Keep Your Cool: 10 Ways to Beat the Heat

To ensure you are well hydrated before an event, drink 10 to 25 ounces (250 to 750ml) of a sports drink and/or water two to three hours before the event. One hour before exercise, drink 10 to 18 ounces (250 to 500ml) of water, then do not drink again until after you visit the toilet 10 to 15 minutes before start time. Finally, consume another 8 to 10 ounces (250ml) of water, which will be absorbed as you start your effort and will never reach the bladder.

During the race, aim to consume eight to 10 ounces (200 to 250ml) of a sports drink with electrolytes every 15 to 20 minutes.

Data suggest that nearly half of a triathlete's fluid loss occurs during the run because of increased muscle activity and decreased convective air cooling, so keep well hydrated on the bike and don't ignore the water stations on the run.

5. Always Include Electrolytes

Salt is comprised of sodium and chloride, also known as electrolytes. Electrolytes help in the absorption and retention of water. As the duration of exercise extends beyond one hour, electrolyte replacement becomes increasingly important. If you notice salt on your clothing after workouts you are probably a "salty sweater" and should pay careful attention to electrolyte intake.
If you are heading into a hot race, eat saltier foods the week before the race and add additional salt to your meals. Salt pills can also be used during the race.

6. Up Your Carbs

Hot conditions tend to increase the body's need for fuel. The amount needed will vary with size of the athlete, but generally speaking you should aim for a minimum of 300 calories and 70 grams of carbs per hour. The following table offers some suggestions on calorie and carb intakes:

Activity length

Required Calories

Required Carbs

Suggested source





1 hour



(minimum of 1 bottle of water or sports drink per hour)

2 hours



1 sports drink (500ml), 1 gel

3 hours


140 g

2 sports drinks, 1 bar

4 hours



2 sports drinks, 1 bar, 2 gels

5 hours



3 sports drinks, 2 bars, 1 gel

6 hours



3 sports drinks, 3 bars, 2 gels

Please note: The above recommendations do not address fluid intake. In general, consuming about 800ml to 1 liter of fluid per hour is recommended.


 1 sports drink = 1 gel

 2 sports drinks = 1 bar

 1 bar = 2 gels

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