A Professional Athlete on Hydration and E-lyte
As a continuation of my discussion around nutritional strategies, I would like to highlight how E-lyte makes a difference in my day-to-day training regiment. Not only is it optimal to have the proper balance of sodium, magnesium, and potassium—generally known as electrolytes—in your system, but it’s imperative to stay on top of this balance in certain environmental conditions or under particular bodily stressors. One of these environmental conditions includes altitude. I’ve been fortunate to spend the past 9 weeks training in Olympic City: Colorado Springs, Colorado, which stands a little over 6,000ft in elevation. Up here, there is a decrease in oxygen available for cellular consumption during exercise. Thus, my body is working extra hard to make training adaptations and gains, which in turn, offer a performance advantage when competing at sea-level. But in order to maximize the opportunity training at elevation offers, I have to be conscious of the impact it can have on my hydration status. Fortunately, E-lyte mixed with 10-12oz’s of apple juice in the morning helps pre-load or replenish essential electrolytes before or between the morning’s sessions.
In addition to altitude, the environmental conditions of heat & humidity or cold & dry also play a significant role in hydration strategies. Right now I’m preparing for a sprint triathlon race in Sarasota, FL—where temperatures can exceed 90 Fahrenheit with humidity upwards of 60%. In preparation, I’m over-dressing on runs and spending 20 minutes in the steam room so that my body adapts to handle the stress preceding and during competition. In order to do this safely, I rely on E-lyte to replenish sodium loss and help me return to homeostasis. By over consuming water alone after sessions like these, you can actually dehydrate yourself further, a condition called hyponatremia, or dilution of plasma sodium levels. Thus, it is important to make sure the water consumed contains those core electrolytes of sodium, magnesium & potassium. Likewise, but on the flip-side in cold & dry conditions, hydration still plays one of the foundational roles in managing optimal functionality. Sometimes I find it challenging to drink enough water or sports drink in the cold, but it is just as important as when operating in the heat. In extreme hot and cold conditions, especially during intensive athletic activity, it’s vital to monitor hydration. If left unaddressed or if the proper strategies aren’t used, dehydration can lead to a lack of concentration, early fatigue, muscle cramps, delayed recovery and trouble regulating core temperatures.
Not only do external environmental conditions play a role, but internal bodily conditions also present circumstances in which E-lyte can offer solutions. For example, a few weeks ago I came down with a pretty severe stomach virus. A 48-hour-spell of unsettled digestive system took its toll on my appetite and diet for the remainder of the week. I found it challenging to get food down, so turned to E-lyte for some quick assistance to keep sodium levels up. With a bit of rest and some help from E-lyte, I was able to recover and bounce back into a solid and consistent block of training. With the change in seasons, temperature shifts and upcoming end-of-the-year competitions, you know that E-lyte will be a part of the routine to see me through across the finish line. If you’re an athlete gearing up for a fall marathon, long ride or even double header soccer match, be sure to check-in on your hydration strategies in order to optimize your effort and health.
Follow Renee’s journey on Twitter @ReneeTomlin