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Spilling The Beans on Caffeine

in BLOGS/LIFESTYLE/RECOVERY by

Hydrate, caffeinate, repeat. It’s a way of life for those with an active lifestyle. So what is it about caffeine? Can it really be that good for performance?

Who can benefit from caffeine?

Caffeine can have positive performance improvements across a range of different sports and in both males and females.

Performance improvements of ~3% have been found in the lab, however, it’s difficult to predict precisely the improvements we can expect from caffeine in ‘real life’ training and racing, as other factors such as tactics or weather conditions can influence results. It’s also important to know that individual responses to caffeine are highly varied. Some athletes may find that caffeine can have negative effects on performance while others find that caffeine offers them no benefit at all.

Why use caffeine?

It was once thought that caffeine increased the use of fat as a fuel thereby ‘sparing’ muscle glycogen. However, we now know that the most significant benefits of caffeine come from its effects on the brain. More specifically, caffeine is able to act as an adenosine receptor antagonist. By blocking the action of adenosine, caffeine influences the central nervous system. This can improve your perception of fatigue, resulting in a longer period of sustained work.

In simple terms – you can improve your ability to ‘go harder for longer’ before the effects of fatigue set in, improving your performance.

What caffeine product works best?

Coffee, cola drinks, caffeinated gels, caffeinated gum…the array of caffeine containing products available is huge. But is any one source better than another?

In general, no.

Studies have found that the beneficial effects of caffeine are seen across a variety of different products. Where it becomes tricky is that different products (and even different brands of the same product) have different amounts of caffeine. Knowing how much caffeine you are consuming is important as there can be a fine line between the amount which improves performance and the level at which negative side effects can occur.

It’s important to consider the diuretic effects of caffeine, always remember to stay hydrated with SOS Hydration 

The list below provides some examples of how much caffeine is found in a range of products – be aware though, formulations frequently change so it’s best to double check the packing to be sure.

Product Serve Caffeine per serve (mg)
Instant coffee 250ml cup 60 (range: 12-169)
Espresso Standard shot 107 (range: 25-214)
Iced coffee (commercial) 500ml bottle 30-200
Tea 250ml cup 27 (range: 9-51)
Hot chocolate 250ml cup 5-10
Coca-Cola 600ml bottle 58
Diet Coke 600ml bottle 77
Red Bull 250ml can 80

When to take caffeine?

Unlike some supplements, you often feel the benefits of caffeine soon after consumption (regardless of when levels peak in the blood). Performance improvements have been found regardless of whether the caffeine is taken one hour before an event, split in to doses over an event or taken only in the latter stages of an event when feelings of fatigue are most likely to really kick in.

The duration of the event will obviously have an impact on timing of caffeine intake. In shorter events (e.g. cycling criterium, sprint triathlon) where there is little opportunity to eat or drink during the event, having caffeine before the event is the most useful approach. On the other hand, during events lasting several hours (e.g. ironmanmarathon) having caffeine before the event and/or topping up during the event, or saving the caffeine for the final stages, is more likely to be beneficial. Individuals should practise a variety of different strategies to determine the approach that works best for them.

Regular coffee drinkers can relax – there is no need to stop having caffeine in the days leading up to an event if you want to use caffeine during an event. Withdrawing from caffeine offers no additional benefit and will more likely lead to negative effects associated with caffeine withdrawal (e.g. headaches, irritability).

SOS can be compared to an IV drip. It works just as rapidly but is safer and cheaper at combating mild to moderate dehydration. Try it here

How can I use caffeine during my training?

Here’s a quick summary of how you can use caffeine to help you go harder for longer:

  • More isn’t better. Usually ~1-3mg caffeine / kg body weight (e.g. 70-210mg caffeine for a 70kg person) improves performance. Higher intakes won’t offer an extra benefit and will more likely have negative side effects (e.g. shakiness or increased heart-rate)
  • You are unique! Individual responses to caffeine are highly varied – start small
  • Do the sums. Make sure you have a (rough) idea of how much you are consuming
  • Be flexible. Trial different amounts, types and timing of caffeine
  • Don’t sacrifice sleep. Will caffeine negatively impact your recovery?
  • Practise! Always trial during training to work out the best strategy for you

TRY SOS HYDRATION TODAY

When to take SOS by founders James & Tom

in SOS MAGAZINE/Uncategorized by

 

 

When to take SOS?

