Getting started with Hammer Nutrition
1. Keep fluid intake during exercise between 450-830ml per hour.
FACT: In general, most athletes, under most conditions, will satisfy hydration needs with a fluid intake in the range of 600-750ml per hour - roughly the equivalent of a standard size small or large water bottle. Lighter athletes and/or athletes exercising in cool weather conditions may only require an intake of 450-530ml per hour. Larger athletes and/or athletes exercising under very hot and humid conditions are the ones that can consider a fluid intake in the range of 830ml per hour, perhaps up to 880ml per hour in extreme conditions. It's important to remember that regular fluid intake over 880ml-1litre hourly significantly increases the potential for serious performance and health problems.
2. Restrict caloric intake to 120-180 cal/hr during exercise.
FACT: Your body can't process caloric intake anywhere near your expenditure rate. If you want to achieve your best performance, DO NOT follow the "calories out, calories in" protocol that some "experts" recommend. Instead, replenish calories in "body cooperative" amounts, allowing your fat stores to make up the difference, which they will easily do. For most athletes, 140-160 calories/hour will do the job. For lighter athletes, 120-140 calories/hour may be perfectly adequate, while larger athletes (86kg+) can consider hourly intakes of 140 to slightly over 180 calories/hour.
3. Avoid simple sugars in your fuels; use complex carbohydrates only. For workouts or races in the 2- to 3-hour or longer range, 10-15% of the calorie content in your fuel should come in the form of protein, ideally soy protein. This protein donation helps satisfy energy requirements more completely while also helping prevent muscle tissue catabolism.
FACT: Simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.) are inefficient fuels for exercise, and they're health hazards when consumed regularly in typical dietary quantities. These "ose" sugars give you energy peaks and crashes, and they also have a severe limitation on absorption. They need to be mixed in weak concentrations for efficient digestion, which means you can only intake about 100 cal/hr. You can consume more, but you can't absorb more. You'll only get sick trying. Complex carbohydrates, however, absorb at about three times the rate as simple sugars. Plus you get smooth, steady, reliable energy - no peaks and valleys.
4. Supplemental electrolytes in a balanced formula (not just salt!) should be taken in amounts appropriate to the heat, humidity and personal metabolic characteristics of the athlete.
FACT: Sodium chloride (salt) is indeed an important component of electrolyte replenishment but it does not fulfill the entire requirements. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium should be replenished as well as all these minerals play key roles in the maintenance of many important body functions. Additionally, body weight, fitness level, weather conditions, acclimatization level, and biological predisposition all greatly affect electrolyte depletion and the need for replenishment, which is why a "one-size fits all" bottled drink or drink mix usually won't work. Electrolyte depletion is widely variable. That being said, 1 capsule of Endurolytes Extreme hourly is recommended. In extreme hot-weather workouts or races, 2/3 Endurolytes Extreme per hour may be necessary.
5. Replenish your body with carbohydrates and protein as soon as possible after each exercise session, ideally within the first 30-60 minutes.
FACT: Equally important as your workout (muscle exhaustion and nutrient depletion) is what you do immediately following your workout (muscle repair and nutrient replenishment). If you neglect to "refill the tank" as soon as possible after your training sessions you'll never get the full value out of all the work you just put in. Give your body what it needs immediately after exercise, when it's most receptive to replenishment, and it will respond wonderfully-recovering faster, efficiently adapting to physical stress, and "learning" how to store more and more readily available fuel in the muscles.