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Excel & Beyond athletes test sweat loss
With no surprise we had some serious changes in body weight and water loss. The following tests were done at spin class and track practice the next morning. We had up to 8 lbs of weight loss and an average of 4 lbs of fluid loss. 4 lbs = 64 oz of water and electrolytes! In 1 hour!
Remember this rule when hydrating:
- Take in both electrolytes and water (50%/50%) so that the sodium remains balanced.
- Try to drink up to 1 oz per lb of body weight throughout the day. I weigh 154 lbs = 154 oz of fluids which I need daily. If you don't drink much currently to stay hydrated, then make sure you build the quantity slowly. I would start with 75 oz and try to add 5-10 oz per week until you hit your required intake. I like flavored waters with electrolytes added.
- 2% fluid loss = stomach digestive issues. Intestinal issues / typically diarrhea, fatigue and feeling tired, higher normal heart rate than usual, focus & concentration, all just to name a few. I weigh 154 lbs, if I lose 3 lbs of fluids = 48 oz I already put my performance in jeopardy. I did this two years ago at Soma. I only consumed about 32 oz of fluids (2 bottles) before the run. I was too far behind to catch up and I pushed on regardless. I still tried to take in as much water as possible during the run, however, at that point I lost an additional 48 oz on the bike and surely lost more during the run as it hit the 90 degree mark. I knew I was in trouble. My body shut-down my mind kept pushing until something had to give. I ended up in the hospital! Don't allow this to happen to you.
- Drinking too much is just as dangerous! Know your sweat rate going into major events. Granted, you cannot control quick weather changes which will affect your sweat rate, but having a close idea of what you need will certainly keep you on track on race day. You should never gain weight during exercise. Make sure you keep the system balanced.
- Take in 10-15 oz of fluids & sip frequently rather than gulp a few times. If you have to, set you watch alarm to beep every ten minutes and take a drink. Two big sips can equal 10 oz. In training. measure your fluids and have a plan on each training workout for fluid intake.
- Never start the workout already dehydrated! It will take days for the body to recover from severe dehydration and heat stress. Trying to come back and hit another workout will again cause more negative performances. Watch for the symptoms mentioned above and try to maintain as best as possible.
First mistake: Athletes often try to drink fluids much to cold which in turn will slow down the digestion and absorption rate. If you know you are dehydrated and need to replenish quickly, drink fluids at 70 degrees and not much cooler. This will absorb quickly. Remember that the body can only take in so much fluid, so don't wait until the last minute. Stay on top of this.
Second mistake: Athletes often try to cool down by only cooling the head or pour water over the face. Although this method does work to start the process, make sure you cool the whole body if possible. When the body is hot be sure to cool down those working muscles. Cool down the skin where that blood travels just below to fuel those muscles. Pour cold water over working muscles, back of the neck and wet your core and arms. Anything to keep the body cool. When I race in hot weather I drink a cup and pour a cup over the back of my neck, head and chest. Try it, it truly helps.
Heart rate is one great sign of one's body fighting off heat stress. Most of you have seen a higher heart rate on average in this heat. Be Careful! If you have to train in the heat, get out early and get it done before 10a.m. Make sure to keep yourself cool throughout the workouts. Make sure you hydrate well a few days before any long workout. Remember that a 1% loss in fluids already influence your performance to decrease. 2% is a disaster waiting to happen. If it is possible to do the long ride outside and do the brick immediately after on the treadmill then do it. Recovery from heat symptoms will take way longer than trying to fight through it just because your tough. Be smart.
Caloric Needs and Nutrition
Calories is completely individualized per athlete, size, weight, burn rate, and conditioning. The safe average is 250-400 calories per hour. Some athletes can handle hard foods while others can only tolerate soft or liquids. I for one can handle soft foods on the bike and liquids only on the run. Some stomachs are sensitive to certain glucose in gels, so be sure to train with what you race with. No exception! CarboPro is my source of calories which I mix in Gatorade. I can now tolerate 400 calories per hour, but I began with 250 and worked up to more calories per week. Staying on top of the calories during workouts and races is just as important as the training itself. You will be surprised how quickly a race can crumble if you bonk from lack of calories. A perfect race can deteriorate quickly from lack of fuel. Once/if the bonk happens, be sure to put sugar under the tongue so it can absorb quickly. This will help some through the bonk phase. Make sure you take in calories immediately and don't overload the stomach. Do approximately 100 calories per 30 minutes or 1 gel pack, blocks or whatever you prefer. Make sure you take in the additional calories in some liquid form. When taking in the gels and blocks, be sure to drink plenty of water to help with the digestion process. Remember that this is totally individualized, so learn what works for you!