Sport Hydration: more than just water

What do you put in your water bottle?

When you’re out on your bike, or running the pavement, or swimming laps, or on the soccer pitch on hot days – what do you put in your water bottle?

Is it water? Is it juice? Is it Gatorade? Or, is it a mix?

Many of us rely solely on water.

Water is amazing.

It’s so amazing that we can’t survive more than 3 or 4 days without water. Comparatively, we can go weeks without food, our bodies will often adapt, but just a few days without water and we’re in serious trouble. Our bodies are made up of more than 60% water; it is incredibly vital to our body’s systems.

But when it comes to quenching our sport thirst, water is NOT enough!

We need more than just water.

Think about it.

Why do we get thirsty in sport?

Our bodies sweat.

Sweat is composed of mostly water, but also electrolytes – salt, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

When we lose all that, we need to replenish it.

Why?

So we don’t get dehydrated. So our muscles don’t cramp up. So we don’t suffer headaches, dizziness, fatigue, or lethargy.

During exercise, the general recommendation is to consume 460-690 mg sodium per 500ml fluids, approximately 100-200 ml every 15 minutes.

Now, I recognize that’s a challenge for many.

In sport, hydration is often the first thing we forget about.

And I get it.

We are so focused on our training efforts, and our performance. We are so focused on delivering every ounce of fortitude we have to get the results we want that we forget to take a few sips here and there.

But the thing is, rehydration is such a vital part of our sport nutrition strategy, and not taking those sips can cost us in the end.

Here’s a simple recipe for a homemade sport drink I use for my long run days:

• ½ L 100% fruit juice à no citrus as that can mess with your belly

• ½ L water

• 1/3 tsp salt

Mix together, fill a 400 ml bottle (or more, if needed), and sip every 20 minutes or so, and BAM, rehydrated 😀

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