Training and racing in Phuket requires a special attention to fluid intake due to heat and humidity. Water maintains your blood volume, body temperature and proper muscle contractions. Sweating keeps the body temperature in place by evaporation on the skin. Body fluid loss will increase your temperature and cause poor performance.
How much do I need to drink?
Check your weight loss after your exercise.
If the weight drop is 1% or less your fluid intake has been sufficient during your workout. If you lose more you need to drink more. Weight loss of 2% or more will make you go much slower and can cause some health issues. Develop a hydration strategy for your workout and races. Please start your activity well hydrated but not over hydrated.
If you start urination too frequently and feel bloated you did drink too much. During your exercise you should start drinking at an early stage. 100ml every 10-15min should be the minimum in Phuket conditions. During racing and intense workouts your body might need more fluids + electrolytes and carbohydrates.
Minerals are important for many body functions including proper muscle contractions. Replacing the loss of electrolytes which comes with sweating is essential during hard core activities. Most Sport drinks have a good balance of minerals. Carbohydrates restore your energy and maintain your blood sugar level. The harder you go the more carbs you need.
Pick a Sports Drink that tastes good, your body absorbs well and does not upset your stomach.
If you take your race serious you should find out what is being served on the course and get familiar with that drink during your training sessions.
And yes…you can drink too much!
Overhydration is as bad as dehydration.
Too much water lowers your sodium blood level and causes odema.
This is risky and can ruin your race as well.
I had this experience at IRONMAN Hawaii1998 when I dropped from 1st to 248th place due to this condition also called hyponatremia. I looked like the “Michelin Man” with swollen arms and legs. I ended up walking after got told by the race doctor to avoid water and stick with electrolyte drinks and salt cracker for the rest of the race.
Please, if you are training and racing in Phuket drink a lot…but drink responsible!
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