July 31st, 2009 at 8:43 pm (Home)
The packages started arriving via different shipments last week and I have been gleefully opening them like a little boy on Christmas dawn. They contain all the freeze dried foods and electrolyte drinks that will sustain me during my week-long sojourn in the desert.
This is all very new territory for me. Up till now my approach to nutrition has been to eat and drink anything and everything in moderation without any need to take heed of details. What does one do during periods of strenuous activity? Eat more and drink more. Period. That I have the body age of 18 (according to some machine that measures my muscle to fat ratio) invariably contributed to this laissez faire approach to nutrition.
The closest reminder to pay a wee bit more attention is a particularly unique experience back in 2002 during a Thailand to Singapore bike ride. Towards the end of a 190 km section, I had literally run out of fuel. I wasn’t tired or exhausted; I had simply run out of calories to burn. How bizarre. I even needed someone to tear open a chocolate wrapper for me.
Such was my ignorance then that I thought sports drinks had to be consumed in conservative amounts and so limited myself to a cautious one can a day. Imagine my astonishment where, upon observing what the experienced riders were doing, I saw them guzzling a dozen or so cans over the course of a day’s riding. I could have been on the verge of hyponatremia without even realising it!
Forward to the present and following advice from past runners and experts on the matter, I have ordered a selection of innovative electrolyte drinks for my hydration purposes. It is all very technical, in my humble opinion, but basically there are different drinks to imbibe during, before and after a race. They contain assorted mixtures of compounds and salts and perform a variety of functions which, quite frankly, I vaguely understand. If you wish to find out more, do check out www.scienceinsport.com. What I do know is that they work (according to the plethora of research on the issue and the unequivocal recommendations on ultra marathon running forums on the internet). So for the next couple months I shall be putting the products to the test and ensure that my body finds them agreeable and they do not impact negatively on my constitution. Power up!!