Why, when, what and how to hydrate? PART 1

Importance of Hydration (0:00 - 13.35mins)

Think about water as being an essential nutrient in your daily nutrition plan similar to your macronutrients intake of protein, fat and carbs.

Why? Because water is 50-60% of your bodyweight and you lose >2L per day

Cardiac drift will be impacted by hydration status & your stress response.

Before Exercise Hydration (13:35 - 20:15)

There is no gold standard for defining pre-exercise hydration status despite what you might be held to believe. The perfect marker does not exist.

W.U.T. model presentation - weight, urine and hydration. Practical components to assist your hydration status.

5-10ml/kg (2-4mL/Lb) of water +/- if W.U.T has two “No’s”.

The consumption of this fluid should ideally be several hours before a session.

This wil not always be practical due to early morning sessions. Therefore, fluid can still be consumed close to a session and this will act to hydrate you during the session.

It will also serve as a form of gut training.

Post Exercise (30:35 - 35.51)

Athletes should replace at least 125-150% of the weight they have lost at the end of the session.

E.g An athlete losing 1kg/2.2Lb would need to replace 1.25-1.5L/33.7-50.6 fl oz.

Replace, ideally within the first two hours and within four hours.

This highlights the importance of using the sweat rate feature in Fuelin. the more data points you have for different sessions, at different intensities in differing environments then the better prepared you will be when it comes to managing your hydration during a race.

Does the Type Of Fluid Matter? (36:01 - 42:03)


"If you consume food containing electrolytes along with your fluids then consuming electrolytes will have no (extra) effect on the fluid retention.”
Dr Alan McCubbin


“As soon as you add food into the mix, the type of beverage makes no difference to how well it (the fluid) is retained. You can have plain water and it will not make a difference.”

Dr Alan McCubbin

This is not to say that electrolytes are not important. It is more to put their consumption into perspective and context. As Alan outlines, there are specific periods of time when fluid loading with electrolytes can be very beneficial and necessary.  The use of higher amounts of electrolytes or glycerol for specific situations is science backed. It is an effective hyperhydration strategy. This should be practiced in training if it is going to be implemented in a race. It is also suggested that this should be based on a discussion with a registered dietician or nutritionist to ensure safety and effectiveness. Alan did highlight that for a lot of athletes, the consumption of electrolytes prior may not be required for standard training sessions. The key points being that consuming some food before training can help with fluid retention.  This is encouraged by Fuelin for appropriate sessions. It is another reason to consider eating prior to sessions especially if your hydration status is consistently poor.

Think about your training.

Assess your hydration status with the WEIGHT - URINE - THRST (W.U.T. ) model.

Be purposeful with your hydration strategy.

Next week is a practical Q&A on using the SWEAT RATE feature in Fuelin.

May 6, 2024
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