Andy was delighted to joined Tawnee Prazak on the brilliant Endurance Planet podcast recently to discuss his experiences in elite endurance racing, working as a sports scientist for a Formula 1 team and how those experiences lead him to found Precision Hydration to help athletes everywhere stay hydrated when it counts.
Amongst other things, Tawnee and Andy discuss:
- Should we be measuring sweat via Sweat Testing or is ball-parking enough?
- Can you just “Drink to thirst” like Tim Noakes says?
- Does your body have a buffering mechanism for sodium? And does that mechanism correct any sodium imbalances (as according to Noakes and Maffetone)?
- What variance has Precision Hydration seen when testing thousands of athletes?
- (“Some people losing as little as 0.2g per litre of sweat and others losing near 2.0g per litre! This means that different athletes need to take in very different amounts of sodium when sweat output is high. This variance in sweat sodium loss is largely down to genetics. Whatever the cause, it’s clear that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to electrolyte supplementation doesn’t work.”)
- “Our own data (which is probably one of the most comprehensive sets available) shows a much wider variance in sweat sodium values (approximately 19mmol/l to 84mmol/l) in well trained athletes than he quotes in the book (around 20-40mmol).”
- The truth is that there’s a wide range of sweaters and it’s predominantly about genetics.
- Andy discusses his thoughts on the role of health status and how it can alter sodium regulation putting one at risk, and the role of health and hormonal balance in regulating hydration and sodium/electrolytes overall.
- When hormones are in imbalanced state, and HPA axis no functioning properly, can this cause a hydration-related issue?
- Recommendation for athletes who are racing 24+ hours or multi-day and in extreme dry heat.
- In these extremes is it unsafe to just drink water? What about water but eating food like chips and whatnot? Flip that to something like ironman or ultraman in hawaii (humidity!). How do things change for hydration and sodium needs in these conditions vs dry heat?
- What methods of taking on electrolytes does Andy recommend athletes use? Are salt tab and pills too concentrated?
- Are gatorade and/or traditional sports drinks too much (i.e. too high osmolality and sugar?)
- Andy also Sweat Tested Tawnee and her athlete fiance John and he talks them through their results live on air.
There's loads of other great podcasts on the science of endurance athletics on Endurance Planet's site, we definitely recommend subscribing.