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The Science Behind Triathlon and Hydration

  • March 04, 2019
  • Team Osmo

For triathletes, hydration is key to maintaining energy and performance throughout every stage of your race. Why is hydration so essential? Water is what fuels our body, all the way down to the cellular level. If you lose a lot of body water through sweat (and if you’re a triathlete, you do), you must replace that lost water in order to prevent dehydration and achieve your best performance. Dehydration is a common issue for endurance athletes in general, and in a 2011 study, 81% of participating triathletes experienced at least one instance where dehydration decreased their performance. [1]

Therefore, it’s essential to have a hydration regimen in order to perform your best. Swimming, biking, and running all tax your body in different ways, and how you hydrate while training or racing can make all the difference in how you perform. For particularly intense efforts or especially hot weather, drinking PreLoad the night before your event or training session can help hyper-hydrate you so your body is primed for peak performance.

While it’s important to drink enough water, you also need enough sodium to prevent hyponatremia, a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is too low. The sodium that Active Hydration contains can help prevent hyponatremia and maintain fluid balance, keeping you hydrated with the right balance of electrolytes and water. Additionally, the magnesium and potassium in Active Hydration can help prevent painful cramping. And the optimized osmolality (or how much “stuff” is dissolved in the liquid) of Active Hydration means your gut will absorb it quickly for fast rehydration and no unpleasant sloshing feeling or GI discomfort.

After your race or training session, you need the right nutrients to help repair your muscles and recover fully. The 30 minutes after your workout are the “Golden Window” of recovery, and getting the right nutrients during this time will help you grow stronger and more efficient while accelerating glycogen restoration. The three most important things to accomplish during recovery are 1) stopping the body’s exercise-induced catabolic (breakdown) response; 2) taking in high-quality protein to facilitate muscle repair; and 3) restoring the body’s glycogen stores. Our Recovery mix is made of a 2:1 protein to carbohydrates ratio with 30mg of caffeine. The protein shuts down the breakdown from exercise and enables muscle repair, while the carbs provide glycogen, helping you to recover quickly and rebuild muscle.

Triathlon is a highly intense sport that requires maximum efficiency and high performance at all times, whether swimming, biking, or running. No matter how hard you’re pushing, you should still feel as great as possible while doing it. Give your body the hydration and nutrients it needs to help avoid cramping, fatigue, and injury during your training while speeding your recovery process.

 

  1. [1] O’Connor, Corey Stephen, “Perceptions and Practices of Hydration in Triathlon” (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 109.

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