Tag Archives: review

elete Holistic Hydrate

When I first started running, I didn’t really understand the importance of hydration, or the fact that we not only need to replace water lost when exercising, but those all important electrolytes too. When I did my first marathon, I relied on coconut water to hydrate during and after the race, and after the race I had the most severe headache I have ever had in my life- I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t move my head. Little did I realise I had got my hydration strategy very wrong, and although rich in potassium, coconut water is not a very good source of sodium which is mainly what we are losing in sweat. Since that incident, I have been using electrolytes and have never had the same issue, no matter the conditions, or race distance.

IMG_2068

elete Holistic Hydrate contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would like to try out their electrolyte solution, I am always keen to try out the highest quality, and most natural products, so was keen to hear more about elete and utilize it in my training.

IMG_2069

Firstly let’s talk electrolytes. Basically every time muscles move, or your heart beats it is electrical impulses that make this happen, each nerve impulse is dependent on an electrical charge, and a number of minerals in electrolyte form are vital for these functions to take place, these include Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium and Chloride. The charge these electrolytes carry is key for regulating fluid balance and pH balance, and when electrolyte levels are low or out of balance, it can cause muscle cramping and spasms- quite a common issue in endurance sports, particularly as there is an increased need for electrolytes. Unless these minerals are ionically charged, they are not electrolytes, and will not have the beneficial properties such as hydration and cramp prevention.

Key electrolytes:
Magnesium: Essential for all energy conversion, muscle function, nerve conduction, and more than 300 different enzymatic reactions, and it is depleted from the body under times of physical and emotional stress.

Potassium: Should be the most abundant electrolyte inside the cells, and is vital for muscle function, nerve conduction and water balance.

Sodium: Commonly found in modern diets. It’s also key for heat tolerance, muscle contraction and nerve conduction.

Chloride: Most abundant negatively charged electrolyte, essential for oxygen exchange, digestion, water and pH balance.

IMG_2070

elete make 100% natural ionically charged electrolyte products, organically derived from solar evaporation of the great salt lake in Utah. It contains all four key electrolytes mentioned above, in an ionically charged form together with other beneficial naturally occurring trace elements, vital for maintaining hydration, sustaining energy and enhancing mental focus, both during training and events.

Unlike most sports drinks on the markets, elete contains no sugar, no sweeteners, preservatives, flavourings or colourings. It comes in a concentrated form, which is really handy as it can be tailored to your individual needs. Most common sports drinks contain only one or two electrolytes in an non-ionic form which are not well assimilated by the body.

elete can be added to water, juices, smoothies and soups. I have been using the 25ml bottles, which make up to 10litres of electrolyte solution, so would be ideal for multi stage races, or traveling, as they are extremely light and handy to pack. elete also sell refill bottles. It’s ideal for adding to your hydration pack for long training runs or races, as it doesn’t leave any residues and is simple to clean after.

I’m not doing any endurance stuff at the minute, but I’ve been using elete daily just for general well-being. Most people tend to be low in magnesium, so it can be taken for general health anyway. I’ve been taking it alongside my lemon water first thing in the morning, to replenish after waking up, and do feel better hydrated throughout the day. I will be keen to see it’s benefits when I start doing more endurance training again.

You can purchase elete products from their website. They have also kindly given me a 10% discount code to offer to you guys, just type BLOGGER DISCOUNT into the coupon box at the checkout.

Mio Natural Skincare Review

I’ve been using natural skincare products for a few years now, I have my favourite products and brands, it took a while but I’ve finally made all my skincare, and cleaning products natural. I’m very concious of anything I put on my skin, after all our skin is our largest organ, and we absorb around 60-70% of anything we put on it, so technically if you wouldn’t eat it- you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin!

image1

I’m always interested in new skincare brands, so was keen to try out the Mio skincare products when they got in touch with me. It was not a brand I have come across before, they only launched in 2014 so are still a relatively new brand on the market. They originally launched as a brand Mama Mio 10 years ago where they produced skincare products for expecting mums. As they couldn’t find any skincare products specifically tailored to healthy active lifestyles, they decided to create Mio.

