To help participants gear up for the 2021 Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour, the good folks at Hammer Nutrition provided hydration tips to get you to the starting and finish lines in the best possible shape; physically and mentally.
An original in the industry, Hammer has offered endurance fuels, supplements & education since 1987.
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Hammer Tip One – Hydration
FACT: In general, most athletes, under most conditions, will satisfy hydration needs with a fluid intake in the range of 20-25 ounces per hour – roughly the equivalent of a standard size small or large water bottle.
Lighter athletes or athletes exercising in cool weather conditions may only require an intake of 16-18 ounces per hour. Larger athletes or athletes exercising under very hot and humid conditions are the ones that can consider a fluid intake in the range of 28 ounces per hour, perhaps up to 30 ounces per hour in extreme conditions.
It’s important to remember that regular fluid intake over 30-34 ounces hourly significantly increases the potential for serious performance and health problems
Hammer Tip 2 – Caloric Intake
For best performance, DO NOT follow the “calories out, calories in” advice given by some “experts.” Instead replenish calories in “body cooperative” amounts, allowing your fat stores to make up the difference. For most athletes, 120-180 calories/hour is the ideal range. In very rare instances, larger athletes and hyper metabolic types may need slightly more calories per hour.
Workouts/races of 2 hours or less: choose a fuel with complex carbohydrates, not simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.). Simple sugars cause energy peaks and crashes, and must be mixed in weak concentrations for efficient digestion. Complex carbohydrates absorb at about three times the rate as simple sugars. Plus, you get steady, reliable energy—no peaks and valleys.
Workouts or races of 2-3-hours, or more: Fuel primarily with complex carbohydrates, not simple sugars. Also, 10-15% of your fuel’s calorie content should come from protein, ideally soy, to help satisfy energy requirements and prevent muscle tissue catabolism.
Hammer Tip 3 – Electrolytes
FACT: Salt (sodium chloride) cannot fulfill your entire requirements for electrolytes. The minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium also must be replenished to ensure the proper functioning of key body systems. In addition, your daily dietary sodium intake, fitness level, acclimatization, and the environmental conditions, such as heat and humidity, all affect the amount of electrolytes you will need to replenish during exercise.
For a balanced, full-spectrum formula of electrolytes, replenish with Endurolytes. Choose regular Endurolytes, Endurolytes Extreme, or Endurolytes Fizz in doses appropriate for the conditions.
Hammer Tip 4 – Pre-Event Fueling
To perform and feel your best during races or workouts, consume no more than 300-400 calories. Choose easily digested, complex carbohydrates, along with a small amount of protein and a little healthy fat. Avoid fiber, simple sugar, and acidic foods. Finish your meal 3 hours before exercise. Eating within 3 hours can seriously hurt your performance by 1) reducing the conversion of fats to fuels, and 2) accelerating glycogen depletion.
Tip: If your race is early, don’t sacrifice sleep to eat. Instead, consume a small amount of supplemental fuel, such as one Hammer Gel, about 5 minutes before starting.
Hammer Tip 5 – Recovery
What you do immediately after your workout is just as important as your workout itself. “Refill the tank” as soon as possible; ideally within the first 60 minutes to fully replenish glycogen and build and repair muscle tissue. Consume 30-60 grams of complex carbohydrates and 10-20 grams of protein. Recoverite supplies both in the ideal 3:1 ratio. Also, be sure to take antioxidants after exercise to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and speed recovery.
Hammer Tip 6 – Reflecting Back, Looking Forward
Whether your recent race was a “personal best, a “DNF,” or somewhere in between, now is the time to reflect—making written notes even—on how things went and why.
Start with reviewing what went well from the race, so that you can be sure to incorporate it into your next race. This includes factors like physical performance (such as pacing) and your gear and fueling choices.
Next, take note of areas of opportunity, such as consuming too many or insufficient calories or fluids, timing them wrong, going out too fast, or choosing the wrong gear. These extremely helpful lessons learned can lead to improvement next time.
Instead of allowing these setbacks to be stumbling blocks, turn them into stepping stones so you can achieve greater success in your future races.