The following is a post by Kelly Springer, a registered dietitian/nutritionist and the founder of Kelly’s Choice LLC.
Getting back into the fall season, you’re going to have to be at your best. And that will involve running–a lot–in some unpredictable conditions. You have to prepare for all conditions while training and competing. The heat is a definite factor that if not prepared for can negatively affect your running performance.
When it’s a hot and humid day, taking only water out on a run can actually be quite dangerous. Incorporating a sports nutrition product that contains electrolytes is key to staying properly balanced and hydrated.
Balancing your electrolytes is key for staying fueled during your runs.
What do I mean by properly balanced? Think of electrolytes and hydration as being united. Electrolytes are necessary for muscle and nerve function, body-fluid balance, and the functioning of your cardiac and digestive systems. Four major electrolytes that maintain the body’s fluid balance are sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Electrolyte imbalance conditions to be aware of:
- Hypernatremia: (hyper=too much, natr=salt, emia=blood) Too much salt, not enough water.
- Hyponatremia: (hypo=too little) Too much water, not enough salt.
Electrolyte imbalance symptoms to be aware of: nausea, lethargy, fluid retention, confusion or sudden change in behavior, muscle cramping, severe muscle weakness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, seizures, chest pain.
- Drink: 3-8oz every 15-20 minutes but drink based on thirst not ahead of thirst to maintain proper fluid balance
- Consume: 10-20 grams (40-80 calories) of carbohydrates per hour. Start at lower range and build if you need to during training
TIPS: Weigh yourself, go out for an hour run without taking in any fluids, then weigh yourself post run. The difference will tell you how much your body sweats out each hour.
Does your face have a white, grainy, salty residue? Do you notice it on your clothes as well? You are then considered a “salty sweater” and will need to consume a higher amount of salt pre, during, and post run.
The average amount a person sweats is 500mg /lb sweat. Losing 1lb in 2 hours means your sodium losses equal around 2000mg. If you are a salty sweater, your sodium loss is most likely higher.
Here’s what I recommend for staying fueled during your training.
Kelly’s Choice picks:
- CoCo Libre Organic Coconut Water. CoCo Libre Organic Coconut Water is the only organic coconut water on the market. With no added sugar, this natural hydration delivers electrolytes that balance the body. CoCo Libre ingredients are potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium.
- Motive Pure. Motive Pure is Electrolyte Hydration. It provides nutrients and helps your body absorb water. Just mix with water and drink. Motive pure is all natural and contains water, Citric Acid, Electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium). It is zero calories and zero sugar.
Train FIRST! Train with these different types of fuels before using in competition. See what works best for you.
For more information, contact us today at KellysChoice.org and follow us on Twitter@KellysChoiceLLC; Facebook KChoiceLLC; Instagram @kellyschoicenutrition; or on YouTube — subscribe at Kelly’s Choice.
Resource: Nutrition Peridodization for Athletes by Bob Seebohar, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS
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