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Drink water during an IM?
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After just about every long ride/run I'm dehydrated despite having plenty of fluids on me. I'm basing my dehydration solely on the color of my urine. Other than trying to force myself to keep drinking, does anyone else struggle with drinking enough? I'm also wondering if there's any place for drinking water in an IM or if I should stick to Gatorade/other fluids with calories/sodium/etc. I set a timer on my 920xt to remind myself to drink every 15 mins but trying to gulp down 1/4 of a Gatorade is tough.
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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Personally I've found that if I'm bothering to consume a fluid, I want it to also have calories in it. Even if its just a weak Gatorade endurance combination, its hard enough to get fluids and calories that you might as well be combining their intake.

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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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Many of us struggle with this as well. It's a real balancing act between adequate hydration and a comfortable stomach that allows you to push to your potential, so the fact you are addressing this now is good. Will this be your first IM?

As well, for many of us gallon after gallon of Gatorade can get pretty nauseating, so the occasional drink of water is not a bad thing. Good luck with the experimenting and racing.

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Re: Drink water during an IM? [Hydrosloth] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, first IM. I bought a case of the Gatorade Endurance used on course so I can practice with it but sounds like I need to keep trying to force it down/enjoy it and not worry about not drinking plain water. Thanks!
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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Depending on what you use for nutrition, i know some people who mix a "super bottle" or two with all their calories in it and alternate between sips from that and plain water from aid stations
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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What has worked for me during IM runs is water every aid station - half a cup to full cup, whatever they have (bring some salt if you are afraid of hyponatremia) and a gel every 30 minutes (200 cal/hr). Eventually switching to coke every station (or every other one, depending on how things are going). Adjust based on temps and how much weight you are losing (up to 2% of body weight is usually fine and expected).

Make sure you properly fuel on a bike though. If you start in a hole, you’ll bonk.

I’m a heavy sweater and get sloshy stomach with any type of sports drink. Drinking water helped that quite a bit.

YMMV.

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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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it is entirely possible that you are not drinking enough. Assuming a pretty normal baseline of 155 lbs, normal heat etc... on the bike 24 ounces an hour is about what you need. Are you really taking 6 ounce slugs? When you factor in spillage and everything else, a bottle never lasts me an hour.

To your water question... you know if you need water instead of calories. There is thirsty and there is depleted. Plenty of people do water only which is why it is offered on the course.
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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on the bike, I aim for about 1 bottle of liquid an hour. If I have a concentrated bottle mix. I sip from there and then follow up with water. But still approximately 1 bottle an hour. On the run, for full distance I start out with water and maybe gels but fairly quickly then start drinking coke, some water, and tend to start craving salty things like chips.
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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mickison wrote:
on the bike, I aim for about 1 bottle of liquid an hour. If I have a concentrated bottle mix. I sip from there and then follow up with water. But still approximately 1 bottle an hour. On the run, for full distance I start out with water and maybe gels but fairly quickly then start drinking coke, some water, and tend to start craving salty things like chips.

I've been targeting 1 bottle/hr on the bike. Once I get going though I get in a zone and find drinking somewhat of a distraction. The timer has helped but I still struggle to get a whole bottle down in 1 hour. I've thought about a concentrated bottle but I don't want to be so dependent on 1 or 2 bottles and I also feel it'd be harder to manage in terms of getting enough calories vs taking in too much and getting GI issues. I'm targeting 300 cals/hr on the bike so between drinking/eating and making sure I'm not riding too hard, to ride there's too much to do out there!
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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I drink every five minutes on the bike and that seems to work well for me. I could not imagine going 15 minutes on the bike before getting a drink but I am training in Arizona, so the heat requires we drink often. Also, if you do not care for Gatorade Endurance, then I would switch to something else. No sense in training with something you cannot stomach, it will hurt you in the end. Depending on when you IM is, you might have plenty of time to try a few products. I drink a bottle and a half every hour because I sweat a lot. So maybe you sweat a lot as well. A sweat test may help identify this.

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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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Gatorade can require a fair amount of blood to digest on the run, which our body simply doesn't have because it's allocating that to our arms and legs to run. I sip gatorade pretty sparingly on the run, but am pretty liberal with it on the bike. As someone mentioned Coke is your friend on the run, sipping coke and water is a nice way to keep the stomach from sloshing and keep calories and fluids coming in.

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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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Fluid and sodium needs vary widely person-by-person. If I go out for an hour run in 90 degree heat I lose 5 pounds. During an IM I drink upwards of 50 oz/hour and 1000+mg of sodium per hour. Official sweat testing is the best way to figure this out, but you also need to train your body to ingest that amount of fluid and be comfortable with it.

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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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Everyone is different, so training with it matters. Three IM’s here is what works for me. I carry 2 500 calorie bottles of carbo pro, and those last until bike aid where I get 2 more. Now it takes me ~6.5 to 7 hours so 4 bottles isn’t enough fluid. I supplement with water. If save the sugar consumption for the run
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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TXAgeGrouper wrote:
mickison wrote:
on the bike, I aim for about 1 bottle of liquid an hour. If I have a concentrated bottle mix. I sip from there and then follow up with water. But still approximately 1 bottle an hour. On the run, for full distance I start out with water and maybe gels but fairly quickly then start drinking coke, some water, and tend to start craving salty things like chips.


