Sports Hydration

Whether you’re running, cycling or boxing, keep these hydration tips in mind:

  • Very important to hydrate pre-race/trip
  • As a body exercises, blood shifts from the digestive tract to muscles changing its ability to absorb nutrients.
  • Begin exercise by drinking water.
    • Drink 6 ounces over 10-15 mins (varies with amount of sweating (more sweat = drink more))
    • This will send a signal to the body that it needs to keep blood in the digestive tract (aka. maintains gastric volume and increases emptying rate)
    • Important to keep things moving because you can’t access energy-giving nutrients until they leave the stomach (emptying rate must be maintained).
    • Gastric emptying is delayed by intense exercise, dehydration excess stuff (glucose, fiber, fat, protein).
    • Gastric emptying is increased by volume (that’s why you want to take consistent sips to keep reminding stomach not to shut down).
  • Move to your sports drink of choice (homemade?!) when you need to replenish energy/electrolytes.
    • Don’t chug!
    • Take in 6 ounces over every 10-15 mins, but less before a high intensity push! Ex. cycling up a big hill- have to know the route in order to anticipate.
    • How much glucose? Need to find own personal sweet spot between amount needed in stomach to increase rate of emptying so nutrients available to body & water available to hydrate/make sweat
    • Some say a concentration of 6-10% glucose is good
  • If doing a long bike ride, keep in mind that decreased blood flow to belly can cause tissue damage (hypoxia)
    • Ride hands free for a while (hands stretched up in the air with a straight back)
    • Eat some coconut oil (contains antioxidant & absorbed in the stomach)
  • Be aware of “Runner’s Trots”
    • Diarrhea caused by shifts in neurotransmitters in gut, ie. serotonin spikes from exercise will relax intestines, extreme case = simulation of a water park.
    • Can also be caused by too much fructose or artificial sweeteners.
  • Also consider these fuel replenishing gels.

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