As we know hydration is vital, knowing when to take SOS will help you hydrate effectively and you compete to your potential.  Here are some tips from the two founders and runners James and Tom.

 

Those were the days ...
Those were the days …

BEFORE:

It is important to be hydrated before exercise or competition, hence it is vital to know your hydration/nutrition needs. To be reminded then check out http://sosrehydrate.com/knowing-hydration-status/

Know your sweat rate, work out conditions and hydrate accordingly. We suggest taking an SOS in a water bottle sipped about an hour before.

The great thing about SOS is that it gets absorbed super quickly meaning that it wont loiter in your stomach giving you a stitch later.

 

DURING:

During competition, depending on the intensity here are our suggestions:

 

Road, marathon and ultra runners:

Those running anything over 10km, then we suggest you pre mix some SOS in a bit of water as a concentrate to add to your drinks on route.

SOS is not suggested to be drank with gels as the excess sugar affects the absorption.  It’s ok to use as a rinse to get rid of the gloopy gel.  Keep 15 min either side of a gel for best possible absorption.  After all gels aren’t needed for events under 1hr of duration.

Have 1 SOS per few hours of running.  This will not only keep you hydrated, but will ward off leg cramps.  SOS helps absorb the water faster than water alone, then liquid wont be sloshing around your stomach, rather it will be set to work where its needed most.

 

Middle and long distance track:

The founders former events.  Those middle and long distance track runners haven’t got time and its not needed during the race but ensure you are hydrated before and especially after.

SOS 800m Track Classic
SOS 800m Track Classic 2014

Sprinters:

SOS is great between rounds. Citrate buffers lactic acid, sodium keeps you hydrated for longer, potassium and magnesium will aid muscle contraction and prevent fatigue.

 

Field eventers and jumpers:

Its hot out there in the middle of the track and you are getting dehydrated just sitting there waiting for your next round.  Take a bottle mixed with SOS to keep you hydrated throughout the competition.

 

POST:

As soon as competition has been completed then take an SOS with a water bottle.  This will replace lost electrolytes, the citrates will buffer the lactate and the magnesium will aid recovery.

SOS is based off proven medical and sports science, it provides what you need while you are running.

 

Where else are electrolyte drinks handy?

 

Flights:  Immobility, decreased air moisture are some of the factors that lead to dehydration and jetlag while flying. Drinking an SOS just before landing will hydrate you faster, aid recovery from jet lag and help you adapt to the environment quicker.

SOS flying

 

Stomach upset: Especially relevant when traveling abroad for competition. Nausea, vomit, diarrhea, bloating and stomach cramps will decrease performance. SOS’ formula activates a mechanism in your gut that absorbs water faster, hydrating you faster when you need it.

Hangovers:  You have completed your ambition, won your personal race and now its time to celebrate!  Alcohol dehydrates you and hangovers are mainly dehydration related.  Take an SOS before you end your nights celebrations to help get you back to normal.

Lifestyle survival

Is SOS Informed Sport ratified?

Yes

We are as anti drug as you are and want to ensure our athletes are safe from any banned substances creeping into our products.

SOS Rehydrate logo

What is SOS?

SOS was created by mixing James and Tom’s elite running experience with Blanca’s medical knowledge. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) standards and the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations, SOS provides the optimum amount of electrolytes with the fastest possible absorption capabilities for athletes.

www.sosrehydrate.com

Happy Running

James and Tom

 

Knowing your hydration status

in SOS MAGAZINE/Uncategorized by

Knowing your hydration status is key to performing at your peak.

The great news is that it isn’t rocket science.  SOS founder Dr Blanca gives us some top tips

SOS Rehydrate

Knowing your hydration status

There is no rule of thumb when it comes to hydration. Everybody is different and has different needs. Learn to listen to your body.

The best way to assess your hydration status is through your urine.

1 – Understand that when you are hydrated you should be urinating a similar volume to what you are drinking.

2 – Urine color: by urinating light clear urine you will know that you are properly hydrated. Dark, orange and small amount of urine reflects dehydration.

