For about 18 months now, I have been toying with hydration levels and where my best performance lies. I found products that I raced well on when hydrated and products that I raced extremely well on when slightly dehydrated. The 2nd scenario is something I am now pursuing and only now that I am able to use Rehidrat Sport on a regular basis and able to control intake of a product that I trust 100%.
At O till O, Pete woke up with a troubled tummy. I had him on the Rehidrat Sport all morning, virtually shoving it into him for the first 4 hours. He came back like a superstar, moving faster in hour 8 than he did in hour 1. The Rehidrat was a key part of the equation (sure, some HTFU was had as well).
There are studies, like this, which point towards optimal hydration and then there are studies like this, which share my point of view more to the line. I think most of us over consume, especially on the shorter events.
For me, there are a few tactics to a successful re-hydration strategy for endurance sports:
1. Drink to thirst.
2. Practice target consumption levels in training for at least 6-8 weeks before the event.
3. At an Ironman, don’t drink at every aid station. Water in the mouth and spit it out.
4. Avoid the coke until as late as possible. Once you start, you can’t stop.
5. Use a product you like in hour 5, not only in hour 2.
I am finding that by going into races having upped my salts correctly, using Rehidrat Sport for a few days before the event (1 glass before I head for bed in the evenings), I am able to race with less worry about drinking all the time and I am getting better performances out of my body. Case in point was Knysna Xterra, where I raced without a juice bottle on the bike (it fell out 2km into the ride) and had my best Xterra ever.
Play with your strategy but make sure you are using the right product that you trust.
While you`re at it, read this great article on cramping.
Be smart and train your hydration strategy. It’s such a critical success factor for endurance sport.
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