You know you should be conducting periodic “sweat tests” in training, right? Studies consistently show that even small (less than 2 percent) decreases in body weight due to fluidloss adversely affect performance. Don’t let dehydration slow you down!
At least 2–3 times per training climate change (winter, spring, summer, fall), weigh yourself nude before and after a one-hour training session. Drink as usual and note intake. Multiplyfluid weight loss by 16 (ounces/pound), and aim to drink that total number of fluid ounces/hour during future training sessions.
Sweat rate example: If you weigh 160 pounds pre-workout and 158.5 pounds post-workout, you lost 1.5 pounds from sweat. Multiply 1.5 by 16 to get 24 ounces lost. Add, say, 10 ounces for fluid intake during your training session and you get 34 ounces/hour sweat rate.
In order to get enough sodium, triathletes may need to supplement their normal carb-rich sports drink intake with additional sodium. Here are two examples of how to incorporate electrolyte supplementation into your hot-weather racing nutrition plan.
Triathlete 1: 160 pounds, needs 32 ounces per hour of fluid intake, salty sweater per observation. Plans to consume 24 ounces of Gatorade Endurance per hour on the bike (total 600 milligrams sodium, 150 calories)
Add per hour: 8 ounces of water as needed, 1 energy gel, 1 Thermolyte tablet
Triathlete 2: 120 pounds, needs 32 ounces per hour of fluid intake, moderate salty sweater per observation. Plans to drink 16 ounces of sports drink with 200 milligrams of sodium per 8 ounces and 16 ounces of water per hour on the bike.
Add per hour: 1/4 PB&J sandwich for calories and 1 “lick” of BASE Performance salt per hour