Distance running, especially during the hot and humid Florida summers, can cause fatigue. Proper nutrition and hydration is a crucial component of your physical training. Fueling before, staying hydrated during, and replenishing after are all necessities to keeping you healthy and safe.
The following is a daily overall fluid intake goal calculation, in addition to your exercise-induced needs:
- Body weight x .5 equals fluid ounces per day
- Pre-exercise hydration (2hours out from workout) 12-15 ounces of cold filtered water per hour; cease consuming your fluids 20 minutes prior to the start of your workout session
The easiest way to determine your fluid replenishment/hydration is to have an accurate scale to evaluate your pre and post workout body weight. Weigh yourself with the least amount of clothing possible without socks or shoes (your sweat runs south and soaks your shoes and socks). By subtracting your post workout weight from your pre workout weight you will determine if you had a new loss or gain of fluids during your workout. Remember to add back in the amount of fluids that you consumed during your workout to come up with your final gain or loss number. Ideally, you should be 2% lighter than when you started – if you stayed the same weight or gained weight, you are over-hydrated. If you lost more than 3% then you are under-hydrated.
Additional hydration tips:To aid in your final calculation, continue to keep a detailed training log outlining your workout duration, intensity levels, temperature, humidity, fuel, fluid and electrolyte consumption. Additionally, make sure you know the capacity of your water bottles to aid in your accuracy. If you are not sure what your water bottle’s capacity is, take a measuring cup and fill up your bottle until it is at the rim of the bottle. Attention to this little detail will eliminate your chances of being off by 1-2% in your total calculations.
- If you feel you need more fluids, experiment with your volumes in training. Keep in mind that if you consume more than 28 ounces per hour, you will need to consume additional electrolytes to avoid the possibility of dilutional hyponatremia.
- Consume cold fluids as much as possible. Research has proven that colder fluids absorb faster than warm fluids. Use frozen or insulated water bottles when possible.
- Watch your urine color. Pale to light yellow is good; however, don’t mistake dark urine as a sign of dehydration if you are taking vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)
- Understand and respect the symptoms of over-hydration and dehydration. Stop immediately if you feel lightheaded, queasy, or get the dry chills. There isn’t a race or workout worth jeopardizing your health.
This information comes from a great resource available to all athletes: The Endurance Athletes Guide to Success by Hammer Nutrition (hammernutrition.com) or call 800.336.1977 and ask for Dustin for your copy
Before Your Run
Most runners increase their intake of carbohydrates. Carbs provide glycogen, the fuel that the body needs to burn when running. Without this fuel, your body will end its journey. The night before a race your meal choice should be high in carbohydrates. Foods like pasta, brown rice, potatoes (or sweet potatoes), or oatmeal are all perfect for getting your body prepared. Any foods high in fiber or sugars should be avoided. If you are an early morning runner, grab a snack about an hour before your run. Bagels with peanut butter, a banana, or energy bar are perfect.
On average, once you have been running for about 1 full hour your body will begin to beg for some fuel. All runners should consume some type of snack like a gel or chew which contains carbs and calories, as well as an electrolyte drink like nuun or fizz, which contains sodium. During long runs these snacks and electrolyte drinks should be consumed every 30 to 50 minutes for sustained energy.
After Your Run
Recovering from your long run is a tough, but important process. You need to consider how your workout has impacted your body. Now is the time to add more carbs and loads of protein. Proteins are necessary to aid in recover and repair your muscles. If your run has exceeded your normal long run try using a product like Recoverite from Hammer. Recoverite supplies your body with the proper 3:1 ratio of complex carbohydrates and the highest quality whey protein isolate, along with generous amounts of multi-beneficial glutamine, the potent antioxidant I-carnosin, and a full spectrum electrolyte profile. The result is rapid recovery, which allows you to obtain the maximum value from all your hard workouts and prepping your body for your next workout or race. Train hard, recover right today, and feel great tomorrow.