Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sport and Hydration

I've learnt lots of things at lots of different levels these last months.
And now comes the time when I start to come back on these experiences with a retrospective eye. I'm realizing that some of the knowledge I stored might be useful to others, so that I'm going to share in case it would be helpful.

I would like to go back on my encounter with a sports nutritionist who gave me diet clues to combine with physical activity.

I consider myself quite a healthy person as for food, but nobody is infallible and I jumped on the (free) occasion of seeing a professional for a couple extra details.
In analyzing my food habits, I would in fact say that I eat "practical". I convey that the comparison isn't actually to my advantage, but it's just like the persons who dress "practical". You know, the ones who buy the 2-in-1 trousers with a zip above the knee… Investing in short pants for the summer? What for: I just have to unzip my trousers to recycle them into shorts!
I just see food as fuel for my body. I know it's sad.

Anyway. My first question to the nutritionist was about hydration.
I come from the street (as for my sport habits, not literally). When you're not used to have a pee room around, you take the (bad) habit of not drinking during effort… So that I don't know much about how/when/what/how much to drink.


All through the day...

Water is the only essential drink.

Do not wait to be thirsty to drink! Take water throughout the day, and especially outside your meals. Not too much but often, in order not to drown your digestive tract and help assimilation. Drinking too much water during meals will impede your digestion, which will take longer.
Choose plain water (tap or spring) and drink at room temperature.

Sportsmen: at least 2.5 L/day
Sportswomen: at least 1.5 L/day

During effort…

1) Water is not a suitable drink for the specific needs of a sportsperson during practice, even added with sugar or sirup. On the contrary, water (as well as any other sweetened drink) is badly assimilated and stagnates in the digestive tract, facilitates the loss of minerals (especially sodium… which is the key to avoid cramps notably), and accelerates sweating… all of this increases dehydration.

Still, pure water is useful to rince your mouth or spray yourself when it's hot.

2) The most appropriate drinks are performance drinks.
They are made to be assimilated instantly by your body, providing it with energy, minerals and all...
Your choice should be made according to the properties of the drink and the type of your effort.
You should start drinking as soon as the warm-up and drink little portions (a couple of sips) regularly (every 5 to 10 min).

Be sure to select a brand with the "Wall Protect" label, guarantying that the product is safe and healthy. A couple of brands: Hyprosport, Punch Power, Overstim.s, etc.

After effort…
Recovery is optimal during the 4-6 hours following the effort.

Drink a water rich in "recovery" minerals, i.e. sodium, magnesium and bicarbonates.
- No.1: Donat Mg
- No.2: Arvie and Rozana
- No.3: Quézac, Badoit, Vernière

You can also opt for a recovery drink...

Warning: There is a difference between mineral and spring water. Forget about mineral waters on a daily basis. Let's remember that in the past, you could only get your mineral water at the drugstore on prescription. Drinking mineral water everyday may cause ionic unbalance, disturbance in the assimilation of some minerals, dehydration, risks of diarrhea...

Alcohol, even beer in small quantity, impedes the recovery: it's got a very strong power of dehydration. In order to re-hydrate yourself after a beer, you should drink twice the same quantity of water to go back to your starting state...

The whole analysis above is the discourse of a nutritionist.
I must say that even with the Wall Protect label, I'm not convinced by performance drinks. I like it natural. Then, I keep on drinking water during effort (when I don't forget to drink).



  1. "I just see food as fuel for my body. I know it's sad."
    You are right, the eating is not the source of pleasure.

    "I must say that even with the Wall Protect label, I'm not convinced by performance drinks."
    Did you participate in a commercial event? XD

    I like your style:).
    Have a nice day!

  2. Funny, I'm right now sourcing through google these kind of information ! A glance at FB and... your article. Very accurate ! Tks... however, yes, sad : pratical food. It can be fun and healthy ! I know... time running as well..;) Tks again.

    1. Glad it helps!
      I'll publish nutrition stuff as soon as I find a little free time :)