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