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June 27, 2011

Real World Hydration

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Rehydration during sports is an issue that I get asked about weekly. It’s something I take very seriously on a continuous basis beyond just sport, but on a 24 hours a day basis. I believe hydration doesn’t start and stop when you start and stop your exercise. It means being aware of your hydration levels throughout the day and being able to make continuous smart decisions all day, every day.

This means watching the following things:

1. Skin health – dry skin, break-outs, etc are all possibly from being continuously dehydrated. I find when I am neglecting my intake of water especially, that my skin dries out, is prone to break-outs, etc.

2. Easy on the coffee. Sure, there is water in coffee, but its also a diuretic, ridding you of water. Stick to less is more with regards to coffee. More espresso-based love in small quantities than 10 cups of instant coffee all day.

3. Keep water next to your bed. Makes it easier to lean over and have a swig in the middle of the night.

4. So often when its colder, I only drink half my bottles in the morning when out training (cycling). I used to pour the rest down the drain. Now I make sure to nurse the bottle until its all in before I head for work. Not only am I replacing nutrients (Rehidrat is fantastic for this) but making sure I am hydrated before I start my day. In the cold, my body is working harder to stay warm, so I need more fuel.

5. When swimming, I don’t drink during the session. The simple reason is that during an Ironman swim there are no aid stations and I like to prep the body for that. So I make sure to pack a bottle of Rehidrat for after the session and nurse that over the next 45minutes.

6. Running short (under 45min) is the same – I don’t take fluids along, but try to make sure that I rehydrate when I get home.

7. At work, I find having a water bottle on the table works well as I am conditioned to finish it. I try and get through 2 a day.

Interesting to note is that the maximum rate for stomach uptake and metabolism of glucose for use in the muscles is approximately 1g/kg body-mass/hour. So for an athlete of about 70kg, this would be 70g/hour. For some people it is difficult to take this amount in during a race, so this guideline is an upper limit. I find 2 sachets of Rehidrat works perfectly per water bottle (750ml) which takes me around 90min to finish.

I always recommend athletes practice, practice and practice again when it comes to these things. Take some risks in training. If you blow out, it’s not too bad, but make sure to get the fuel intake up once you are home. There are many guidelines and guides online to play with and get into the forums on your favorite website and ask questions – experts are everywhere.

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One Comment on “Real World Hydration

Vanessa
July 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

Awesome… Love the logo… But then I am biaised…

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