During Phase 2 of OFM Hydration needs now focus on Hydration during training and racing
As you segue from the Metabolic Reset (MR) to Adaptation and can resume normal training the focus of Hydration shifts to optimizing your Hydration needs during physical exertion. While hydration is critical for any athlete looking to reach their performance potential with a fat adapted physiology the need for an extra awareness of hydration needs is increased in warmer environmental conditions. In the heat humidity also adds another level of challenge to maintaining adequate hydration.
Hydration is a complex an dynamic area and cannot be ‘formulated’ into a one size fits all. The athlete needs to learn the dynamics of their hydration needs and how the variables whether temperature, humidity, sport and effort level influence hydration.
Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Over 80% of the electrolyte profile in sweat is Sodium and much of it as Sodium Chloride (salt) and why sweat tastes salty. This means Sodium should make up most of the electrolyte profile of what you are taking in.
- You are robust and normally carry an ample fluid reserve to go a few hours before a significant enough drop in blood volume occurs to impair performance. Due to this we advise athletes to wait until they have developed a significant sweat and lost some fluid before starting to replenish it. It is optimal to lose between 1-2% of body weight before fluid replenishment occurs.
- If really hot or hot & humid you can bolus with sodium based electrolytes and some water immediately before beginning exercise to stay ahead of fluid loss due to sweat and thermo-regulation.
- In hot or hot & humid conditions the demands for both sodium and water can be surprisingly high if you want to perform. Many popular electrolytes do not, in our opinion, supply adequate electrolyte replacement under these conditions and the body will need to recruit electrolytes from the liver and bones to maintain osmolarity. That or sweat production will decrease along with a commensurate decrease in performance capabilities.
- Do NOT pre-hydrate! Drink to thirst and nothing more. This is one of the worst mistakes an athlete can make.
- As your body adapts to warmer conditions where the sweat rate is high, it will conserve sodium which may affect your hydration needs baed upon the temperature, humidity, sport, effort levels etc.
- It is just as important to maintain awareness of your hydration status during your day outside of training. Maintaining hydration will help you to stay alert and focused in work, attenuate hunger, keep your skin moist and supple and keep your colon, urinary tract and kidneys clean and functioning optimally.