Hydrating before and during events
During exercise our muscles have increased energy needs to sustain work load. In order to keep our muscles fuelled we need efficient nutrient circulation. To makes sure our muscles are primed and fuelled for the maintenance of prolonged effort across an ironman we need to be adequately hydrated leading into the event.
* Two weeks leading into Kona or a hot/humid race start getting in the habit of having a water bottle on you at all times with a pinch of salt in it or an electrolyte tablet. There is no pure water in the human body it’s a solute of H20, water, glucose and other minerals. Therefore by adding some salt to our water bottles we can increase fluid availability and stay hydrated. Aim for around 3L of salt water everyday.
*The week before Kona or a hot/humid race only drink water with an electrolyte tablet containing 300mg of sodium, 200mg potassium, some glucose and calcium carbonate e.g Nuun sport, hydrolyte sport. Plain water does not hydrate and you run the risk of becoming dehydrated by removal of sodium with an overdose of H2O coming into the system.
Don’t drink to thirst, set a timer for every 15-30 minutes
Dehydration from sodium losses doesn’t exert a thirst response, therefore drinking to thirst is not recommended when racing. This is even more important for peri or post-menopausal women and women in the luteal phase of their cycle (Two weeks before your expected period). This is due to elevated hormones resetting the body’s signals to respond to a lower plasma volume and therefore the drive for thirst is dampened.Since our thirst response is compromised a better strategy is to set a timer on your watch or bike computer to go off every 15-30 minutes to remind you to sip on your hydration fluid.
A basic guide for fluid intake during exercise is 8-12mL/kg/hour of available fluid.
Check out the Tri Travel Hawaii IRONMAN Experience tour information here.
By Ashley Thomas (Dietitian and Nutritionist-Masters with distinction)
Ash is the current Dietitian for CF racing, The Endurance Republik and The Lone Wolf Squad. She currently works with over 100 triathletes, with many going to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Nice 2019 and IRONMAN World Championships, Kona 2019. Ash will be on the Tri Travel Kona Conditioning Camp in 2019 to provide advice and tips to those competing on the big Island this year.
Email: [email protected]