Staying properly hydrated and fueled during training and racing is key to finishing strong. Here are some basics to keep in mind.
Before you start your workout or before the race gun goes off, start with a full tank. Make sure you have taken in adequate liquids; usually water is all you need. (Take note: your morning coffee doesn’t count! Caffeine is a diuretic and causes the excretion of liquids as urine.)
For short workouts, up to one hour. Carry water and sip occasionally, especially if conditions are hot. In milder temperatures, some athletes prefer not to carry water, but I always carry a small (8 to10 oz.) bottle. I use a belt and the bottle fits comfortably and snug in the small of my back.
For high intensity workouts, for races, and for anything over an hour, alternate water with sports drink and gels to replenish electrolytes and for calories. Depending upon your body size, consider taking in between 150 and 250 calories an hour, but not more than that. Whatever you eat and drink, ingest it in small amounts every 15 to 20 minutes. Ingesting too much at one time can lead to GI distress. This is one instance when less is better.
And one important last point, whatever you plan to eat and drink in a race, practice with it when you train. Make sure it sits well in your system. Nothing new on race day!
Train smart. Race fast.