@consciousperformance_nutrition - last week’s #informativewednesday article
This is an area that is far too often overlooked but will definitely come back to bite you in the ass if you're competing in any long-distance events, especially during the summer or in hot/humid conditions.
First off, we need to know hydration's correlation to GI symptoms.
Hydration & the GI tract
As we exercise, plasma volume contracts, making it harder to deliver nutrients to the working muscles. Blood flow to the gut is also restricted. Combine this with a reduced ability to thermoregulation, large losses in body water and increases in core temperature - you will exacerbate GI symptoms during exercise.
Therefore, there are two areas we need to get right.
Recent studies showed that beginning training in a dehydrated state increased GI symptom, and fluid intake during the training bout did not compensate for this. The increase in GI symptoms was seen in the upper gastrointestinal system, with an increase in cramps and nausea due to decreased gastric emptying.
Maintaining optimum hydration
First, you need to assess your hydration status. You can assess your pee colour throughout the day, aiming to keep it clear with a slight tinge of yellow (note supplements can change your pee colour). Secondly, you can carry out your own sweat testing, simply weigh yourself pre/post-exercise, keep a note of how much you drank and the difference in weight can be used to gauge how much fluid you lost i.e. your sweat rate.
If in doubt
The current recommendation from the American college of sports medicine is to consume 5-10 ml/per kg of body weight in water 2-4 hours pre-exercise to avoid associated GI issues.
For more information, follow our resident nutritionist Aaron Finn from Conscious Performance Nutrition @consciousperformancenutrition #Repost