I've been targeting 1 bottle/hr on the bike. Once I get going though I get in a zone and find drinking somewhat of a distraction. The timer has helped but I still struggle to get a whole bottle down in 1 hour. I've thought about a concentrated bottle but I don't want to be so dependent on 1 or 2 bottles and I also feel it'd be harder to manage in terms of getting enough calories vs taking in too much and getting GI issues. I'm targeting 300 cals/hr on the bike so between drinking/eating and making sure I'm not riding too hard, to ride there's too much to do out there!

I've had the exact same struggles on the bike. I do the same thing and try to drink a little every 15 minutes. But my first IM, i had mixed bottles with I believe 300-400 calories in them. They were a mix of tailwind, carbo pro, water. I tried for a bottle per hour and as long as I was close to that I was fine. I tend to drink not nearly enough and my coach leading up to my IM was constantly pestering me about it. In my IM, I'm sure I drank more than I needed as I stopped 2-3 times on the bike. I'm in the top 1/3 (on a very good day) or top 1/2 in HIM/IM so my concern is not podium but making sure I'm not dehydrated or under fueled which either would make for a miserable run.
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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Maybe try a different hydration formula if you’re finding Gatorade not to your liking. I’ve never been able to drink 20+oz of Gatorade per hour.

I use Skratch Labs and love the taste of Strawberry especially. I found that once I found a drink mix I liked and didn’t make me feel bloated, I was able to stay on top of my hydration better.

Skratch only has 140 cal per bottle so you’ll need to eat other food/gels also.
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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TXAgeGrouper wrote:
After just about every long ride/run I'm dehydrated despite having plenty of fluids on me. I'm basing my dehydration solely on the color of my urine. Other than trying to force myself to keep drinking, does anyone else struggle with drinking enough? I'm also wondering if there's any place for drinking water in an IM or if I should stick to Gatorade/other fluids with calories/sodium/etc. I set a timer on my 920xt to remind myself to drink every 15 mins but trying to gulp down 1/4 of a Gatorade is tough.

I had this issue long time ago, when not absorbing enough electrolyte on 6h / 8h efforts. I was drinking mostly water.
In this case (not absorbing enough electrolyte to compensate the losses) the more I was drinking, the more electrolyte I was losing, and stay dehydrated, and really bad.
Absorbing the right level of electrolyte (mainly sodium), i was drinking less, and feel much better.

Got the same issue recently when training for LD tri.

Solution : I moved from Overstim (french equivalent of Gatorade - not enough electrolyte for me) to PH (dosed 1500 when hot - better for me), and feel better. Much better. While drinking less. Because the more electrolyte deficit, the more you lose water.

PH being low on carb (3%) i add gel if needed.

May be you have the same issue I had, losing too much electrolyte vs what you absorb. In this case, you can't retain water, the more you drink the more electrolyte you lose, the more dehydrated you are, ...
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [ In reply to ]
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Not directed to anyone specifically:

Has anyone actually tried slowing down enough in a race to be able to absorb nutrition and fluids as needed?
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [jaretj] [ In reply to ]
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Not sure I understand your point

For any race above one hour (race, not training) your perf is linked to your capacity to absorb adequate nutrition and fluids.
If you choose them correctly, and train your stomach and guts to absorb them in "race like" training, you don't need to slow down to absorb them. IMO.

The good point : the longer the race, the more you need to absorb, but also the slower you go, which make it simpler... in theory

Agree that the margin is sometimes thin between absorbing correctly and getting into problems.
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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Personally I like to keep my nutrition and water seperate. If you are thirsty then you just want to guzzle down pure water not Gatorade or a energy source of some sort. BTA is water only and filled at every aid station where I take down large amounts before filling the BTA. BTS or frame concentrate bottles I take a sip around every 20min washed down with water and some gels in the bento as back up if you lose a bottle, miss special needs and have to go to course nutrition. I've survived purely on aid station gels on the bike after losing a bottle early in an ironman. As for electrolytes I carry capsules so everything is separate. Some dehydration is expected on a long training session so if you're not feeling any effects I think you're overthinking things?
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [Pyrenean Wolf] [ In reply to ]
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It's difficult for me to tell if the OP doesn't drink enough because he can't or just forgets.
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [jaretj] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! I'll try a concentrated bottle on my next long ride and see how that goes. I may be overthinking it but I do get nervous when my urine looks like coke after a long ride. I can't imagine it would be good to try run a marathon in that condition.
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Re: Drink water during an IM? [TXAgeGrouper] [ In reply to ]
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That is totally individual. I like to separate my nutrition calories from my hydration even though my nutrition is liquid. I have plain water in my aero bottle and a concentrated bottle of ucan in my speedfil. I will supplement with base salts as needed. That's it for me. I tried all the gatorade formulas and they never settled with me on the bike...I also do not generally fuel with sugar. I will, however, take some gatorade on the run if I feel the need. Good luck!
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