Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hydration Options

When I first started running, I was on a treadmill and always had a water bottle handy.  When I started running outside, I didn't bring any water with me at all.  I would hope for a water fountain or just be thirsty.

This summer, my sister got me a Fuel Belt that looks like this:

It's the "Revenge Series" in "Juicy O'Riley"

Having water and/or sports drinks (formerly Gatorade and now nuun) with me has made a big difference, especially when I started running more than 5km at a time.  The bottles hold just under 250mL each and the little pouch is handy for my keys, emergency money and/or bus tickets and other little items.  I typically fill one with water and one with nuun.

I have started to drink less on my runs because it is cold, but I know I need to be drinking just as much as I did before, if not more once I start upping my mileage again.  I wear my Fuel Belt on every run no matter what, just in case.

I really like the Fuel Belt for its convenience, but I find the bottles can be hard to grab and drink from.  The tiny pocket is great but too small once I want to start carrying nutrition.  The liquid capacity is low as well.  I can buy extra bottles but I don't think I want more than the two that are on there already.  And on two completely cosmetic notes, it's not that attractive on and it's making my running shirts pill where it rubs.

I have started to consider getting a handheld bottle, like this one from Nathan Sports that I saw on Eat, Run, Repeat today:

"Quickdraw Plus"

I think both the bottle and the pocket will hold a little more, and it will be more convenient than the little bottles on my back.  I won't be able to have a mix of water and sports drink, but that is less of an issue now that I have discovered nuun because I like it way more than Gatorade.

I think this one from Nathan Sports would work for me, because it promises to keep my liquid cool and my hands warm, which will be handy in the winter (though maybe not very practical in the summer given my propensity towards hot and sweaty hands):

"Thermal Quickdraw"

This is the part where you come in.  I'm looking for tips and recommendations about handhelds to help me make the decision.

Do you use a Fuel Belt or a handheld?  Why one over the other?  If it's a handheld, what are the pros/cons and your favourite brand/product?


  1. For anything under two hours, I bring my hand held. I haven't really noticed it being a huge inconvenience to hold with one hand or another, and my Nathan strap has lots of room for my phone, a Gu, a key, etc.

    I've used a belt for long runs before, but I end up getting matching chafing marks all around my butt where the bottles sit =)

  2. I use a fuel belt (ifitness brand) that doesn't bounce around at all. I have never tried a handheld - let us know how it works out.

    BTW, do you use gels? I love nuun-like things (i use camelback elixer brand, but same idea), but if you are running long (> hr or so), you will need the calories in Gatorade or a gel or whatever. Maybe you already know that though!

  3. I love using my Camelbak - totally hands-free, great storage for all the gels/food &/or toilet paper (for those super long runs) & I just suck a little of water out of the hose whenever I feel I need something. I've never used a hand-held water bottle or a belt.

  4. I have a 4 bottle fuel belt and I like it but I've never tried anything else. I only wear all 4 bottles on long runs. The front bottles are a bit annoying as they get in the way of my arms, but I just slide them around.
    I had the two bottle version last year but its too big so I took off the pouch from the old one so now I have two pouches.
    I think the handheld bottle would annoy me.