2. Hydration

2.1 How much is in a Drink? What is the right mix of liquid and carbs will help fuel every run

Water is always with important benefits:

Variables such as the length of your run, the temperature, and your pace affect what you should drink.

For workouts that are about 30 or 45 minutes long, a few sips of water will usually do the trick.

But for runs closer to an hour, it’s important to choose a drink such as sports drink that has the right combination of water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes–compounds such as sodium and potassium–that help your body retain fluid. The right product will determine how much energy you have and how much you enjoy your experience.

Running Time: Up to 60 minutes, Drink: Electrolyte tablets, or Low-calorie sports drink.

Let’s take a typical sports drinks that we have, per 325ml serving…370KJ. I hope you still remember what is the Nutritional Calorie (calorie)? 

Convert calorie [nutritional] to kilojoule This is about 88 calories.

Remember in Part 1, 25g carbo is what most brisk walkers/runners need. From the Nutritional Infomation, 22.1g carbo is close to the required Energy consumption for healthy exercise. Remember to take easy brisk walking/running, just reduce your pace with proper hydration along the journey.

Running Time: One to two hours, Drink: Sports drinks, but each for a drink that has about higher grams of carbs such as Gatorade.

Running Time: Two hours or more, Drink: Endurance sports drinks.

Endurance contain extra electrolytes to help offset large sweat losses and may help prevent cramps. The longer you sweat, the more electrolytes you lose.

What are the reasons? Electrolyte Content Explained – Sweat Loss in terms of Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Chloride and Calcium, and need to replenish.

Running Time: Post-Run or Recovery, Drink: Recovery drinks, protein shakes, chocolate milk, smoothies.

Combining proteins with carbs increases glycogen stores in muscles and reduces the amount of muscle damage from exercise

Running Time: Race day, Drink: Sports drinks with caffeine.

Caffeine-enhanced sports drinks can be perfect for races or workouts when you’re feeling a bit sluggish.

Caffeine? Guideline for 60kg or 130lb athlete, 60-180mg of caffeine for ergogenic effects (influences that can be determined to enhance performance in high-intensity exercises). This can be consumed 1 hour before exercise, and during for prolonged exercise to improve performance. However, check the nutrition label. Excessive caffeine can cause side-effects for some who are non-tolerance to “caffeinated”.

Stomach bloating and discomfort  in sports drinks, and why? It can be the “carbonation” that can cause bloatedness. It can be caused by caffeine (coffee in beverage) and sugars in fructose and sucrose (sports drinks).

Gatorade, even though it always has the fruity components, such as citric, vitamin C, but, there are times when some people are sensitive to citrus or fructose. Even if the sports drinks can contain zero caffeine, getting bloated can be due to sensitivity to citrus tolerance, a symptom of “acidic” in stomach.

The benefit of sports drinks ..consumption prior to run like an hour or less because it is likely almost not desirable to eat anything solid, performance maintenance (hydration along the run), and recovery (hydration after the run).

Now, do you know to read nutrition information on label of sports drinks? Look closely on the ingredients of carbohydrates and others such as Sodium, Potassium, and Others highlighted:

Most people are aware, carbohydrates are essential to help prolong exercise performance. With many published papers in the field have already identified that the depletion of your body’s glycogen stores can result in fatigue and reduced performance – it is therefore an absolute necessity that an athlete is taking his/her carbs (carbohydrates) which can be used as glucose to continually replenish your energy stores. It is easy for a consensus to emerge that the carbohydrates available in a fluid solution could not be adequate to sustain energy levels.

Intake of a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution such as Gatorade was absolutely vital for maintaining blood glucose levels during exercise. The carbohydrate-electrolyte based drink allowed brisk walker/runners to start with greater glucose availability which was then evidently used a lot in the first 10 minutes of exercise – such energy which wasn’t available to runners who drank the water solution. Drinking an carbohydrate-electrolyte solution before exercise also proved pivotal for the exercising body to replenish energy during exercise – and after 30 minutes, the available glucose for brisk walkers/runners was still significantly on the rise.

Interestingly, too, after 30 minutes of exercise your body will naturally lose its efficiency to use carbohydrates as an energy source. Hence, the ingestion of a “sports drink” is vital when topping up energy stores. Yes, do take note on the 30 minute window, plan to refuel and sustain glucose levels.

For health and fitness, any run must be at least 40min, with “aerobic and fat-burning”. Since energy is required, a light meal prior to run is good, and of course, hydration during and after are always a must. After brisk walk/run, drink as much as you want..

it is advisable for run above 45-50min or even more, it is considered above normal aerobic training. Proper Nutrition and Hydration Planning is required, such as a small meal or snack is needed. For endurance distance type runners, most will bring along their personal “hydration” assets.

For those who will go for the endurance runs of marathons (half and full):

Want to know why, in endurance races, runners are expected “Carbo-load”.  Some even “Carbo-load with protein” day(s) before actual race . Protein is important for building and repairing muscle. Make sure you’ include a good source of protein at every meal. We shall discuss in the next series in due time.

I hope this is Enough for Part 2. We have Pre-Run, Performance and Recovery…explain why brisk walkers runners must have water, sports drinks, snack bars, protein and carbo-protein bars or energy bars – to be discussed in the Part 3.

Yes, why do we have bananas/muffins to be served at nutrition/hydration stations in some longer distance races like marathon run?

Have fun with Health and Exercise in Brisk Walking/Running.

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