The high intensity body care slots easily into your daily skin care routine, there is a range of products from rich nourishing body butters and firming serums, giving you healthy skin that can cope with life’s challenges. I often find with natural skincare it’s more important to find out what isn’t in it, than what is, so there is no parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, artificial colourants, sodium laureth or lauryl sulphate, xenoestrogens, phthalates, PEGs or glycols. They are also not tested on animals. I really like the ethics and ethos behind the company, and I am in love with the products.

image2

Liquid Yoga

This stuff is dreamy! I even took it on holiday with me to Tenerife. Liquid Yoga’s aim is to relax the muscles and calm the mind, it’s a milky-moisturising blend of epsom salts, essential oils like lavender, spearmint and cypress and therapeutic herbs like arnica. It’s the perfect treat for unwinding after a long day, and great for tired, sore muscles. The smell of this stuff is absolutely lush, the perfect de-stressing blend. It’s got arnica and horse chestnut to ease those stiff sore muscles, as well as being rich in antioxidants and other moisturising ingredients. It’s a total treat.

image3

Workout Wonder

This is a little instant pick-me-up. Ideal for using pre/post workout or even after a long day. It’s cooling, and restorative for the muscles, releasing tension and perfect for recovery or prepping them for action. It contains things like arnica, horse chestnut, magnesium and spearmint to get your muscles going. It smells absolutely amazing, and I love the instant cooling action. I like to use a few pumps before an early workout, or late at night after a long day, and it’s seemed to be working wonders for my recovery so far!

Double Buff

I like using a scrub once or twice a week, for some gentle exfoliation, and this ticks all the boxes. It aims to rapidly transform rough, dull looking skin into skin that looks superbly soft, smooth and radiant. It’s very restorative, and very gentle, it’s not harsh or stripping the skin. It’s very quick and easy to use, you simply massage it into dry skin, and then shower it off. The gentle exfoliating action is provided by spheres of pumice, lava and bamboo blended with papaya and pineapple whose enzymes help to dissolve away any roughness. It’s also rich in antioxidants and nourishing oils and butters to keep skin looking strong and healthy. I’ve been using this twice a week, and I love the instant restorative feeling it has, and it leaves my skin lovely and soft and smooth.

Overall, I’m seriously impressed with the quality of these products, and will definitely be restocking when I run out of them. They would make the perfect stocking filler or Christmas gift so get them on your list to Santa!

 

 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Mio Products for review, all opinions are my own.

 

 

Shine bright like a…Runner!

Having just got back from Tenerife, I seem to have completely forgotten that it is A. Winter, and B. Dark at ridiculous o’clock. The nights drew in much later over there, so I was quite shocked/horrified when I got back to discover the darkness creeping in at barely 4 o’clock. If you are regularly active, or like me are about to commence a winter training program, then you can’t really avoid running in the dark- unless you fancy 20 odd miles on a dreadmill- no thank you!

image1

I change up my running routine at this time of year, as the nights are darker, I will always tell my other half where I am going and how long I will be- should do this anyway really! I will also stay away from more isolated areas and poorly lit places, and will run more populated routes during this time of year. I also don’t run commute the whole way home as I don’t feel safe in certain areas after dark. I also make sure that I am seen on my run, as I tend to wear a lot of darker clothing, it’s vital that I in any way possible light up like a Christmas tree to make myself visible to other pedestrians, cars and cyclist’s.

Last year I was sent a box of Nathan goodies to see me through the winter months, and I have to say I wear the light bender and heel spur religiously on late night run commutes. Nathan Sports have kindly sent me a bumper box of new hi-vis products to make sure I am seen when hitting the pavements this winter. They also kindly sent me some locklaces- handy as I was moaning about my Nike flyknit laces constantly coming undone only the week before, and some Feetures socks to keep my toes warm too, I have a few pairs of these socks now, and find them absolutely brilliant, nice and supportive and no blisters either.

Gear

image3

Zephyr Fire 100: This is a rechargeable flashlight with handheld strap. I usually don’t run with anything in my hands, so this was a new experience for me. I really liked using this on darker sections of path along my usual route, where it only takes one upraised paving slab and you are on your arse. This is a really useful product to help you see the path ahead. It also has a very loud siren if needed. It’s actually really easy to carry, and gives off a good amount of light also.

image2

Strobe Lights: I was sent a variety of strobe lights, of varying power and with lots of different settings. They are easy to clip onto yourself or your gear, and would be great for running or cycling. The Orion is the most powerful, and it also illuminates the path ahead of you as well as lighting up yourself. The Pulsar strobe is super light so you can even clip it onto your shoe comfortably.

Light Spur: I now have two of these, and will be attaching one to each shoe. They are great for runners/cyclists for ensuring you are well seen from behind. I have used my single one a lot since getting it last year, and am looking forward to using two. It fits snugly on your shoes, and isn’t heavy or restrictive either.

image4

Bandolier Vest: I’ve never got on that well with hi-vis vests, I just find them a bit of a faff to get on over other gear, and their constant movement irritates me. 360 degrees of reflectivity for maximum visibility. I actually had no idea what was the front/back of this vest, and I probably won’t be wearing it regularly in future, I prefer to stick to the lights for being seen.

