If you’ve been struggling during your recent training runs leading up to the OSIM Sundown Marathon 2023 – it’s likely due to the soaring humidity levels and temperatures across Southeast Asia in the recent weeks. Clocking your long runs and intervals in such testing environmental conditions can place immense stress on the body and it’s important that training volume and intensity is complimented adequately with proper hydration.
Training with plain water alone is hardly sufficient and puts you at an increased risk of heat cramps and exhaustion over prolonged periods under the sun. The 100PLUS Active isotonic drink was made to supplement the active individual training in gruelling conditions. It is packed with B-vitamins, B3, B6 and B12 (that help to reduce tiredness and fatigue) and an optimal blend of carbohydrates and electrolytes to keep energy levels up so you can focus on challenging your limits and performing at your utmost best when training and racing. 100PLUS Active is also lower in sugar, making it a healthier choice for athletes and the new non-carbonated formula helps reduce potential feelings of bloated-ness when consumed on the go. We had a chat with two avid runners from The Running Department who will be serving as pacers for the upcoming 21.1km Half Marathon. They got a chance to try the new 100PLUS Active drink for their lead-up training sessions and we asked them about their thoughts on hydration during training!
RUN SG: What is the importance of hydration for runners during a long training? How much is adequate in your opinion?
Wee Boon: Water is essential for our body systems to function. Hydration and having a plan are extremely crucial especially in Singapore, which is hot and humid, and often overlooked for training and racing because we may find it a hassle to carry a flask or bottle. As a guide, I typically consume about 100ml (1/2 cup or 2 sips from my bottle) every 30 min and I like to hydrate progressively so that my body can replace the lost fluid gradually – increasing this amount if I find myself sweating more on a certain day.
Stephanie: On the race day itself, I usually alternate water and isotonic at every water station (it is usually every ~2km). I also carry a bottle on hand so if the hydration station is longer than my ideal “limit”, I will drink at my convenience. My personal tip is to drink even if you do not feel thirsty. When you do, you are usually dehydrated at that point!
RUN SG: Is water or an isotonic drink more effective? Why?
Wee Boon: As my body doesn't require additional energy or electrolyte replenishment during short runs, it is convenient to stick with water. However, for the longer runs, it becomes crucial to have an isotonic drink to replace the lost energy and electrolytes over the extended duration. Isotonic drink is then more effective in boosting endurance for the long runs.
Stephanie: Both are important for a long run. Water is absorbed into the blood stream quicker than isotonic since the latter has a higher carbohydrate content. If your body is dehydrated, it will not be able to absorb all the benefits the sports drink has to offer. Isotonic, on the other hand, helps to replace sodium, fluids and other electrolytes lost through sweat so it works best when you are exercising longer than an hour.
RUN SG: Can isotonic drink be consumed daily? What are the big benefits?
Wee Boon: If you lead an active lifestyle, you can possibly drink it daily - but consume in moderation for sure. I use isotonic drinks frequently to ensure optimal performance during training and also build up to my marathon races.
Stephanie: If you are exercising outdoors, for a long duration or doing a strenuous workout that makes you sweat more than usual, you will reap the benefits of taking in the additional glucose and electrolytes that comes in an isotonic drink. It helps to supplement lost water and sodium in a quick manner, allowing quicker recovery and replenishment during a long run. It is best taken in moderation and compliments water intake.
RUN SG: For runners who are training for their marathon, what other nutrition should runners take note of during their long runs?
Wee Boon: For runners who are training for marathons, it is important to have a regular and balanced diet of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. As an isotonic drink also contains sodium, it is great to have it during the long runs to replace the sodium lost through excessive sweating on some exceptionally hot training days. Sodium is needed as an electrolyte to help regulate the fluids in our body and prevent cramps.
Stephanie: Marathon fuelling requires plenty of “trials” because what works for one person, might not work for another. I learnt it from experience when I was hospitalised years back for being severely dehydrated and a case of malnutrition leading up to a full marathon. My advice would be to hydrate well, train your gut to handle the nutrition you plan to use on race day and test out how it works for your performance.
Stay Hydrated and All the Best in your final preparation to OSIM Sundown Marathon 2023, runners!
100PLUS is the Official Hydration Partner for OSIM Sundown Marathon 2023, taking place on 20 May 2023. For more information, visit OSIM Sundown Marathon 2023.