Raceday Nutrition - Calories and Electrolytes
Justin Robinson, MA,RD,CSSD,FAFS,CSCShttp://www.rehabunited.com/SPC/juicebio.html
Director of Strength & Conditioning, Registered Dietitian
How Many Calories? How much Sodium?
In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of raceday nutrition - that the "simple truths" of exercise include that we burn energy and loose electrolytes (among others). Here are a few specific keys to optimal intake during endurance exercise:
- Sodium is King: All electrolytes are important for muscle function (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium) however - sodium is by far the most important.
- Throughout your Day: Keep Calories and sodium about the same level. Ex: 2,000 Calories and <2,500 mg sodium.
- During a Race: Aim for a minimum of 50-100 Calories per hour (almost entirely from carbohydrate, which has 4 Calories per gram - so 100 Calories is 25g of carbohydrate). Trained athletes intake up to 300 Calories per hour.
- During a Race: Consume at least 2:1 ratio of sodium to Calories. Ex: 100 Calories per hour and 200 mg sodium per hour. During long events (half ironman, ironman) and/or events in hot and humid conditions, sodium needs may be as high as 1,000 mg per hour.