Hydration tips for the runners of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon

In the coming weeks Cape Town will be hit by a wave of international and local exercise enthusiasts with the acclaimed Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon taking place on 19 April. While fitness training is essential, keeping hydrated with the right fuel is equally important. 

The human body’s blood is about 82% water and as a person sweats more, the volume of blood is reduced and the cardiovascular system works less efficiently at getting oxygen to the muscles. A loss of water equal to 2% of the body weight (a litre and a half for a 75kg person) could reduce aerobic capacity by up to 20%. So for those training for the Old Mutual Two Ocean Marathon coming up, hydration is the key ingredient for a successful race.   

To prepare for the race, keep hydration levels up a few days prior to the race to ensure dehydration pre-race does not occur. To avoid dehydration during the race, drink between 400–1,000 ml (not more than 1 litre) of fluid every hour by drinking small amounts frequently: 100–250 ml every 15 minutes or 250 – 330 ml every 20 minutes.

Water is fine if the exercise is short, but if the exercise is longer than one hour, the fluid should contain carbohydrates (from sugars) and electrolytes (from salts). The addition of carbohydrates to a fluid replacement drink such as the sports drink Powerade, can enhance intestinal absorption of water and help maintain blood glucose concentration during exercise, which may preserve muscle glycogen (sugar storage) and delays fatigue.

The body uses all available and stored sugars when you exercise and it is possible to burn off all the body’s stored glycogen. When this happens, a person might feel dizzy, vision gets poor and, if the problem is severe, a person may become unconscious. This is because the brain needs glucose to work and if the level becomes too low, a person could pass out. When the exercise session is over, the blood sugar levels tend to stay low for a while, as the stores are rebuilt in the liver and muscles.

Sports drinks like Powerade are specifically formulated to replenish both fuel and mineral needs to help rehydrate the body which is important for sustaining physical (muscular strength, endurance capacity, pace) and mental performance (concentration, reaction time, accuracy).

Powerade is the official drinks sponsor of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, keeping athletes hydrated throughout the race. Last year, Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev – local bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company products – including Powerade – in the Western and Northern Cape) provided 300 staff for the race to help serve 200 000 sachets of Powerade and 44 000 litres of Coke to thirsty participants.

For more information about Powerade please contact PenBev on 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/PenBev

Fun, fresh air and valuable lessons at Mustadafin Foundation’s Youth Leadership Camp

Caption: Mustadafin Foundation’s aim of uplifting disadvantaged communities and educating the youth in the Western Cape region reached another level with their inspirational youth leadership camp, which recently took place at the picturesque Chrysalis Academy in Tokai, Cape Town. A total of 57 youngsters aged 13 to 26 attended the camp with the theme ‘Awakening the leader within’.

The youngsters from Athlone, Vygieskraal, Kewtown, Hanover Park, Khayelitsha and Delft are no strangers to adversity with most of them residing in single parent homes in informal settlements. “These children are exposed to gangsterism, gang fights, death, drug addiction, alcoholism and violence on a daily basis. This is why youth programmes of this nature are so relevant and pertinent. The camp helped increase their self-esteem, inspired them to connect further with their spirituality, taught them balanced living and how to deal with everyday challenges as well as improve their leadership skills,” says Fidaah Edries, Youth and Mental Health Co-ordinator at Mustadafin Foundation.

Upon their arrival, the enthusiastic youth received hampers containing a book and a pen, face cloth, Vaseline, soap, antiperspirant and snacks. Fun-filled activities taught them how to connect with nature and let go of the past. Another highlight of the camp was Edries’ motivational talk titled ‘It’s not the chances we take, but the choices we make that will determine our destinies’.

“Most of the youth never had the opportunity to travel out of their area of residence due to poverty, let alone experience nature. The most remarkable moment of the camp for me was when a boy from Hanover Park told me it’s the first time he had hiked up a mountain, and seen baboons. He enjoyed it so much he wanted to stay on the mountain the whole day and was amazed at how fresh the air was. He was also extremely afraid of baboons, but then got over his fear the second day and walked beside them,” says Edries.

The air was filled with laughter and excitement and a lot of great activities for all the youth. “We did a lot of fun activities during the camp and I enjoyed the obstacle course the most. The camp taught me to work together in a team, be brave and always think positive,” says Nadeefa Hendricks from Kewtown.

19 year old Shadley Jooste from Belgravia says, “What I will take from this camp is to lead children on a straight path, teach them new things and make them laugh. Another valuable lesson I learnt is not to listen to your mind but your heart.”

The youth camp was co-ordinated by Fidaah Edries and the head facilitator was Nazley Behardien, a Mustadafin Executive.

The next camp will take place from 10 – 12 October 2014 during the school holidays and the theme will be From Personal Leadership to Social Upliftment Excellence.

As youth camps of this nature are very costly, financial assistance would be greatly appreciated. The donations Mustadafin Foundation require for the camp are toiletries, games, drinks, food, blankets and towels. If you would like to assist or donate please call Fidaah Edries on 021-6330010 or email yhd@mustadafin.org.za

For more information visit Mustadafin Foundation at www.mustadafin.org.za

Mustadafin Foundation’s banking details are as follows, should you wish to make a donation:

Account name      : Mustadafin Foundation

Institution               : Standard Bank

Branch Code         : 025909

Branch                  : Athlone

Account no            : 072778377