Fire and Ice Bottle: This is a reflective bottle, that is insulated and keeps fluids cooler while offering visibility. I don’t carry bottles when I am running, so I am using this as a daily water bottle instead.

The Nathan hi-vis range comes in a range of prices, and some of them are very affordable, a small price to pay to ensure you stay seen on the roads this winter.

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a box of Nathan goodies for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

Runderwear: Don’t go Commando

So you’ve had your gait analysed, got the trainers, got your gps watch, activity tracker, hydration pack, shorts, vest, running socks, and you are ready to go right? Well you might want to add Runderwear to your Christmas list, it could be your next vitally important piece of kit!

IMG_6964

Before now I’d never really given much thought to running underwear, I wear the Shock Absorber run bras, and I’ve always felt quite comfortable running in boy style pants. What you are wearing underneath your running clothes can be just as important as all your other gear though- during long runs comfort is key, and chafing can be bloody painful, and not exactly ideal when you are 20 miles into a marathon or longer distance.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 15.13.42

I’ve been wearing the runderwear briefs during some longer runs (I say long, but I haven’t been running over 5-6 miles lately!), and found them comfortable and snug, they basically didn’t move the entire time- no mid-run wedgies over here! They have 360 degree seamless technology, which basically means they sit snugly against the skin and don’t chafe. The fabric is moisture wicking, light-weight, durable and breathable. I would probably keep them for long training runs and races, particularly longer distances where comfort is vitally important.

IMG_6965

There are men’s and women’s ranges, the Women’s Runderwear is available in briefs/g-string and there is also a crop top. I would absolutely never in a million years go out running solely in the crop top as a “bra”, it’s just not supportive enough for me. I would however wear a sports bra underneath it for that added bit of support, or maybe use it when lounging around the house.

Runderwear retails at £16 for the briefs and £25 for the crop top. I would absolutely recommend the briefs, and I think they are a bit of a steal at that price, considering that I’ve paid near on £20 for pairs of socks in the past. They currently are available in classic black, but are shortly launching a cyan range, which will be on my list to Santa!

 

Runderwear kindly sent me some of their products, all opinions are my own.

Sole Softec Response Footbeds

I’ve never really thought about trying out orthotics before, but considering my injury problems in recent years, I had nothing to lose, and was keen to try some out when Sole approached me. They kindly sent the softec response insoles and insulated response insoles to test out.

image1

Custom made insoles can be very expensive, and if they don’t work out, it’s a big price to pay. Sole has created these mouldable footbeds, which you basically heat to fit your feet. They gently lift the arch into it’s optimal position so that the foot can function properly, helping to prevent conditions like shin splints and knee pain (which I’ve suffered from) and also plantar fasciitis. The deep heel cup helps to stabilize the heel and reinforce it’s natural shock absorbing facilities, just what you need when you are pounding the pavements for endless miles. They offer customised support for the whole foot, reducing plantar fascia strain by an average 34%, which is a big difference if you are a sufferer. The footbeds are also moisture wicking, which is great, as I was concerned they would make my feet too hot and sweaty, and they would start to smell but they are made from anti-microbial fabric so no problems there. They are also Vegan, and I really like the company’s ethics and commitment to sustainability.

Sole have created an insulated option, for toasty feet in winter time- I will definitely be trying these out when the weather turns a little cooler. The footbeds are designed to fit in most athletic shoes, so are sutibale for a wide variety of activity’s. I do a lot of walking, so have been using them for a little extra support. They are fairly thin, so they don’t make your shoes any tighter, or snug fitting.

image2

They were very easy to fit, I just popped them in the oven (90 degrees celsius) for 2-3 mins until the sticky label turned black to tell me they were ready to mould. I removed the fitted sole from my regular trainers, took the insoles out of the oven, and fitted them into the shoe and then stood in them for 2 minutes. Voila. You can cut them to size, lining them up with the regular shoe liner, but mine were spot on so I didn’t need to trim them.

I wore them for a few runs over the last week, and for some walks as well and though it’s too soon to say if they will make a real difference to my injury problems, they do feel very supportive on the run, and unlike Eliud Kipchoge’s insole malfunction they didn’t come out of my shoes!

image3

I’m not sure it is something I would want to rely on all the time, but perhaps when I am suffering from/or returning from injury, it might be nice to have that extra little bit of support. They are certainly a great offering for those with injury problems, and a fraction of the regular orthotic price.

Disclaimer: Sole sent me the footbeds for review, all opinions are my own.