Racing in the Heat: Nutritional and Hydration Strategies for Endurance Athletes

racing in the heat - nutritional and hydration strategies for endurance athletes

Are you a triathlete, runner or cyclist who has chosen a race this year where you are likely to be competing in temperatures significantly higher than those you are used to and for at least three hours or considerably longer? Examples might include the Ironman™ World Championships in Kona, the Marathon Des Sables, or any half or full iron distance triathlon, marathon, ultramarathon or endurance cycle event that usually takes place in temperatures over 30⁰C. If so, this blog is for you. Continue reading

Calcium: A guide for the endurance athlete

Food sources of calcium

Did you know that calcium is the 5th most common substance in your body and the most abundant mineral? You probably know that a large part of your bones and teeth are made up of calcium. But calcium plays a much bigger role in health than contributing to strong bones and teeth, and these functions are all of importance to someone taking part in endurance sports like running, cycling and triathlon. For example, adequate calcium is needed to enable the contraction of heart muscle which in turn pumps blood around your body. It’s also required in the process by which your skeletal muscles contract. It helps nerve signals to be transmitted and it’s essential for normal blood clotting when injury occurs. It is also needed to activate the enzyme lipase which breaks down fat stores to produce energy. Continue reading

Are low carb diets appropriate for endurance athletes?

image of low car mealDiets that restrict carbohydrate intake, while allowing largely unrestricted consumption of fat and protein, have been popular as weight loss strategies for many years now, with a number of studies showing them to be as successful, if not more successful, than low fat diets or calorie counting approaches to weight loss. But in recent years there has also been a trend for some endurance athletes to adopt a low carb dietary approach to enhance performance. This is based around the concept of improving fat burning capacity while sparing muscle glycogen. By restricting carbohydrates both in the athlete’s everyday diet and during training sessions, an adaptation takes place whereby the body is able to remain dependent on fat stores for a longer time and at a higher rate of exertion. This is known as becoming ‘fat adapted’. Continue reading