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Longer term cardio (3 hours+); is plain water good enough for performance?

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  • Longer term cardio (3 hours+); is plain water good enough for performance?

    I was hoping some of you cardio nuts could help me with this problem.
    I'm doing Muay Thai 3 times a week, for around 3 hours per session. I'm drinking plain water to keep me hydrated but around the 1.5 hour mark I really start to crave soda, sweet food and salt. I'm assuming its because at this point, my body is starting to become deficient in salt/glycogen, so it wants to replace it.
    After training yesterday, all I could think about was some stuffing myself with jello and fruit which was in the house. Under normal circumstances I never get sugar cravings.

    So is sticking with plain water fine, or should I spend the $0.75 on the sports drinks in a nearby vending machine, or simply make my own salt/sugar mix?
    Last edited by AMonkey; 09-05-2013, 09:38 PM.
    http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

  • #2
    I can't answer your actual question, but I would try to avoid the branded electrolyte drinks. There is some scary crap that they put in there to keep those colors so bright!
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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    • #3
      Coconut water is high in electrolytes and great instead of commercial drinks. Obviously it is sugary, but not added fake sugar, probably worth trying. It's my "sports drink" of choice if I'm out on a long hill walk (3+ hours)

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      • #4
        If performance is your goal, then you have to fuel your activity. For athletes who are training at a high level and intensity, it is recommended to intake CHO and electrolytes if activity exceeds 90min.

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        • #5
          When I used to run longer distances, sports drinks made me very vomity. They also feature crap like HFCS.
          I ended up taking electrolyte pills and Hammergels, from Hammer Nutrition. Hammer Gel - Carbohydrate Energy Gel | Hammer Nutrition

          http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
          Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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          • #6
            Sounds to me, at least, you could do with a banana or 2 mid session. Sports drinks are over priced bottles of unpronounceables that serve very little else that a banana or coconut water can't fix. Personally, I run LSD so i utilize more fat than what I would imagine you do, so i use up very little of CHO and electrolytes, thus i can just do water
            Do you eat before you start training?

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            • #7
              You'll need more than just water. Water is fine for an hour or so, but after that you need fuel.
              I don't exercise for any longer than an hour, so can't comment on a paleo solution. But when I swam when I was younger I used Isotonic and Hypotonic powders in my bottle. Things like Isostar.
              There is science behind it, if I were you id do the research. Bound to be plenty online, once you've got the facts you can decide on a Paleo solution.

              Sent from my C6603 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app

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              • #8
                I like the Vega products, and eating maybe a banana or orange slices. Too much solid food doesn't help. Vega has a pre-performance drink, a recovery drink and also protein drinks and endurance gels if you need something during.

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                • #9
                  Dilute some orange juice 1:1 or so with water and add in a few pinches of salt, you could add in a oinch of baking soda as well. Sip this throughout your session. I bet you will feel way better.

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                  • #10
                    I will second the coconut water or orange juice with water. I also do muay thai (not three hours straight). When I do 2 hours I typically bring in water that is half coconut water. You also might want to bring something light that you can eat quickly. A banana .. dates, dried fruit. When you are working out hard for this long some carbs/sugar will be your friend. Dates are probably the best since they are dense in calories and won't drag you down.

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                    • #11
                      Try resisting the urge to take anything on. The body can go for a lot longer than you think without needing fuel. The more you practice this, the better you'll get at it. For example, last Sunday I ran 36 km (22 miles) first thing in the morning, with no breakfast. I ran non-stop and didn't take on any fuel or water until after I'd finished. I was pretty hungry and thirsty by the end of it, but not debilitatingly so.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bazzz View Post
                        Try resisting the urge to take anything on. The body can go for a lot longer than you think without needing fuel. The more you practice this, the better you'll get at it. For example, last Sunday I ran 36 km (22 miles) first thing in the morning, with no breakfast. I ran non-stop and didn't take on any fuel or water until after I'd finished. I was pretty hungry and thirsty by the end of it, but not debilitatingly so.
                        Running (jogging? Whats your average mile?) is not the same thing as muay thai. They use different systems. Glucose is definitely necessary for intense anaerobic sessions, especially a few hours of it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zach View Post
                          Running (jogging? Whats your average mile?) is not the same thing as muay thai. They use different systems. Glucose is definitely necessary for intense anaerobic sessions, especially a few hours of it.
                          4:26 min/km, which is apparently 7:09 min/mile. I don't run with a HR monitor, but it was fairly intense and somewhat hilly. I've done less intense runs of over five hours with no fuel (but some water). I think most people can do this if they really want to. It sort of makes sense from an evolutionary perspective as we probably weren't taking on Gatorade while hunting gazelles or whatever.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bazzz View Post
                            4:26 min/km, which is apparently 7:09 min/mile. I don't run with a HR monitor, but it was fairly intense and somewhat hilly. I've done less intense runs of over five hours with no fuel (but some water). I think most people can do this if they really want to. It sort of makes sense from an evolutionary perspective as we probably weren't taking on Gatorade while hunting gazelles or whatever.
                            I second this. Did four hours today LSD, admittedly consuming a total of 250ish kcal, most before, over a hell of a lot of hilly trails with just water. It is possible, although i am a slight frames individual, and would therefore need less to maintain.
                            I would argue that humans, even muscular healthy ones, are still too big to be primal, since modern conveniences and a readily available sources of protein allow such growth to happens.. Show me a hench hunter gatherer, and i'll eat my hat. Off topic, but that's just my opinion.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bazzz View Post
                              Try resisting the urge to take anything on. The body can go for a lot longer than you think without needing fuel. The more you practice this, the better you'll get at it. For example, last Sunday I ran 36 km (22 miles) first thing in the morning, with no breakfast. I ran non-stop and didn't take on any fuel or water until after I'd finished. I was pretty hungry and thirsty by the end of it, but not debilitatingly so.
                              I'm not entirely convinced its worthwhile to force myself to adapt, when it means suboptimal performance until I adjust. At the 2 hour+ mark my ability do cardio dies, I'm at like 60% efficiency.
                              Anyway I'll look into mixing some fruit juice with salt, thanks guys.
                              http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

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