People often ask us how to stay hydrated and fueled during training or racing. The short answer to these questions is: it depends. What works for one person may not work for someone else. There are also some metabolic differences between male and female athletes (especially during various times of the month), which impact the “right” ways to hydrate and fuel their workouts. We’ve put together some helpful tips for where to start for your hydration and nutrition needs, so you don’t find yourself “bonking” on your next training ride, run or swim.
Drink More Than Water
While water is essential, your body also needs electrolytes. Depending on the length and intensity of your workout, you may only need a minimal amount, but you still need some. Balanced electrolyte intake can prevent a whole host of problems–cramping, nausea, and overheating, to name a few. Since we live and train in hot and humid South Florida, please don’t skip the electrolytes! Bikes Palm Beach has a wide variety of electrolyte products in stock for you to try:
- Nuun Hydration
- Tailwind Nutrition
- Skratch Nutrition
- Hammer Nutrition
- The Right Stuff electrolytes
- Salt Stick Electrolytes
How often you should sip (yes–sip–don’t chug it) fluids during a workout or race also depends on the individual, workout intensity, and weather conditions. Some people sip whenever they feel thirsty. Others sip every so many minutes or once a mile. This process requires trial and error–don’t wait to do it until you race. A good general rule of thumb during exercise is about 22 ounces per hour, especially if the temps are above 80 degrees.
You Gotta Eat Too
Nutrition also varies from person to person. Some of us have cast-iron digestive systems, while others have to be extra careful. That said, you still need calories for workouts, which depend on the type of workout, the intensity of the activity, and the conditions in which you’re training/racing.
A good rule of thumb from which to start is to get some calories (not just electrolytes) into your system every 45 minutes. We offer a great (and tasty) selection of nutrition at Bikes Palm Beach:
- GU Energy gels and stroopwaffels
- Honey Stinger waffles, chews, bars, and gels
- Clif bars, blocks, and gels
- Hammer gels
- E-Gels (these also offer some electrolytes)
- Ryno Power Carbo-Fuel
Pre-Hydrating and Recovery
As important as training and racing are, pre-hydrating and recovery are just as important. Be sure to consume plenty of water and electrolytes for the 4 hours before you work out or race. And don’t forget to consume a good combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and some electrolytes when you finish. You’ll feel better, and your muscles will thank you for it. Our hydration and nutrition products all work well toward helping you recover post-workout or post-race.
Drop by Palm Beach Bikes for all your hydration and nutrition needs. We have the largest selection in the area. Feel free to ask any of our friendly, experienced staff about our products and how best to use them. Now go out there and get after it!