Ahead of the 2018 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, we bring you 5 super important nutritional tips to get you to, through, and from the race; in the best possible state. Tip 1 from our nutritional guru, Mark Wolff, is hydration!
David Katz: We’re chatting to Mark Wolff on the 32Gi Sports Nutrition podcast. The Two Oceans Marathon, a massive event in South Africa coming up soon. Here is tip one, very important for anyone looking to do the race, when it comes to nutrition. The first tip Mark is hydration, which is key to any event.
Mark Wolff: Agreed Dave, hydration is probably one of the most critical aspects when it comes to a sport event, especially an ultra-marathon. I think the first thing we need to look at is hydration leading up to the event.
What dehydrates you!
A person should be completely hydrated leading up to an event and make sure that they’re in the 100% hydrated state when they start the event. You don’t want to be in a dehydrated state, so the first thing I tell people is to eliminate anything that would possibly dehydrate you.
We’re looking at things like diuretics, overdoing it with diuretics and not re-consuming in fluid. Then again, looking at things like alcohol which acts like a diuretic as well, because it does also pull the fluid out of the muscle. Basically dehydrates you, so that should be completely cut out leading up to that event.
Factor in the temperature
As far as hydration goes during an event, there’s a few factors that we need to look at. The first factor is looking basically temperature, humidity and individual sweat loss. Any person would understand how much fluid they possibly would lose during an hour under certain circumstances or at what time of the day. So early in the morning, you sweat a little bit less and as the day gets hotter, you sweat obviously a little bit more and you lose more fluid in the form of sweat.
Then hot temperatures and obviously humidity can also play a role in actually exaggerating the sweat loss and increasing it. We look at trying to replenish around 80% of fluid lost during an event, that is hydration. During an event you’re looking at finishing around 80% of the fluid lost. As the day gets a little bit hotter, absorption is lowered a little bit and you would need to look at taking a drink with minerals.
Possible hydration drinks
There are three types of possible hydration drinks one could possibly take. Obviously there’s water in its purest form, which is obviously a good form of hydration. However, the absorption rate of water on its own is not as high as water with a carbohydrate and a mineral solution. Then in that classification we look at two different types of drinks, one being isotonic and one being a hypotonic drink.
An isotonic drink is sort of an equal balance between minerals required for hydration and also carbohydrates which are required for energy. There’s very much a balanced pressure, we call it osmolality, obviously between what’s happening in the digestive system and what’s happening in the blood and it gets pulled through quite nicely.
However, as heat goes up and it becomes a little bit, you’re losing a lot more fluid and the body requires a lot more fluid absorption, you’d probably need to look at something like a hypotonic drink. In that case you’re looking at something like a Hydrate, something that’s got a lot more minerals in it. A lot less calories in the form of carbohydrates in order to focus on the hydration and get that fluid pulled nicely through the gut and into the muscles.
Try mineral loading
One of the things I do recommend is mineral loading and completely hydrating before an event, because it can delay the onset of excessive fluid loss and cramping later on in an event. Obviously you don’t want to be in that state. Hydration is very critical. Don’t overdo it.
We’ve spoken in previous podcasts about overdoing hydration and that’s when you consume too much fluid and if you consume too much fluid and it’s not able to be absorbed. What will actually happen is you’ll feel a sloshing effect in the stomach, we call it a ‘washing machine effect’. At that state you should actually stop drinking completely and wait for that fluid to be absorbed before you continue drinking.
Race as you have trained
In order to prevent that, you should rather take smaller frequent sips of fluid over a period of time and not to wait too long to take in any fluid en route. Rather take in more frequently, don’t overdo it, try and find the balance. The best thing to do is to race as you have trained, not make any changes on the day as far as hydration goes. You should be very familiar with what you require from a hydration point of view. Do not try anything new on race day.
DK: Mark Wolff joining myself, Mr Active, David Katz on the line. If you haven’t tried them yet, you still have time to work the 32Gi Hydrate Tabs into your nutrition for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. Fantastic product it is.