Teaming up with Precision Hydration

It’s a privilege to announce my participation as a member of TeamPH. Precision Hydration are the experts in the hot (not to be confused with sexy) field of sweating.

Just a few years ago the official guidelines of hydration were that dehydration leads to performance loss and should be avoided. Drink ahead of thirst with a preplanned amount was the cure. After reading Times Noakes book Waterlogged in 2014, which completely threw those guidelines aside, I pressed the convincing arguments to my chest. Drinking to thirst was the optimal strategy.
Norseman 2015 – 0 degrees C on the coldest part of the bike leg. Drinking to thirst worked excellently in that race.
To every complex problem, there is an answer which is clear, simple and wrong. Written by H.L. Mencken and one of my favourite quotes. In Norseman 2015 we had 10 degrees C in the water and as low as 0 degrees C on the bike. In Challenge Phuket 2014 we had 40 degrees C, burning sun and 100 % humidity on the run. In my experience from the coldest and hottest triathlon races in the world, I know that the simple and clear guidelines above are not necessarily the ideal solution in every case. Or said in other words, they seldom are. The guidelines from both camps are rubbish.
Challenge Phuket 2014 – After a 1:15 run in Ironman 70.3 Haugesund a few months before I felt confident I would have a decent race. I ran as hard as I could. In 40 degrees C and 100 % humidity it was a 1:34 half-marathon. 

The question of ideal hydration and nutrition are utterly complex. There is no one size fits all, and no expert can tell you exactly what is best. While that can leave many confused, its the truth. Starting with the truth is a good base for finding out what is working for you.

My interest in PH started with listening to a podcast about salt content in sweat. It was not one of the many good ones with Andy Blow, the founder of PH . The particular thing that caught my attention was the fact that the amount of salt in sweat basically is fixed and determined by your gens. In Waterlogged Tim Noakes taught me that salt content in sweat is reduced by reducing the intake of salt, and when being heat acclimatized. That was just not the case. While being able to manipulate the salt content is possible, but only to a +-10 %. Some people have a salt content of 200mg/l and other 2000mg/l. Some people sweat 0,5 liter per hour, while other can sweat 3 liters per hour. That means you can have a 60 times difference in salt expenditure during exercise(!).

I always had a hunch that I was a salty sweater, but I had no clue that the variations could be so huge.

Most sports drink contains salt, but based on one size fits all. It will be like measuring the height of all triathletes, take the average number and make a single sized bike for everyone. Except most people measure with between 150 and 200cm in height, which makes the relative differences small. In the case of salt intake, it would be to make one bike to fit all types of dogs, from Great Dane to a Chihuahua. It becomes bluntly obvious. You will not find one bike that fits most dogs.

I have always taken some salt tablets during race simulated efforts and during hot races. While being utterly precise with my race nutrition in regards to calories, carbs, protein, fat, salts and caffeine, I had no clue about the content of my salt tablets. I bought them from well-known producers and follower the recommendations on the packet. After looking that up I found a big difference in both content and recommended intake. 

The same can be said for the hydration and salt guidelines. They are way too simple to account for all the variabilities. The salt content in sweat, sweat rate, intensity, duration, heat, humidity, sun/clouds, cooling aids etc. In addition, you have to account for individual differences in gut tolerance, which are both huge and trainable. Focus on the variabilities are the core of PH. They offer advanced sweat tests which give a precise answer on your salt content. In addition, they offer a free online sweat test which can give you a good prediction of your sweat content. Based on those numbers they provide products with a different range of salt content to match up to the individual differences.

To sum it up we can say that finding the optimal hydration and nutrition strategy is like hitting a tiny moving target. Together with the sweat experts in PH, I will continue to seek improvement in my own strategy and constantly refine it. I will share my experiences along the way, which hopefully can provide valuable help and insight for others who are on a similar search.

Does this sound interesting? Head over to PH, take the online sweat test and if you would like to try their products just use the promo code ALLAN15 to get 15 % on your order.

Publisert av

triallan

I am a 33 year old PRO triatlete. My goal is to swim, bike and run as fast as possible, and enjoy the journey. All my adventures and triathlon related stuff is well documented on this blog.

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