 

Are you a salty sweater?

Not everybody needs to consume the same amount of sodium. There are some signs that can help you realize how much of a sodium sweater are you:

  1. a) Muscle cramps: sodium, chloride and potassium are the main electrolytes involved in muscle contraction. When any of these electrolytes are low or when there is not enough muscle perfusion due to dehydration the muscle contractility process will be impaired.
  2. b) After drying, your clothes will have white lines on your clothes
  3. c) When getting sweat in your eyes they will burn or even your sweat will taste salty

Dehydration affects performance

Next time you need hydrating remember these easy steps and hydrate accordingly.

To learn more about the science of SOS check out our science page www.sosrehydrate.com

SOS at the USATF XC Champs

in SOS MAGAZINE/Uncategorized by

SOS Rehydrate is proud to announce the newly established partnership with the US Cross Country Championships. This year’s event will be hosted in Boulder on February 7th as the country’s premier distance runners compete for a chance to represent the USA at the 41st World Cross Country to be held in Guiyang, China on March 28th.

usa xc logo

SOS Rehydrate is a contributing sponsor to the championships and will be present throughout the day’s events at the expo with prizes and product on show in conjunction with the elite of US distance running. As effective as an IV Drip for moderate dehydration, SOS will also be on-hand at the official after party to help athletes and fans alike to “Survive the Night” and be ready to run the next day.

 

Co-Founder and former British Track representative Tom Mayo announced the partnership today: “We are absolutely delighted to be supporting the best cross country race in America. SOS was founded by runners, for runners, and Boulder is the running capital of America. Working with USA XC is just one of the steps we are taking to commit ourselves to the community of Boulder and Colorado”.

 

Based out of San Francisco and available on three continents, SOS Rehydrate is sold across Colorado throughout King Soopers Supermarkets and is the rehydration solution of choice for many of the world’s top athletes, including World and Olympic Medalists.

usa xc pic 1

Races begin at 8:15am at the Flatirons Golf Course on Saturday with the flagship Open Women and Men’s events at 12:15 and 1:00pm respectively. This year’s event boasts over $30,000 in prize money and is expected to be one of the deepest fields in recent history.

 

About SOS

 

SOS is a fast-acting electrolyte replacement drink with 75% less carbohydrates than the average sports drink and three-times the electrolytes.

 

Engineered by a doctor and two former professional athletes SOS provides a rehydration solution that is as effective as an intravenous (IV) drip for mild to moderate dehydration.

 

Utilizing the foremost medical science, SOS’s method of oral rehydration therapy and water absorption follows the standards outlined by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to keep you performing at your peak.

 

For More Information Visit: www.sosrehydrate.com

Cross Country USATF 2015 World Trials and US Champs
Cross Country USATF 2015 World Trials and US Champs

 

 

Why Runners Need Hydration

in SOS MAGAZINE/Uncategorized by

Why runners need hydration

As runners, we tend to focus predominately on our performance – how far and how fast we will run; unfortunately nutrition and hydration tend to be at the end of our priority list.

How about if we said that just by being thirsty you are already dehydrated?  How many of you have turned up for practice or even competition already thirsty?

Take that one step further, 70% of our body is water, muscles are composed of 79% water; a loss of 2% body weight from dehydration can lead to a 20% loss in athletic performance. Water is involved in every single metabolic process of our cells, without this vital fluid, the body cannot recover and work at its best.

SOS Rehydrate

Why do you need electrolytes? 

When we sweat we lose electrolytes along with water, primarily sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium. When we only drink water or high sugar-content drinks we dilute the few electrolytes left in our blood – this can potentially have severe implications in our health like hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood), cerebral edema, pulmonary edema, impaired temperature control, etc

According to Almond et. al. hyponatremia is an important cause of race-related death and life-threatening illness among marathon runners. Water shift mechanisms throughout the body depend on osmotic forces. Osmotic forces are primarily controlled by sodium. Electrolytes are also important for muscle contraction and that includes the heart.

 

Why not just water?

As mentioned before, too much water and not enough electrolytes can lead to hyponatremia, fatigue, muscle cramping, cardiac arrhythmias etc. Electrolytes maintain water in our body for longer by maintaining the body’s normal osmolarity 290. When we decrease the body’s osmolarity by drinking only water, our body will start producing more urine to try to concentrate the few electrolytes left in the blood – causing further dehydration.

