Tagged: electrolytes

Scorchio! 7 “hot” tips to keep cool in the summer heat

Ugh, here comes the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sun and warmth but I can’t bear the humidity. I hate being sweaty before I even reach the office, and the subway in New York City is unbearable. Add to that the extra hassle of hydrating and my pale Irish skin not being able to handle the intensity of the summer sun.

tips for keeping cool hydrated in the summer heat

I’m not the biggest summer fan. Give me 12 months of Spring and Fall/Autumn any day (year!).

But, we have to adapt to what we’re given, and he who adapts best wins the race, or at least sustains their training for longer.

Here are seven tips to stay cool in the summer heat:

1) Prepare from the moment you get up. Drink plenty of water first thing in the morning so you start the day hydrated. Get some electrolytes on board pre-exercise. Just like eating, drinking plenty is an important part of breakfast. I keep a water bottle by my bed and drink it is as I get out of bed.

2) Exercise early in the morning before it gets hot. I find this gives me energy for the day. You can also work out later at night when it is also cool, but bear in mind recovery time, nutrition and sleep. Stay out of the midday sun!

3) Another option is to work out indoors, in air conditioning out of the heat.

4) No cotton. No, no, no! Wear dry-fit gear that helps wick sweat away from the body.

5) Freeze your water bottles overnight. As they melt they will provide ice-cold refreshing water! I dare you to pour some over your head – it’ll keep you alert & sharp!

6) Cold showers help regulate your body temperature as well as helping your body recovery after exercise. I love them in the morning to wake me up and I love them after a workout to help me cool down.

7) Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a vented cap and glasses to help keep the sun off but also keep the air flowing and allow heat to escape. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

While the heat sucks and makes each practice tougher, we need to keep training through the tough conditions that we may encounter during a race. With a bit of planning you can manage the heat and minimize the effect on your body.

Going bananas.

I am not a huge fan of sports drinks, gels, etc. Their taste and colour do not appeal, and neither does the fact they are not natural.

Maaaaaybe it puts me at a disadvantage on the nutrition front (probably not, it’s just another excuse for when I race!), but I’ll stick to the bananas and coconut water, and save myself a ton of money in the process.

Here’s an interesting, if academic, article on the merits of bananas. It is sponsored by Dole Foods, so not exactly independent! Some choice quotes:

The bananas provided the cyclists with antioxidants not found in sports drinks as well as a greater nutritional boost, including fiber, potassium and Vitamin B6, the study showed. In addition, bananas have a healthier blend of sugars than sports drinks.

“Bananas come prepackaged with fiber, nutrients and antioxidants,” said Nieman, adding the research translates to any exercise.”

I think there are a lot of athletes who don’t like the thought of drinking carbohydrate sports drinks, which are essentially flavored sugar water,” he said. “This type of research shows that you can have healthier carbohydrate sources before and after exercise that will support athletic performance just as well as a sports drink,” Nieman said.

I will now be telling my athletes to stock up on bananas for the bike leg:

energy drinks gels nutrition banana diet hydrating for triathletes triathlon ironman race nutrition

“Banana loading”

Bananas Are as Beneficial as Sports Drinks, Study Suggests
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0037479

ScienceDaily (May 29, 2012) — Bananas have long been a favorite source of energy for endurance and recreational athletes. Bananas are a rich source of potassium and other nutrients, and are easy for cyclists, runners or hikers to carry.

Research conducted at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab in the Kannapolis-based North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) has revealed additional benefits.

“We wanted to see which was more beneficial when consumed during intense cycling — bananas or a carbohydrate sports drink,” said Dr. David C. Nieman, director of the human performance lab and a member of the College of Health Sciences faculty at Appalachian.

“We found that not only was performance the same whether bananas or sports drinks were consumed, there were several advantages to consuming bananas,” he said.

The bananas provided the cyclists with antioxidants not found in sports drinks as well as a greater nutritional boost, including fiber, potassium and Vitamin B6, the study showed. In addition, bananas have a healthier blend of sugars than sports drinks.

The study, funded by Dole Foods, has been published in the peer-reviewed online journal PLoS ONE published by the nonprofit Public Library of Science.

For the study, trained cyclists consumed either a cup of carbohydrate drink or half a banana every 15 minutes during a 75-kilometer simulated road race lasting 2.5 to 3 hours. Blood samples taken from the cyclists before and after the exercise were analyzed at the NCRC Metabolomics Laboratory for more than 100 metabolites — molecules associated with metabolism.

“Bananas come prepackaged with fiber, nutrients and antioxidants,” said Nieman, adding the research translates to any exercise.”

The mode of exercise is not the issue. I think there are a lot of athletes who don’t like the thought of drinking carbohydrate sports drinks, which are essentially flavored sugar water,” he said. “This type of research shows that you can have healthier carbohydrate sources before and after exercise that will support athletic performance just as well as a sports drink,” Nieman said.

About the research team Other members of the research team from Appalachian were Dr. Dru Henson, Department of Biology; Dr. Andrew Shanely, Human Performance Lab; Dr. Amy M. Knab, Human Performance Lab; Dr. Lynn Cialdella-Kam, Human Performance Lab; Dr. Nicholas D. Gillitt, Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory, N.C. Research Campus; Dr. Wei Sha, UNC Charlotte and N.C. Research Campus; and Dr. Fuxia Jin, Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory, N.C. Research Campus