fiance, but its a good idea of what I’ll be doing!

The Album Room: Wedding Guest Book

The Album Room: Wedding Guest Book

The Album Room: Wedding Guest Book

The Album Room: Wedding Guest Book

The Album Room designers recommend using the Picture Book album  for a guest book because the images are printed onto the page and the quality is superb. In addition the binding is really seamless and no information is lost in these full bleed pages. Its such a beautiful compliment to any wedding day and I can’t wait to create a wedding guest album myself!

The Album Room: Wedding Guest Book

The Album Room: Wedding Guest Book

And another fun idea too! Pippa also showed me these cute little “brag” books that would be great to give to bridesmaids/groomsmen as personalized gift. Using these books, you could put in pictures of you and the bridesmaids from the bridal shower and bachelorette, or include a montage of pictures from all the years you’ve known them. Its a really different and fun gift for those special people in your wedding party. Plus, they come in soft and hard covers, or digital format so there’s plenty of options!

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The Album Room: “Brag” Book

Wedding planning has been busy but super fun so far, and with things to look forward to like creating a personalized wedding guest book, I can’t wait for all the fun things ahead of me during this planning process! Getting married is fun :)

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What are some of your favorite wedding items?
Did you  make a personalized wedding album?

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Filed under product review, Wedding

Sweating Through Summer Training: Chicago Marathon Update

Whoa its been busy! Honestly, wedding planning (wedding is next summer) has taken up a TON of my time. I never realized how much work and coordination it is to plan a wedding between finding caterers, florists, photographers, a dress, and everything else on top of trying to plan all the personal touches and details. I’ve still got plenty of time luckily but I’m trying to get a head start on all the big stuff and its left me with little time for much else. Also, there’s that whole “I’m running a marathon in October” thing that’s taking up my time too :)

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So as you may know, I’m running the 2015 Chicago Marathon and am super excited! I’m running with Team Salute which is an amazing organization supporting military members and their families–more to come about this! Training is in full swing and it has been no easy feat with the weather being SO hot this summer. Last summer’s training for the 2014 NYC Marathon was way easier because it was so much cooler–I was spoiled! This summer has been a challenge for me and my asthma has been really acting up in this heat. So to manage, I’m trying to take my runs nice and easy to help myself enjoy it more and to try not to suffocate on the Brooklyn humidity.

So far my longest run this training cycle has been 12 miles and in the next coming weeks it will increase to some long runs that I’m actually really excited about. I love the long run and really do enjoy marathon training a whole lot, even on those super sweaty days when I’m complaining and acting like I hate running—I secretly love it deep down (don’t we all?!). I’ve had a lot of company on many of my long runs too, which I highly recommend. Its a great way to stay motivated and accountable throughout the training cycle.

Sweaty after an outdoor run!

Sweaty after an outdoor run!

 Just like last summer, I’ve made a big point of doing a whole lot of crosstraining and strength training in an attempt to prevent injuries. On my non-running days, I’m mixing it up and doing some of the following: cycling, elliptical, swimming, weight/strength training, and core/pilates. I’m also trying to get in better shape so I look great in my wedding dress, although that’s not the main goal its just a benefit of being fit. I should be doing more stretching on a daily basis, I admit, but then I’ve always had a hard time keeping up with my stretching routine. I always stretch after a run, but other times I really try to but it always slips my mind. Whoops! (Don’t do what I do! Stretching is good!!)

My running training plan is the same one I used last year for the NYC Marathon that my sister made for us. We use a Google Doc together to keep each other updated on our workouts and to make training more fun by getting to check in with each other. She lives in Texas so its a good excuse to keep updated on what she’s doing! I really feel like marathon training is way better with a partner (and running buddies! Shout out to Katherine!) and makes it just that more fun. Its such a fun experience, and sometimes frustrating, so its great to have someone to talk to about your roller coaster of emotions :)

Running buddies!

Running buddies!

I’m also doing the NYRR 9+1 program for guaranteed entry into the 2016 NYC Marathon and have only 2 races left! I’m signed up for two in September to tie into my training plan and help me get some miles in on long run days. Looking forward to completing the 9+1 and looking forward to my next marathon in 2016, too! NYCM I’m coming back for you next year and I’ll run smarter this time around I promise!

And here’s a cute photo of Murphy on a boat (it was docked), because he’s cute…

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PS. If you’ve run a marathon or plan to, this is a funny/cute article by Runner’s World on thoughts you have running a marathon!

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What races are you training for?
Have you ever run a marathon? If not, do you plan to?

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Filed under Chicago Marathon, summer running