Our very own RD at A4 Health Christina Jax is an ULTRA marathoner herself, so we personally understand the importance of proper nutrition/hydration in this world of athletes!
Oh, the common mistake of replenishing fluids WITHOUT considering electrolyte loss 😵💫
A frequent error athletes face in running nutrition revolves around battling hyponatremia aka OVERhydration due to lack of electrolytes in the body.
How does this happen? Let’s dig in ⬇️
When you exercise at a high intensity for long periods of time, you are not only losing fluids through your sweat, but a great deal of sodium & other electrolytes too! Add on extreme heat and sweat loss skyrockets 🚀
How to combat this to prevent a plummet in race performance?
If you are using a pre-formulated electrolyte beverage, make sure it has ENOUGH electrolytes (many are too LOW in sodium 🤭). Drinking too much water without sufficient electrolytes (sodium is the main electrolyte lost in sweat) can lead to LOW blood sodium levels, which is called hyponatremia. This can lead to:
and even can become more serious if prolonged
In addition to replenishing lost electrolytes, drinking a sufficient electrolyte-packed beverage actually helps your body ABSORB the fluid & prevent it from running right through you during your race! This will help you achieve FLUID BALANCE, not just water rehydration.
THINK: OPTIMAL HYDRATION = WATER + ELECTROLYTES
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals that carry electrical charges throughout your body:
These minerals help control fluid balance in your body. This fluid balance is what supplies your blood flow, the moistness of your tears, and sweat glands. They are not just important, they are ESSENTIAL!
Sodium controls extracellular fluid and potassium controls intracellular fluid, which is why sodium is key when replenishing nutrients lost from excessive sweating.
When fluid balance is off, the BRAIN 🧠 is affected first and foremost. This is where signals are sent to the hormones that control fluid regulation in your body. When you have too much water and insufficient electrolytes, this will over hydrate your brain and signal it to flush it out of your body via urine BEFORE allowing adequate absorption.
How much fluid & electrolytes do runners need during a race? How to ensure you are getting enough? How to prevent negative recovery?
I know you must be thinking all of these things and more, but as we say here @a4health, nutrition is a one-size-fits-one approach. Everyone has different needs, ESPECIALLY if you sweat A LOT! This is where our team of Dietitians can help 😉
Which electrolyte products do you recommend?
The Dietitians here at A4 Health LOVE the Catalyte beverage from Thorne!
You can purchase this product through our promo link to support our company.
Until Next Time,
Your RD Fuel Good Experts 🍍