No doubt that as an avid runner, you’re probably cognizant of the importance of protecting not only your body but also the terrain you like to traverse. When it comes to the products you use, environmental awareness and social responsibility are important to you. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some head-to-toe eco-friendly and conscientious products that any runner should consider adding to their all-natural athletic arsenal. Because what’s good for the earth, is also good for you.
Most laundry detergents don’t address the needs of high performance, sweat-wicking synthetic fabrics (spandex, nylon, rayon). Unfortunately these fabrics also tend to trap bacteria, which will happily live in your clothes even after you wash them, and studies have shown that regular detergents actually increase the amount of hidden microbial particles in your workout clothes.
Hex is an eco-friendly detergent (biodegradable formula) available in unscented and “Fresh” scent. It’s scientifically-designed to pull the stink out of your workout stuff, while also leaving behind a “protective layer” to prevent future bacterial accumulation (helping minimize the spread of infections like MRSA as well). It’s available in single dose pouches or regular liquid form; both versions are packaged in eco-friendly soft-sided bags. While the science as to how this works is a tad complicated to explain here, this stuff is great (though it can be a little pricier than regular detergent—$9.99 for a 24 dose pouch. However, this one is worth the investment! .
It might be time to detox your underarms. This all-natural deodorant is not only made with activated bamboo charcoal to help control and bind odor, but it also draws out underarm bacteria and toxins. Additionally, 100 percent natural unmodified starch made from Scandinavian barley means it glides on smoothly and absorbs oil and water to keep you dry. The technology behind this line of products helps heal and protect your sensitive underarm skin without using GMOs, sulfates or parabens. Though it doesn’t leave a white residue like some underarm products, you may sometimes see the grayish tint of the charcoal. That being said, it has a nice mild scent and works well. And, it’s tested solely on athletes, not animals.
Erin’s Faces Sunstick SPF 30 – $13.25
Just slightly larger than a classic Chapstick in size, Erin’s Faces Sunstick SPF 30 stick can fit in your pocket and is perfect for long runs where you realize you’re getting a little crispy and need a new application on-the-go. Water and sweat resistant, this sunstick is non-greasy with Non-Nano Zinc in the mix as the SPF agent. It doesn’t irritate your eyes if you sweat and is lightweight and sheer. Also, there is no sickly-sweet or tropical scent to contend with, it’s almost unscented. Paraben-, gluten-, GMO-, chemical- and petrochemical-free, it also bears the “Cruelty Free” label. If you’re trying to cover larger surfaces (i.e. your whole body), try Erin’s Faces Mineral SPF 32 for Body.
CannaSmack Lip Balm – $2.99
These colorful and cruelty-free SPF 15 lip balms by CannaSmack blend beeswax with a hefty dose of Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) seed oil. Now before you get too excited, keep in mind that the only high you’ll get by using these during a workout is your runner’s high, because the essential oils from hemp in this product are THC free (there is no psychoactive element). However, you get all the benefits such as antioxidants and Omega-3s to help keep your lips protected and also saturated. There are seven playfully yummy flavors including Cherry Pie, Blue Dream, Pineapple Express, Root Beer, Maui Wowie, Day Tripper and Mango Kush that can inject a little fun into your run.
No doubt chafing can be an issue with long runs, so Sweatwellth’s Friction Free is a welcome addition to the anti-rub category. Made with no artificial dyes, colors, parabens, GMOs, sulfates and tested on active people (not animals), this spray has a lightweight and non-greasy feel. It has virtually no scent and its hydrating formula can also be used to help heal and repair skin that is already damaged by friction (making it a double whammy product). Spray it anywhere pre-run to prevent painful chafing.
WOD Relief Muscle & Joint Rub – $34.95
When it comes to muscle and joint pain, WOD Relief All Natural Essential Oil Muscle & Joint Rub may just be the salve that saves your bod. With over 40 ml of essential oils in each 4-ounce tube (roughly eight times more by volume than most other muscle and joint rubs), this cream made with natural ingredients (including cornmint, eucalyptus, cayenne, cinnamon bark, white camphor and more) really does absorb as quickly as advertised and it doesn’t have a greasy residue at all. The scent is strong (with a waft of sandalwood sneaking through), but not in an offensive way, and it’s less medicinal smelling than traditional drugstore brands. Also, it lasts. The heat generated from this rub doesn’t dissipate in seconds, but stays put for a while and a little goes a long way. Can be used pre-workout to warm up muscles and post to aid recovery and mitigate aches and pains.
When it comes to recovery, one of the best places to regenerate is in the bathtub. But if you want to take your Epsom salt situation a step further, you might want to check out Proleve’s Himalayan Bath Bombs. The magic ingredient in here is CBD oil, which once again even though derived from Hemp will not get you high. But in this form it will enhance your recovery thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties found in CBD. Each 3-ounce all natural, organic, non-GMO bath bomb includes 30 mg of high-quality CBD oil along with essential oils and mild scents (you can also get these bombs with lavender, but the Himalayan salt variety adds a nice relaxation and metaphysical element to the bath). For best results, dissolve in a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.