Those who do more, need more. As stated in Sports Nutrition Part 1, aggressive climate, lengthy duration, and heightened intensity during exercise cause greater amounts of sweat loss. These are important factors to consider when planning to hydrate for physical activity. This post is my “Hydration Game Plan” for before, during, and after exercise. Before I lay out the hydration blueprint, let’s have a short Q & A session.
Sports drinks or water? Contrary to popular belief, the drink of champions may just be water. During exercise, athletes partaking in a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity are the only ones who need to replenish their *carbohydrate and electrolyte stores. Therefore, children and adults do not need sugar-fueled sports drinks or juices if they are participating in less than 60 minutes of exercise.
What about endurance athletes? If an athlete is vigorously exercising for 60 minutes, or moderately active for more than 90 minutes, sports drinks of 6-8% carbohydrates are crucial for the body to function optimally.
Can I drink too much water? There is such a thing as drinking too much water. The condition is called hyponatremia but may be more commonly recognized as waterlogged. Too much water can leave a person feeling sluggish or disoriented. People in this state should seek immediate medical attention. Shoot for the guidelines in the chart below to ensure you are well, but not over hydrated.
What are electrolytes and do I need them? Examples of electrolytes found in the body are sodium and potassium. They help the body maintain a healthy fluid balance. Refueling is not as important for the average gym goer because sodium and potassium are minerals which are found naturally in the foods we eat daily. Unless a person is participating in 3-5 hours of exercise such as marathon runners or Ironman competitors they should be able to get the nutrients needed from a balanced diet.
Do I need to eat before or after my workout? The answer is both. Look for pre- and post-exercise meals in Sports Nutrition Part 3.
*Carbohydrates (fruits, grains, legumes, and most non-green vegetables) are the bodies primary source of fuel, stored in the muscles and liver. Essentially, carbs are the human version of gasoline to a car.
The Hydration Game Plan
|2-3 hours before 15-20 oz of water|
|10-15 minutes before 8-10 oz of water|
|During Physical Activity|
|Less than 60 to 90 minutes of activity 8-10 oz of water every 10-15 minutes|
|Endurance athletes 8-10 oz of a sports drink every 15-30 minutes|
|*20-24 oz of water for every pound of body weight lost.|
*In order to know how much water to consume after a race, weight should be taken before and after exercise to properly compensate for sweat losses.
American Dietetic Association. (2009, January 1). Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine from the Academy: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8365
Blatner, D. (2012, December 1). Play Ball! Tips for the Weekend Baseball Warrior. from the Academy. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442463944
Mayo Clinic. (2014, February 12). Dehydration. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/symptoms/con-20030056
Quinn, E. (2014, January 1). How Much Water Should You Drink Proper Hydration During Exercise?. About.com Sports Medicine. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/hydrationandfluid/a/ProperHydration.htm
I am honored to be the master of ceremonies for the American Diabetes Association’s Living with Diabetes health and wellness fair this coming Saturday. Come get a free screening and learn more about diabetes prevention and maintenance. The link below is an informational flyer. For more information about diabetes visit http://www.diabetes.org.
Enjoy your day!
Much like our busy lives, our meals have to fit a “grab it and run” style of preparation. The problem is, the quickest foods to access are often the least healthful. This post gives you no excuse for the time crunch you struggle with. Below are a few quick tips to help you eat well for your speedy lifestyle.
Shop and Cook Only Once a Week. At the beginning of each week I buy everything I will need to cook for the following week. For breakfast I use the same products – cereal, oatmeal, toast or eggs – so I simply restock. As for lunch, dinner, and the snacks in between, I cook and store them all for the week. This leads me to my next point.
Buy in Bulk. Eating well can be expensive. In order to eat what I want, I buy bulk sizes at the store. Bulk sizes are often cheaper than the regular sized product; however, this type of shopping can be tricky because sometimes prices are misleading. Check the “per unit” in the top right corner of the price label for a quick price comparison.
Pack, Pack, Pack! I use the freezer ziploc storage containers for anything that must be frozen and reheated. I have smaller containers for things like sliced tomatoes if I am going to have sandwiches for lunch during the week. If I am traveling – which is a constant thing for me – I will pack my food for the entire day the night before. This stress free preparation allows me to eat more cheaply and healthfully.
Don’t pack foods like chicken or eggs more than a day out because they can go bad quickly. If in doubt, stay on the safe side and look up the food storage life for the food of concern.
Additionally, I store leftover foods like an extra half an onion in the freezer. Store products that you consume on a daily basis with a measuring cup or teaspoon in the container. I do this with my oatmeal, sugar, and salad toppings if I am having salad during the week.