Sodium plays a key role in how your body maintains fluid balance and cognitive function, so it’s important to replace at least some of the sodium you lose during exercise and performance.
Studies have shown that athletes who adequately replaced the sodium lost in their sweat during performance, finished more strongly than those who didn’t. Whilst huge gains aren’t possible for everyone, getting your hydration strategy right is important.
So, when Vitfor Future Champions athlete, Danni Khan, recently returned to the lab for her VO2 Max test, we brought in the expert from Precision Hydration in the form of Team Vitfor OTE athlete, Andy Brodziak.
Danni continues to be under the watchful eye of Lotto-Soudal Ladies Team and will be riding with the Belgian club team Illibikes to get valuable race experience during the 2020 season. To set her training on the right track, Vitfor Performance Director, Craig Stevenson, put her through her paces in the lab.
First the callipers. Callipers don’t lie and any Christmas excesses will show immediately! We’ll spare Danni’s blushes but there was a little red wine and cheese involved. Next, the ramp test. Danni was locked on to achieving 400 watts and she nearly got there but her legs gave out at 360. That’s still a huge improvement of 40 watts since her last test.
Combined with a 20% improvement in her VO2 Max, Danni’s results are putting her amongst those of a Domestic Pro. There’s headroom to go at too, and her training will now focus on improving her thresholds to better get her to the end of races where she can put her huge sprint ability to good use.
VO2 Max test completed, Danni’s hydration test exposed more areas to her training and competition planning that can be improved on. According to Andy, Danni sweats at quite a high rate, and makes the mistake that many athletes do – attempting to fuel and hydrate at the same time.
“By splitting fuelling and hydration, Danni will gain greater insight into her fluid intake, helping her to maintain the body’s homeostasis of blood plasma volume. Remember, hydration comes from your bottles, and fuel from your pockets.”
“For training sessions under an hour, water is adequate for hydration. Once she starts to go over an hour, Danni needs to consider using electrolytes to stay on top of her daily net losses. If she doesn’t do this, she compromises adequate recovery and subsequently her performance for the next session.”
“She’ll get the hang of it in just a few weeks – unlike nutrition, which can take months of trial and error to get right. I’ve also recommended she stays off simple sugars as much as possible, getting used to real food and saving some money!”
“When racing, Danni can use products that are easy to manage to get the fuel she needs. Her body will be used to getting the correct electrolyte solution concentration by using a 1500mg sodium concentration tablet in 750ml water, which will help with a whole host of areas including eliminating cramping,” said Andy Brodziak, after reviewing Danni’s test results.
With her Advanced Sweat Test complete, Danni received a full report on her sweat test with details of how to manage her hydration.
If you’re interested in discovering more about your sweat concentration or want to get better at using electrolytes, you can take Precision Hydration’s simple online sweat test which will provide advice based on your current performance. Visit their personalisation page and click ‘Get Started’.
For an Advanced Sweat test, like Danni’s, visit one of Precision Hydrations test centres. Andy is based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit precisionhydration.com for more details.