Hydration tips from Tana Anderson, RPAYC’s Head Personal Trainer.
In a previous article we spoke about the importance of getting your team to assist where possible with the logistics of the race off the water. However, another area of which can be overlooked is the diet and physical training plans in preparation for a long ocean race.
This article we look into the best ways to keep hydrated while out racing and minimising fatigue.
Firstly we need to look at what the body will be enduring when racing. A mixture of wind, sun and salt water leads to a common cause of fatigue resulting from dehydration. It’s amazing how fast the body can lose focus when dehydrated
As mentioned, dehydration plays a big role in ocean racing. To combat the problem Tana insists competitors need to develop a good drinking routine a few days beforehand so the body is in peak performance and well hydrated before the race.
“Competitors need to remember that skolling huge amounts of water at during the day won’t hydrate you, I strongly recommend a sustained and consistent drinking routine, I’d suggest keeping a water bottle close by at all times.” Says Tana.
With all the sports drinks on the market it can be tempting to just buy a bottle and be hydrated quicker. However, the marketing gurus behind these products are pushing something that may not be as effective as you think as Tana explains.
“All sports drinks are both good and bad, the high sugar content and acidity doesn’t hydrate you as effectively as water. It can also act as a diuretic making you lose more fluid. If you are wanting to mix up the water I’d suggest either adding a piece of lemon, cucumber or lime in your water or if you want to have a sports drink I’d suggesting alternating sips with water to dilute it.” Says Tana.
“Sports drinks are designed to assist hydration for those in high intensity sports like football. The quick dose of sugar and salts helps replenish the body and also assist in hydration. However, in an ocean racing scenario you’re looking at the long term benefits where sports drinks just don’t cut it.” Tana added.
On top of water intake you do need to consider what else you are taking in which can cause dehydration. Anything which contains caffeine will act as a diuretic, drinks like coffee, energy drinks and some soft drinks will have the opposite effect and will dehydrate you. Yes, this does also apply to alcohol.
A good tip when out racing it’s good to have a urine colour chart in the onboard bathroom. Toilet humour aside, it’s something we have to do and cross checking the colour with a chart can help remind the team to keep up with the fluids. It’s very easy to forget the necessities when racing.
Quick look at beating dehydration
· Limit caffeinated and sugary drinks prior and during the race
· Drink small amounts of water throughout the day
· Try and avoid sports drinks
· Add lemon, lime or cucumber to your water to add flavour.
There you have it, some easy steps to take to keep your body hydrated and focused for the 2017 Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race. Next week Tana will explain the importance of healthy snacking while racing.