Tag Archives: hydration

elete Holistic Hydrate

When I first started running, I didn’t really understand the importance of hydration, or the fact that we not only need to replace water lost when exercising, but those all important electrolytes too. When I did my first marathon, I relied on coconut water to hydrate during and after the race, and after the race I had the most severe headache I have ever had in my life- I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t move my head. Little did I realise I had got my hydration strategy very wrong, and although rich in potassium, coconut water is not a very good source of sodium which is mainly what we are losing in sweat. Since that incident, I have been using electrolytes and have never had the same issue, no matter the conditions, or race distance.

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elete Holistic Hydrate contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would like to try out their electrolyte solution, I am always keen to try out the highest quality, and most natural products, so was keen to hear more about elete and utilize it in my training.

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Firstly let’s talk electrolytes. Basically every time muscles move, or your heart beats it is electrical impulses that make this happen, each nerve impulse is dependent on an electrical charge, and a number of minerals in electrolyte form are vital for these functions to take place, these include Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium and Chloride. The charge these electrolytes carry is key for regulating fluid balance and pH balance, and when electrolyte levels are low or out of balance, it can cause muscle cramping and spasms- quite a common issue in endurance sports, particularly as there is an increased need for electrolytes. Unless these minerals are ionically charged, they are not electrolytes, and will not have the beneficial properties such as hydration and cramp prevention.

Key electrolytes:
Magnesium: Essential for all energy conversion, muscle function, nerve conduction, and more than 300 different enzymatic reactions, and it is depleted from the body under times of physical and emotional stress.

Potassium: Should be the most abundant electrolyte inside the cells, and is vital for muscle function, nerve conduction and water balance.

Sodium: Commonly found in modern diets. It’s also key for heat tolerance, muscle contraction and nerve conduction.

Chloride: Most abundant negatively charged electrolyte, essential for oxygen exchange, digestion, water and pH balance.

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elete make 100% natural ionically charged electrolyte products, organically derived from solar evaporation of the great salt lake in Utah. It contains all four key electrolytes mentioned above, in an ionically charged form together with other beneficial naturally occurring trace elements, vital for maintaining hydration, sustaining energy and enhancing mental focus, both during training and events.

Unlike most sports drinks on the markets, elete contains no sugar, no sweeteners, preservatives, flavourings or colourings. It comes in a concentrated form, which is really handy as it can be tailored to your individual needs. Most common sports drinks contain only one or two electrolytes in an non-ionic form which are not well assimilated by the body.

elete can be added to water, juices, smoothies and soups. I have been using the 25ml bottles, which make up to 10litres of electrolyte solution, so would be ideal for multi stage races, or traveling, as they are extremely light and handy to pack. elete also sell refill bottles. It’s ideal for adding to your hydration pack for long training runs or races, as it doesn’t leave any residues and is simple to clean after.

I’m not doing any endurance stuff at the minute, but I’ve been using elete daily just for general well-being. Most people tend to be low in magnesium, so it can be taken for general health anyway. I’ve been taking it alongside my lemon water first thing in the morning, to replenish after waking up, and do feel better hydrated throughout the day. I will be keen to see it’s benefits when I start doing more endurance training again.

You can purchase elete products from their website. They have also kindly given me a 10% discount code to offer to you guys, just type BLOGGER DISCOUNT into the coupon box at the checkout.

Om Yoga Magazine October

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I fell a bit behind on my magazine reading this month as we have been so busy with house stuff! I finally caught up with Om Yoga magazine and again there was lots of great content from the benefits of yoga when taking part in other sports, to how to improve your sleep and boost energy levels-which is always key at this time of year. I was particularly interested in their sports nutrition article, as I’m currently studying nutrition and this is an area I’m very interested in.

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It’s a very basic guide to getting your nutrition right pre, during and post exercise to maximise repair and recovery. It wasn’t really anything I didn’t already know, but it’s always good to have a refresh and I’m sure it’s a pretty helpful guide if people don’t really know a lot about how to fuel for sports. I think good nutrition is key to recovery, and performance and fuelling with good quality whole foods is a good way to achieve this.

The article discusses fuelling before exercise, personally I have changed this around a bit this year, and I used to always fuel before any distance run (a few dates or 1/2 a banana) but now I do anything under 6 miles-as long as it isn’t a speed workout-with no fuel at all. If I do eat before a workout, I like a mix of slow and fast release carbohydrates alongside some good fats, my pre race breakfast is oats, chia seeds, coconut oil and a banana. Protein is not ideal pre-workout as it takes a long time to digest.

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During activity hydration is very important. For anything under 6/7 miles I go without water unless it is a very hot day and I am losing a lot of fluid. Anything over that I take my hydration pack with usually with a mix of water, some coconut water and Viridian sports electrolyte fix. Replenishing electrolytes is key, as you aren’t just losing water, but all your mineral salts during exercise, which are vital for so many functions in the body. I try to minimise fuelling during longer runs to avoid any GI problems, but I like to use Nakd bars, dates, Ella’s fruit pouches, and Vega and 33 shake chia gels.

Post exercise there is a suggestion that we have a 30 minute window to refill glycogen stores efficiently. Eating a good ratio of carbohydrates with a little bit of protein is a good way to do this. I tend to have a smoothie with some Sunwarrior or hemp protein mixed in, or some porridge with a little Sunwarrior mixed in if it’s breakfast time.

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Later it’s important to eat a decent amount of protein to continue the repair process. Whether lunch/dinner I like to have a veggie heavy meal with some sort of bean/legume, like salad, stir fries, chilli or lentil soup. Antioxidants are also key for repair, so I love to eat lots of veggies and some fruit particularly dark berries to get these in.

I think eating well around your workout program can have a massive impact, and I feel like I recover pretty quickly day to day by focusing on whole plant based foods.

How do you fuel your exercise?

Zico Coconut Water Review

A few week’s back I won a give-away of Zico coconut water. I won a bottle of the plain coconut water, mango coconut water, a Zico t-shirt that was miles too big for me and a yoga band! I’m a big fan of coconut water, but I’d never tried this brand before so I was keen to test it out.

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Coconut water has excellent hydrating properties making it perfect for athletes, those engaging in sports, people who are travelling or even trying to ward off a hangover!

Zico hand harvest their delicious young green coconuts from Thailand and Indonesia. I’ve had up’s and down’s with coconut water in the past, there are some brands I really like but some that I find much too sweet. Zico definitely had the right balance taste wise, it was delicious, hydrating and not too sweet for me.

Zico is a natural source of essential electrolytes, in particular potassium which helps to maintain normal muscle function. It is also low in calories, has no fat, or added sugar and no cholesterol. It also comes in a handy recyclable and resealable bottle so it’s great for carrying on the go.

I really liked the natural flavour, although the mango one wasn’t too bad either. They are a great size and I found them really good after short exercise sessions.

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I recently learned that coconut water isn’t good for any exercise over one hour in length due to it’s low amounts of sodium. I took 2 litres of coconut water with me when I ran the Dublin marathon and that was all I took on fluid wise. I couldn’t understand later why I had the most insane headache I have ever had in my life, but after subsequently finding out that coconut water is low in sodium, I will be sticking to using it for shorter bursts of activity.

You can find Zico on Amazon.co.uk and in Tesco and Waitrose stores alongside independent stores in London.

Are you a coconut water fan?

Have you tried Zico?