 

Get that electrolyte fix
Get that electrolyte fix

I have my energy drinks, that’s all I need.

Caffeine enhances urine production – dehydrating you faster. Yes, initially you will get an energy boost from them but ultimately you will feel fatigued due to dehydration and energy depletion.

 

I use gels and sports drinks

Energy is stored in the body as glycogen, research has proven that there is no need to consume glucose supplements for a workout that will last less that 60 minutes as glycogen will be broken down into glucose in order to maintain a constant fuel source. Energy gels and sports drinks contain complex sugars that will decrease the water absorption in the gut leading to stomach cramping, bloating and even diarrhea. This will vary according to the type of physical activity, environment and athlete.

 

Is SOS informed Sport ratified?

Yes

We are as anti drug as you are and want to ensure our athletes are safe from any banned substances creeping into our products.

 

What is SOS?

SOS was created by mixing James and Tom’s elite running experience with Blanca’s medical knowledge. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) standards and the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations, SOS provides the optimum amount of electrolytes with the fastest possible absorption capabilities for athletes.

www.sosrehydrate.com

 

Good luck,

 

Dr Blanca Lizaola

SOS co-founder

Run Faster ..Reduce Sugar .. SOS Marathon Fueling

in SOS MAGAZINE/Uncategorized by

Run Faster .. Reduce Sugar .. SOS Marathon Fueling by marathon super coach Gaz @Getrunning

We recently caught up with Gaz at Getrunning who has taken hundreds of runners through their first (and subsequent) marathons to talk about his experience of using SOS during a race.

Get that SOS into you
SOS time!

Here are his top 5 tips:

 

  1. Train your body away from excess sugar. Many first time runners are very reliant on sugar as a key fuel to their normal diet, so when they first run for a long distance (60mins plus) many people crave sugar when in reality they should be able to run with less of it. You should be able to get to the 2.0 to 2.5 hour mark before you begin to seriously fuel. Our suggestion is to train the body away from using high sugar drink products. It does not feel great when you first begin to train without using sugar, but trust us, after 6 weeks or so you will notice how good you feel when you run and how moving away from excess sugar can help your running performance over time.
  1. What should I eat after 2.5-3hrs? We have seen the benefit of using prunes, bananas, oranges and dates at this time and using them every 40 mins or so. They are well digested and easy to take on board. Other fuels we have seen are sports Jubes, you can take on smaller amounts of sugar this way, but really you have to learn what fuel works for you. Don’t forget the more hydrated you are, the easier the fueling process becomes.
  1. Race preparation week? Get hydrated the week before and don’t just guzzle it the morning before. Drinking water in large volumes the day before the race wont make you run faster. We believe getting SOS into you the night before and in the week leading up until you are hydrated works very well. If you have hydrated consistently the week before, then the morning of the race you don’t need to over-hydrate – all the work has been done. Take sips of SOS for thirst but you should be fine if the week before has gone well. Nothing worse than finding the toilet on the start line!
  1. Race time? Sorry but many race courses do not provide great products for runners, too much sugar and often causing you to get back into the sugar cycle. Our athletes take SOS in a variety of ways 1) in a fuel belt diluted, 2) as a concentrate in a fuel belt and mix the concentrate with water at a station or 3) in longer races take the powder and mix on the go. Yes, it might not be the most time effective but trust me you will finish faster doing it this way – cramping may even cause you to stop and finish competing. Or if you are really lucky a race will be serving SOS on the course! Lots more races to come next year as well.
  1. Afterwards? It is all about recovery and getting hydrated. A good check is urine volume and colour and if you are smart enough to have weighed yourself before and afterwards then you will have a great gauge on how much sweat you have lost. Replace it 1:1 SOS for sweat loss.
  1. Finally good luck. If you have any questions about your experiences feel free to email us and we will talk you through your hydration plan. Email info@sosrehydrate.com. For Gaz at Getrunning see www.getrunning.co.nz.

And if your stocks are low get your SOS online now  Run Faster!!

Its all about the hydration
Its all about the hydration
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