Obey the thirst !

It never fails to surprise the way we make contacts and recommendations, last May I was a guest chef at a pop up evening  at L’ortolan it was to be my menu and dishes cooked alongside their team, proudly it was a full restaurant and a successful evening.


On the kitchen chefs table was a young lady called Nicki Aitken who was treating her mother to dinner, during the evening I established she was quite sporty, but it wasn’t until afterwards when she followed me on twitter that I discovered this was an understatement! A GB long course Duathlete bronze medallist no less.

Fast forward 6 months and I announced that I was to join Geoff Thomas on his before the tour challenge, Nicki commented on the post and got in touch with me as she wanted to join us to be the first (and possibly) only female to join our group, her reasons were very powerful not just a top athlete who’s training regime put mine to shame but it would also be in memory of her Father and Grandmother who she sadly lost through cancer. As I type this post in late January that dream is not yet fully realised as she is looking for sponsors to support her.

Nicki introduced me to Andy Blow from –
P R E C I S I O N  H Y D R A T I O N and following a brief conversation just before Christmas wanted to offer me a sweat test and support me through my training, a very generous offer indeed. Andy is a sports scientist with a real sporting pedigree posting multiple top 10 finishes in international Ironman Triathlon events and at the world championships in Kona.


Sports scientists have been measuring the levels of sodium in athlete’s sweat for many years, but this used to be only available to professionals. However, with more recent advances in technology and many more people taking part in endurance events, sweat testing is slowly becoming more widely available this test gives more athletes the opportunity to understand their individual physiology in more detail and the implications it may have for hydration and electrolyte replenishment. So a sweat test, the mind boggled what would I need to do, visions of running on a treadmill at 20% incline until I was a dripping mess came to mind, but the truth was far from it, see for yourself-

I was to meet Jonny Tye in the first week of January at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford where I would roll up a sleeve and he would harvest about a quarter of a tsp of sweat. Jonny knows his stuff and is impressively a Kayak double Silver world Medalist, impressed? Yes so was I and you haven’t seen his shoulders…!


Analysing my small amount of sweat Jonny said that I would lose 818 mg sodium per litre of sweat, but where
would that put me on the relative athlete population scale? Well; just on the border of low to medium.

So the recommendation was assuming that I was eating a normal diet, water -not unfortunately cups of Nespresso, was the best hydrator at times when I wasn’t exercising. I should use H2Pro Hydrate 250 to improve general levels of hydration during periods when I was training frequently or travelling as the risk of becoming slightly dehydrated is increased at these times.


During events or training sessions of less than 1 hour in duration, H2Pro Hydrate 500 would fulfil my electrolyte requirements and keep me well hydrated. However if my performance was to be maintained over longer durations 1 hour plus at high intensities so that was very much the Watt Bike pain cave sessions that Eddie had set us or when out on the road in hot/humid conditions H2Pro Hydrate 1000 would be more beneficial. This is because when sweating heavily for prolonged periods the body’s sodium reserves can be used up quite rapidly if they are not being replenished at a sufficient rate.

_MG_0571_1This is where Andy and Jonny’s precision hydration product differed from the myriad of other electrolyte manufacturers out there, rather than choosing to focus on ‘five fruity flavours’ they had one neutral and pleasant tasting solution but with four different concentrations that were tailored to individuals and thier intensities of effort.

In closing don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking, if you do then ultimately this is too late, perhaps the biggest mistake endurance athletes make is waiting until they are thirsty to start drinking, which generally signals a 3% level of dehydration and up to a 15% decline in maximal performance capacity. I have historically always ensured I take two 750ml bidons out on winter rides longer than 90 minutes however these were normally just filled with water and squash, so armed with some science in the bottle it will be interesting to see if the sensations of fatigue over 4 hour plus rides are lessened.

Big thanks to Andy and Jonny for their support and Nicki of course for the introduction.


If you would like to support the cause please click on my link. 100% of the donation goes direct to the CureLeukaemia charity-


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~ by theboxterboy on January 31, 2015.

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