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Advice on staying hydrated


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I live in hot, humid Arkansas, and have a hard time staying hydrated on race weekends. I weigh 195 and am probably 15 pounds overweight--otherwise in good health. I can't drink enough water to keep from getting sick at the end of the day with a migraine headache when it's this hot out. Drinking sports drinks helps and makes it tolerable, but I'm wondering if I should be eating and drinking differently through the week leading up to race weekend?

Any profound advice on staying hydrated under these conditions?

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I have a lot of trouble staying cool and hydrated in hot humid weather. Here are some things I find helpful:

Keep a cooler full of water, sports drinks, and some kind of fizzy water. The cold liquid helps bring my body temp back down after a moto. Fizzy water helps settle your stomach. For the sports drink, try something like Cytomax or First Endurance EFS, or an electrolyte mix like Nuun or Pedialyte. Very important to replace the lost electrolytes!

When it's hot out, I'll strip my moto gear off down to shorts and flip flops between motos and sit under an EZ Up. Might also want to look into a portable RV fan and a deep cycle marine/RV battery for your vehicle.

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You also want to start hydrating a few days before your race to give yourself a good base. A lot of guys get a big hydration pack and set the nozzle up right around their mouth so they don't have to fuss with it a lot. Also, for your sports drink, Water gave some good ideas, but if for whatever reason you don't go this route, and decide on Powerade or Gatorade, make sure you get Powerade Zero or Gatorade 2. The regular ones are full of sugars and all of the sugar in those drinks are what provide the carbs for giving you that boost, which is really just a 'sugar high'. Good luck!

edit: Also, if you can or feel like eating, bananas are a good source of electrolytes, it wouldn't hurt to choke one or two of them down if possible, maybe a granola bar or protein bar, just to restore some energy back as well.

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I actually work directly with sports nutritionalists who helped develop some special tricks I used when roadracing.

First thing to remember, if your only hydrating the day of the race, thats too late. You MUST start hydrating at least 2 days before the race weekend.

Second, Most sports drinks are completely useless. You don't need or want all that sugar getting into your system. What you need is clean, purified water. Not COLD water either, just something that is roughly 1/2 your body temp, so 60 - 70 degrees is fine. You should also purchase a sports training mineral/electrolytes supplement to go in the water. Just make sure it has no sugar. The concoction made for me wasn't over the counter, so I can't tell you anything besides the fact it worked. These sports drinks tend to have not just what you need in them, so I'd be very careful about buying over-the-counter pre-packaged sports drinks, unless their is lots of data to back them up.

Third; potassium and salt. These are two things you need during the day. They will help you retain the water instead of it just going through your body.

Finally, You need to be having substantial protein and carbohydrates (I eat chicken and pasta) the night before any race. The pasta (believe it or not) stays in your body for a long time, releasing water into your body, hydrating you overnight. This way, when you wake, you haven't lost too much water. You need to drink at least 4 cups of water in the morning before you even get to the track, on top of making a substantial breakfast (I eat hard-boiled eggs and some chicken sausage). During the day, snack on low-sugar, healthy cliff bars. I personally like the nutty ones because they're just a bunch of oats and nuts glued together and they work fantastic.

So re-cap; Hydrate days earlier, stay off ALL sugar drinks for this period of time, eat lots of potassium and salt supplements, drink mineral rich water at room temperature and don't forget to eat properly.

Once I learned this technique, I never had headaches again. I also never got hungry during a race event or practice. All of a sudden, I had enough energy to go the entire day with no problems and never suffered any post-race ill effects, besides the empty bank account! 😏

Good luck!

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Well, I did a lot of what has been suggested in this thread. For several days before the race, I drank lots of water during the day and tried to eliminate sugar rich products. We did eat a good breakfast on race day, and drank bottled waters after that. I munched on bananas and oatmeal bars during the day, and alternated waters and sugar-free sports drinks between practice sessions and the Sunday motos.

It all helped a lot. I did get a slight headache Saturday after practice, but survived the Sunday race very well. It was overall a great improvement since the last hot weekend I spent at a racetrack riding.

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Well, I did a lot of what has been suggested in this thread. For several days before the race, I drank lots of water during the day and tried to eliminate sugar rich products. We did eat a good breakfast on race day, and drank bottled waters after that. I munched on bananas and oatmeal bars during the day, and alternated waters and sugar-free sports drinks between practice sessions and the Sunday motos.

It all helped a lot. I did get a slight headache Saturday after practice, but survived the Sunday race very well. It was overall a great improvement since the last hot weekend I spent at a racetrack riding.

Excellent news! You will find a perfect combo that works for your body type for sure. Keep up the good work! 😏

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I recently purchased a protein shot drink that is 29 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbs and no sugar. What my Doctor recommended was taking the shot and dumping it into a vitamin water or gatorade (something with some carbs) as carbs will be the delivery system for the protein. You may want to try that the night before race day or in between the practice day and race day.

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What tye1138 posted is EXCELLENT advice. Hydrating the day or 2 is key. On hot days, getting out of gear is critical to help your core body temp come down. I roadrace in FL and the South east and we are in leather suits. Get out of em fast following a race. A COLD TOWEL around the neck feels AWESOME. A wet head also helps you cool down.

If you don't PEE every HOUR, your not hydrated enough.

Cold liquids?? It can actually upset your stomach if you drink too much too fast. I drink lukewarm bottled water and gatorade mixed about 50% under the amount recomended on the container.

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I heard a good tip on the radio the other night for general hydration. Unfortunately it depends on you being dehydrated a couple times before you get it right.

The tip said if a person doing activity X loses y amount of weight during that activity due solely to water loss (not unusual for me to lose 2 pounds or more riding MX) then a person should try to take on at least that much weight in water the day or so before the event.

Hard to force yourself to drink enough but it truly is critical. I drink at least one bottle of water every time I stop in the pit during practice days

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Water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon, I have lost up to 6 lbs in one day. That really wouldnt be that hard, I have drank at least a gallon during the ride day. So the day before could be realistic as well. hmmm something to think about.

I saw a show on TLC where a guy swimming the english channel lost 16 pounds in like a 16 hrs period.

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