The hot humid weather in Singapore makes it challenging to keep cool while running. The body loses water in its effort to keep cool and along with it the salt as well. It is important to maintain the fluid and salt balance in the body to ensure it performs well in a race and to avoid heat illnesses.
- Plan your re-hydration during your training runs.
- For long runs, consider using sports drink to replenish salt and glucose levels.
- Experiment with different sports drinks - taste is unique to individuals.
- Weigh yourself before and after each long run - you should keep your weight loss to less than 2% of your body weight.
- Drink regularly in a race. It is easier for the body to absorb the fluid in small regular amounts.
- Do start re-hydrating early in the race, not when thirst sets in.
- Replace your water loss by 150% in the next 6 hours after a race.
Dr Jason Chia Kok Kiong
MBBS (Singapore), MSpMed (Australia), DFD (CAW)
Consultant Sports Physician
Head, Sports Medicine and Surgery Clinic
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
- Undo your efforts in training by leaving your re-hydration to chance - no matter how well trained you are, dehydration will rob you of your performance.
- Drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks during recovery as this promotes fluid loss through the kidneys.
- Experiment with re-hydration drinks during the race - settle your choice during the training runs.
- Drink too much - you should only drink enough to maintain your weight loss to 2%.
- Leave it to your thirst - camels know how much to drink instinctively, we don’t.