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Lucozade Sport hydration tips

by Editor
Friday 4th October 2013

The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon (www.royalparkshalf.com) this weekend features Lucozade Sport as the Official Sport Hydration and Nutrition Partner

Hydration for a half marathon - or indeed any endurance based event - is a key element in determing an athletes performance, and could even be the difference between finishing or not. Nutrition can be seen as complex and is often overlooked by many, but by following some solid, basic advice, you can give yourself the best chance of success on race day, allowing you to see the results that your hard training deserves.

To help with that goal, Chris McManus, Sport Scientist for Lucozade Sport, gives us his top tips for staying sufficiently hydrated whilst exercising.

Sweat it out…

Sweating is your body's way of keeping your muscles cool. But if you don't replace the liquid that is lost as sweat, your body temperature may slowly start to rise and this along with other factors, may affect your mental and physical performance.


  1. Always start your exercise in a hydrated state. You'll be in good shape if you usually drink between 2 to 2.5 litres of fluid over the course of a day – and drinking 350-500ml of fluid two hours before you exercise is good too.
  2. A great way to check your hydration is to monitor the colour of your urine. If it's dark or highly concentrated, you may already be dehydrated. Consume fluids containing the electrolyte sodium like Lucozade Sport Lite or Lucozade Sport or small amounts of a salted snack with water, to stimulate your thirst and help you to absorb the fluid in the drink more effectively.


  1. How much fluid you should drink during exercise will depend on the environmental conditions, the length and intensity of exercise, the type of exercise and your individual sweat rate. A general guide is to consume around 100-150ml every 15-20 minutes during exercise; however it is much better to individualise your fluid intake to match your needs.
  2. You can calculate your individual sweat losses by weighing yourself before and after exercise in minimal clothing and adding on any fluid you've consumed during the session. Also take note of how long you exercised for. For example, if you went for a 60 minute fast paced run and you weighed 60 kg before the run and then 58.5 kg after the run and you drank 100 ml of fluid, then your total fluid or sweat loss is approximately 1.6 kg. Hence your approximate fluid loss for this session is around 1600 ml or 400 ml every 15 min. Therefore in a similar running session you should try to consume around 350-400 ml of fluid every 15-20 min to match your losses. In order to maintain training quality and performance, you should aim to keep your fluid levels within 2 % of your body weight as dehydration of >2% may affect your mental and physical performance. .
  3. Carbohydrate is your body's preferred source of energy. However, you can only store enough to keep you going for around 60-90 minutes of continuous exercise. Aim to consume 30-60g of carbohydrate in small amounts every hour. You can do this with carb gels, energy bars or jelly sweets but most people find the easiest thing to digest whilst exercising is a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink, like Lucozade Sport which contains 32g of carbohydrate per 500ml.


  1. After exercise, you should replace the fluid and electrolytes you have lost. The main thing to bear in mind is the volume and composition of the fluid you consume.
  2. Aim to consume around 1.2-1.5 times the amount of fluid you have lost. So for every kg of body mass lost as sweat, replace up to 1.5 times that amount. For example, 1 kg weight loss equals around 1 litre of sweat loss. Therefore replace between 1.2 – 1.5 L of fluid in a ‘little and often' fashion over a 2-6 hour period post exercise. This is particularly important if you plan to undertake another exercise session within 12 hours.

Plain water is not ideal for rapid and complete rehydration. It stimulates high urine production and reduces your drive to drink. Carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks such as Lucozade Sport, contains both carbohydrate and sodium to help you to absorption the sodium and carbs within the drink more effectively.


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