What to Eat Before an Endurance Race

So you’ve decided to tackle an endurance race—maybe a marathon or half marathon, maybe a triathlon, century ride, all-day hike, or some other multi-hour effort. Of the many tough decisions you’ll make that day, one of the first is: What should you eat for breakfast?

There’s only one right answer, in a sense, and that is: Whatever you practiced during your training. Race day is not the time to try anything new, because you’ll be living with the consequences for several (possibly agonizing) hours. Still, you have to start somewhere, so here are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind to prepare the best breakfasts.

Source: What to Eat Before an Endurance Race

Here are the rules that can’t be stressed enough:

  1. NO SURPRISES ON RACE DAY.  That includes finding out what type of gels or drinks they might be handing out. Find out in advance, try out in advance.
  2. It’s very personal.  Some like gels, some do not.  Vice versa.  There’s no wrong answer, just what works for you.

For me, gels take a while to kick in.  And it really depends on what what I’ve eaten and how soon.  Which is great – knowing that, I can take one before getting in the water so it hits when I’m on the bike.  But I was finding myself quite parched when I got to running – and it’s been hard to drink water while on the run.

Your mileage may vary 😉

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Why We Get Hangovers When We Drink Alcohol

It’s definitely a bad idea if you take more than the recommended dosage of paracetamol (with or without alcohol). As far as I know, the research on whether it and alcohol together cause liver damage is really muddy, mostly because there’s not enough data looking at timing of alcohol intake with taking paracetamol and their relation to toxicity; and paracetamol’s effects with acute and chronic alcohol consumption (research looks a lot at alcoholics) may be different.

If you overdose on the paracetamol and overdo it regularly on the alcohol, I believe that is another discussion.

Pedialyte May Help Your Hangover, But It Won’t “Cure” It

It was the early morning hours of July 5, and after a day of drinking and greasy food, Patricia Ochoa was sufficiently hungover. She had all of the classic symptoms: dry mouth, headache, exhaustion, and an upset stomach. Then, her brother appeared at her bedroom door like the hangover tooth fairy with a bottle of grape Pedialyte. She tore off the “kid-approved taste” sticker on the cap and started gulping it down.

Yes, Ochoa was using an over-the-counter remedy intended for dehydrated children (think: bad bouts of diarrhea) as a hangover cure. And the crazy thing is it worked. After drinking half the bottle, her headache and nausea disappeared.

Source: Is Pedialyte Truly the Miracle Hangover Cure People Say It Is?

Kids these days just don’t take enough responsibility for dragging themselves to the store and buying their own medications when they’re sick! When I was their age, I crawled to the grocery store! Uphill! In the snow!

Adults “make up a third of the market” or “are a third of the buyers” or constitute “a third of the sales”. So, perhaps the youth of today really are spending their allowance on their own diarrhea treatment? 😉

You Can Train Your Body Into Thinking It’s Had Medicine

The results were part of a well-known and seemingly mundane phenomenon that has been driving a quiet revolution in immunology. Its proponents hope that by cutting drug doses, it will not only minimise harmful side-effects but also slash billions from healthcare costs, transforming treatment for conditions such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. The secret? Teaching your body how to respond to a particular medicine, so that in future it can trigger the same change on its own.

Source: You can train your body into thinking it’s had medicine

This is at least a second cup kind of article, so I’ll be back because I’m curious if the effect is transferable.

Clinically, placebos been at least 50% as effective as real drugs.  But this is more than just a mere placebo effect. It’s a true form of conditioning the body’s response.  It creates a trigger based on sensations and memory whether the patient knows what they are taking is the real medicine or not. Placebos mimic medicine from the beginning and works more effectively if the patient is fooled into thinking it works. No deception is required here.

What to Do If You Think You Have a Sports-Related Concussion

Concussions aren’t just for NFL players. They can happen while playing in a weekend sports league or even from an unlucky slip and fall. If you know how to spot a concussion and where to find good treatment, you can avoid the risk of further injury.

Source: What to Do If You Think You Have a Sports-Related Concussion

I’d check the recovery plan with a actual medical professionals.  There’s a big risk that sleeping or loosing consciousness can lead to death from a concussion, so it’s best to be monitored by someone for the first 24 hours or so.

I remember first seeing the signs of a concussion in a high school rugby player.  They kept repeating the same questions, over and over, while still participating in the game.  Only the coach seemed to know what was going on, called the player off and as I understand – the guy never played rugby ever again.  I don’t know that the referee knew what was happening.

You Really Shouldn’t Snack on Urinal Cakes

Is this really a thing?

Rarely seen by women, this little tablet is a part of many men’s daily lives. What the hell is in a urinal cake, why does it work, and could it possibly be used to make a deadly poison?

Source: You Really Shouldn’t Snack on Urinal Cakes

Guys, women’s rooms do not have urinals.  They have skirts, so it’s just a drain and little indentations in the concrete for where to place your high heels.

How to Get Used to Exercising in the Heat (and Why You Should)

Nobody likes to feel sluggish and sweaty, so when the sun is set to “broil” we understand that you’d rather take your workout to an air-conditioned gym. But if you tough it out in the heat, not only will the workouts get easier, you’ll also have better endurance when the mercury drops again.

Source: How to Get Used to Exercising in the Heat (and Why You Should)

Caution is the best way to approach a hot workout. If I’m going for a long stint in the hot sun, and it’s approaching 90 F/32 C, I include water stops every 30 to 40 minutes. I take 2 bottles of water, one bottle with some kind of mix including lot of salt. I’ve come across more heat exhausted people on the road than I care to mention. PLEASE, PLEASE take every precaution possible when its hot out!

This Fungus Was A Medieval Mass Murderer

St Anthony’s Fire was one of the things that made the Middle Ages a horrible time in which to live. People would feel a pricking sensation in their arms or legs. This would turn to burning pain, and the arm would swell and redden before turning gangrenous and dropping off. You were lucky if the limb simply died without taking you with it.

Source: This Fungus Was A Medieval Mass Murderer

Fun fact! Ergotamine, a chemical derivative of the ergot fungus on rye, is the major precursor for LSD.

Eating The Wrong Shellfish Could Give You Temporary Amnesia

Believe it or not, there is such a thing known as “amnesic shellfish poisoning”. Eating the wrong piece of shellfish — or occasionally just the wrong anchovy — can make you lose your memory.

Source: Eating The Wrong Shellfish Could Give You Temporary Amnesia

I love anchovies, and I can’t remember a time this has happened to me!

Wait…

Here’s What Really Happens When You Force-Feed Someone

The American Medical Association and the Red Cross both condemn force-feeding as a form of torture. And yet, the U.S. government and the United Nations have both force-fed hunger-striking prisoners. The real problem? Most people probably don’t realize how complicated force-feeding is, and how much can go wrong.

Source: Here’s What Really Happens When You Force-Feed Someone

The article doesn’t cover ethics, just the physical aspects that get dealt with.  Still, there’s a reason major medical organizations condemn the practice.