The information below is provided by Green Power Hike winning athlete, Sports Physiotherapist in Centre of Rehabilitation & Exercising Specialist, Mr. Elton NG:
Sports nutrition is a sophisticated topic, but in simple terms, adequate replenishment of fluid and nutrient will definitely enhance performance, delay onset of exhaustion and reduce the risk of getting heat stroke or injuries. Clinically, our body can lose an average of 1 to 3 litres of liquid every hour during a physical demanding activity. For every litre lost, heartbeat can increase by 8 beats per minute due to the reduction of total blood volume. Moreover, our body temperature can also increase by 0.3°C. Consequently, the heart is overloaded and this increases the chance of getting metabolic and electrolyte imbalance. In serious circumstances, heat stroke also occurs. In addition, endurance race can burn out all the carbohydrate stored in the muscles and liver. Insufficient energy production will lead to poor performance, and hypoglycemia (too low blood sugar level) occurs in most serious circumstances.
- Consume 450-900 ml of liquid 90 minutes before training/exercise
- Consume 100-250 ml of liquid every 20-30 minutes during training/exercise
- Amount of liquid replenishment are much affected by many factors, especially physical fitness level and weather. You should predict your personal needs from your experience in pre-event practice. Even an elite runner maintains regular urination in roughly 3-hour interval.
- Consume drinks/food with electrolytes every 20-30 minutes. e.g. Pocari Sweat.
- Cool drinks are easily absorbed and tasty, but should not be too cold to cause stomach upset.
- High concentration of glucose drinks are easily absorbed and provided ‘fast’ energy, but reflective hypoglycemia may occur if intake too much simple sugar in a short period of time.
- The sense of thirst is not a reliable signal because dehydration may have already occurred before you feel thirsty.
- Tea and coffee are not suitable for consumption during the event as they are diuretic.
- Water and electrolyte-containing drinks are supplied throughout the stations of "Green Power Hike" (Not available in bottled form); please bring your own bottles.
- Have a proper and nutritious meal before exercise and the commencement of the event (but not within 2 hours) to gain sufficient energy to cope with the long hike, but you must not be too full.
- Carbohydrate is the main energy form consumed during exercise. There are polysaccharide (complex sugar), such as rice, noodles, bread, potatoes, bananas, etc., and monosaccharide (simple sugar), such as sugar, glucose powder, glucose or other sugar containing drinks.
- Simple sugar is readily absorbed and provides fast but short term energy for exercising. Therefore, participants are not encouraged to rely solely on simple sugar. Both types of carbohydrates are to be taken during the event, so that the energy supply become more long-lasting and stable.
- Avoid consuming too much lipid-containing and protein-containing food, as energy is released slowly and ineffectively. The food remains in the stomach and slows down the digestion of other foods, greatly affecting performance.