Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Heat- Know Your Sweat Rate.

As summer rolls around and the days start to heat up, you need to have a better understanding of how to fuel and hydrate.  Staying hydrated is a key component and will make or break your training or race, and it all starts during your training and developing a customized hydration gameplan.

Understanding your sweat rate or fluid loss will take out the guess work when you are out in the heat for an extended period of time. What happens if you do not stay hydrated?  Losing just 2% of your body weight (can easily be done in the heat) can have a detrimental effect on your performance. Your body will start to limit the amount of blood flow to the muscles.  However, your heart is working harder to pump blood to get the oxygen your muscles so desperately need.  You have probably experienced on a long hot run your heart rate rockets up and fatigue settles in.  Chalk it up to a bad day or it was just plain hot.  Well, chances are your performance was hindered by extremely low hydration levels.  A simple fix could be your hydration level.

First, you must know your sweat rate.  Below is a simple way to find your specific sweat rate, which will then allow you to plan accordingly.

Sweat Test:

To perform the sweat test follow these steps:

  • Obtain your weight without any clothes on.  Record the weight to the nearest half pound if possible.
  • Complete an exercise bout typical for you, lasting about 30-45 minutes.  During the bout record the amount of fluids ingested (if any fluids are ingested).  Try to avoid the consumption of solid food during this bout.
  • Post exercise remove clothes, towel sweat off, and then reweigh to nearest half pound if possible.
  • Calculate fluid loss per hour.

Beginning weight:
160 pounds (45 minutes of running, 8 ounces fluid consumed)

Ending weight:
158 pounds

Fluid loss: 
160 pounds MINUS 158 pounds PLUS a half pound (fluid consumed) EQUALS 2.5 pound weight loss, or 40 ounces of fluid lost in 45 minutes.

Convert to a per hour value:
40 ounces/45 min =  53 ounces/60 min,  = 53.3 ounce sweat rate per hour
(13oz per 15 minutes x 4 ~ 53oz)

To learn more about fueling and hydration, check out one of our upcoming clinics at Ryder Bikes.

- Tuesday, June 21st @ 6PM  Ryder Bikes | Bradenton
- Saturday, June 25th @ 10AM  Ryder Bikes | Sarasota

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