Full disclosure: When I was a young EB, I desperately wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. I even dressed up as and did a report on Neil Armstrong for Great American Night in the 5th grade. I will try not to let my fascination with the space program skew my review of the product.
Little EB, back when I had high hopes of being the first woman on the moon.Now, as you would expect, there is some serious science behind this product. When I chatted with David from the Right Stuff about the product's development, the thing that impressed me the most, was that this exact formula had gone through clinical testing, beating out other potential formulas. Most other endurance products don't have the budget for strict clinical testing, but incorporate components that have been published in clinical studies (i.e. electrolyte concentrations, etc). Since this product was developed by some very intelligent nutrition scientists to be used by rocket scientists, you can bet their scientific method was rigorous and well thought out. Note: NASA, if you need an Average Jane for testing anytime, I'm available.
Some of the biggest differences I noticed in comparing The Right Stuff to other products is the significant increase in sodium. A person can lose between 1-3 liters of sweat per hour during exercise, and in that sweat is 1.5-3.5g of electrolytes. Most hydration formulas deliver 100-400mg of electrolytes, while the Right Stuff has over 1700mg. It contains no sugar or carbs (so it is purely for hydration, not fueling) and has three major benefits:
- Fights the symptoms of dehydration (cramps, nausea, etc).
- Stabilizes core thermoregulation (body temp)
- Has been shown to increase endurance up to 20% over other formulas
Consistency: Liquid. Since the product comes as a liquid concentrate, it dilutes immediately in water. There is nothing to dissolve. The small packets make it easy to carry.
During run: It actually didn't bother me at all, and I happily sipped on it through out my runs. It sat fine in my stomach. The formula is actually buffered to help prevent GI issues.
After run: I didn't drink a ton of it post run. I actually prefer it more while running. However, it leaves me much better hydrated and ready for other forms of post run recovery (i.e. food).
Overall: I think the Right Stuff is a great hydration option for long, hot, or extreme endurance events (i.e hot marathons, ultramarathons, summer events). I don't think it's necessary for the casual 5k racer, but for any situation where you will have prolonged and significant sweating, it will make an important difference. The taste is unique, but it even worked for my picky palate. It's not something you want to sip at your desk (nor should you because of the high salt content), but it is drinkable especially for the purpose.
Cost: Three packets for $8.99. Each mixes with 16 oz of water. Find it on their website: http://therightstuff-usa.com/
The Right Stuff worked well for me on multiple hot, humid runs. It is definitely something that will be important for me to carry during my potentially very warm ultra coming up in August. I was not only impressed by the product, but the company itself. I am your average midpack runner. Occasionally I win age group awards, but I am not a pro by any means. Even with the long list of professional athletes and teams using their product, David took the time to not only respond to my questions by email, but talk on the phone about the benefits, the science, and what the product could do for my training. I truly appreciate a company that respects and works with all levels of athletes.
Do you pay attention to the ingredients in your hydration options? What do you look for or try to avoid?
I received samples of The Right Stuff free of charge for my own personal use. I decided to share my review and all opinions expressed are 100% my own.