Next month more than 30 000 cyclists of varying ability and experience will take to the roads of Cape Town with the hope of registering a PB, or personal best, in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

The official cut-off time is seven hours and a fair percentage probably won’t make it back home in time.

Whether you are one of those who will be spending the better part of the day in the saddle, or several hours less, experts say you can expect to burn in the vicinity of 3 000 kilojoules every hour (depending on which study you read!) – and sweat a whole lot.

Replacing these kilojoules and fluids during training and your race can play a vital role in you performing to your potential.

We have indeed come a long way since the seventies when there was a perception that athletes should refrain from taking fluids while training.

This rapidly changed when it was discovered that a fluid loss of only 5% of an athlete’s body weight could diminish their capacity for work by up to 30%. Dehydration can also lead to heat stroke and fatigue.

The reverse is equally detrimental, as over-hydration during training can flush out sodium which prevents cramping.

Maintaining the balance between too little and too much fluid can become quite difficult, especially when factoring in additional, non-fluid, energy supplements.

Prolonged periods of exercise deplete energy reserves and necessitate a way of combining carbohydrates with hydration for optimum performance. This is easier said than done, as higher concentrations of carbs impair fluid absorption.

Studies have shown that the best carbohydrates for longer endurance events are glucose and fructose, as they absorb quickly and don’t impede the absorption of fluid.

However, with so many different energy drinks and supplements on the market today, the difficulty is in understanding which one is best suited to your needs, how much of it you should be taking and when you should be taking it.

Isostar, which was recently launched in South Africa, specialises in such energy supplements for use before, during and after sporting events, says sole distributer Niki Peel.

“Our current range of products is the result of many years of experience and targeted scientific research into the fluid and energy demands of sportsmen and women.”

Peel says the company, which was launched in Switzerland in 1977, boasts a range of products that are suited to endurance athletes of any ability.

Last year, mountain bikers using this sports nutrition won gold (Anton Cooper – junior), silver (Lukas Fluckiger – senior) and gold (Matt Fluckiger – senior) medals at the cross-country world championships.

When selecting a product, it is important to choose a brand which is based on solid scientific research, advises Peel.

“It is also important to make sure that the products are 100% free from illicit substances and that only foodstuffs are used in their production.

“Choose a brand whose products have been tested and analysed by independent laboratories and that supports the endeavours of the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

Issued by:

Full Stop Communications

Coetzee Gouws
082 575 7991
041 368 4992

On behalf of:

Cyclingnews & ASG Events