2 Weeks to Go!

Nutrition Tips Series
Developed by Lisa Lovejoy, Sports & Wellness Dietitian

If you’ve ever experienced a muscle cramp while running, you would probably like to avoid another one!  Many factors contribute to potential muscle cramping, including overexertion, inadequate conditioning, and quite commonly, dehydration.  Refer back to “Eight weeks to go” for a refresher on hydration guidelines.  Maintaining adequate hydration before, during, and after workouts is essential and limiting your intake of dehydrating beverages like alcohol and caffeinated beverages is advisable, especially as race day draws near.  To accurately monitor your hydration status, keep an eye on your urine output, aiming for copious amounts of clear or pale yellow urine.

Electrolyte balance (especially sodium and potassium) can also influence cramping.  Dehydration makes any imbalance more significant, so be sure to “drink up”!  Most Americans consume more than enough sodium in their daily diet – be sure to balance that with adequate potassium, by regularly consuming potassium rich foods like fruits and vegetables.  Electrolyte supplements are usually only needed for athletes who train in very hot conditions or for more than 3-4 hours.  Most of us running Sound to Narrows on the second Saturday of June in the Pacific Northwest probably don’t fall into that category!