Pre-loading Electrolyte Stores for Race Day
You know you need to hydrate during training and on race day, but that may not be enough. One area of hydration that has gotten a lot of attention recently is pre-loading (or topping off) your electrolyte stores. There are two main benefits to pre-loading:
1. topping off magnesium/calcium stores
Magnesium and calcium work together to ensure your muscles contract and relax properly. Your muscles seize up when cramping occurs, and it’s believed that having these nutrients readily available may delay or prevent the onset of muscle cramps.
2. topping off sodium/potassium stores
Your body can bleed through your sodium and potassium stores pretty quickly when you’re sweating heavily and/or are a salty sweater. These nutrients are key to retaining fluids, so it’s important to have adequate stores and to hydrate on race day.
So now that you know what it is, how do you pre-load effectively? You’ll need both carbohydrates to aid in fluid absorption (in the form of glucose or dextrose) and electrolytes.
Within the nuun family, you’ll want to use 1 tab nuun active and 1-2 tabs plus for nuun. nuun active provides the electrolytes you need, and plus provides carbohydrates in the form of dextrose and sucrose.
Hydration is one aspect of running we can control. If you start a race already dehydrated, it’s very difficult to recover. Pre-loading electrolytes in the days leading up to the race will help ensure you’re hydrated when you toe that start line.