As endurance athletes, we are well acquainted with our electrolytes and carbohydrate gels. However, did you know that all workout hydration plans are not created equal? Depending on the duration and intensity of your workout, your body has different needs in terms of hydration and fuel. This article talks about the importance of Hydration in Endurance Running and Cycling.
Staying properly hydrated is a foundational pillar for your workout performance, but are all workout hydration plans created equal? The answer is: No, depending on the duration and intensity of your workout, your body has different needs in terms of hydration and fuel. For endurance athletes, that long-distance hydration threshold occurs around 90 minutes of sustained sweat.
The great makers of Nuun have provided this excellent article on “Hydration for Long Distance sport”. Nuun is a company dedicated to keeping you as hydrated as humanly possible. Their drink tablets are fizzy, tasty and loaded with electrolytes that keep you healthy and hydrated!
During long-distance or high-intensity exercise, our bodies utilize stored carbohydrates as a primary energy source. To put it simply, our bodies are only able to “bank” a certain amount of carbohydrates before we need to begin to feed it more. The oxidation, or utilization, of our internal carbohydrates storage (glucose), burns steady for the first 90-minutes of sustained exercise. Once we reach that threshold, we need to begin to replenish our glycogen stores in order to prevent a drastic hit to blood sugar levels and the function of our organs.
After 90-minutes of exercise, our physiological needs begin to shift. The sustained stress on our systems requires different nutrients and ratios of those nutrients in order to push fluids into circulation most efficiently. Carbohydrates become a key component of the role of fluid circulation. Due to the body’s need for sugar replenishment, carbohydrates are more easily processed. When combined with fluids and electrolytes, carbohydrates bind to electrolytes and aid in facilitating absorption into the bloodstream.
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