Hydration & Fueling
Hydrating and fueling our bodies are two important parts of training and preparing for race day. Hydrating our bodies with water throughout the day can help prevent muscle cramps and dehydration while you train. It can also help our heart to pump blood and oxygen to our muscles much easier!
Failing to properly hydrate before intense physical activity can lead to dehydration, when you lose more fluids than you take in. Dehydration can affect younger athletes more significantly than older athletes as well, where children see effects up to 2 x faster. Children face this increased risk of dehydration or heat illness because:
- They generate more body heat, especially during outdoor physical activity
- They sweat less than adults engaging in the same activities
- They lose more micronutrients from sweat than adults do
For these reasons it is super important to know how to properly hydrate when participating in outdoor physical activities like training for a race. Here are some hydration and fueling tips to power you through race day:
- Drink at least 7-14 cups of water per day depending on your age!
- When training for longer than an hour sports drinks are beneficial for giving your body electrolytes and carbohydrates to keep you fueled and hydrated.
- Have a meal consisting of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats 2-3 hours before your race. Have a small snack rich in carbohydrates 30-60 minutes before your race starts as well!
- Have a small carbohydrate snack during your race if it lasts for more than an hour!
In addition to hydration, a well-rounded diet is also essential to having enough energy to power us through training. Try to incorporate all 5 major food groups to get all the important nutrients your body needs. Carbohydrates are the main nutrient your body will need to power you through a long race or training session, as it’s the fuel source our body uses to move. It’s also important to include electrolytes in your diet as well, these will help your body manage the fluids you intake. Most electrolytes can be obtained by eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in protein.
Try out these tips to keep your body well hydrated and fueled to take on race day!