Couch to 5K
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Isotonic drinks, yes or no?

I'm starting to find I'm waivering (even more than usual) in the last few mins of my runs, no doubt because of the current heat as much as general exhaustion. Is it worth taking an isotonic drink with me, or are they just a gimmick? I'm finding I can't sip my water now as it makes me feel a bit queasy. I'm also getting a blocked ear & wondered if that's not helping with my slight nausea?!

Am I just a bit weird in all this lol?

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I wouldn't have thought you are doing enough to benefit from isotonic/Electrolyte drinks - water is probably the best thing you can have.

You probably ought to get your blocked ears checked out though as this will cause balance issues and the nausea you are experiencing.

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I don't think they are necessarily gimmicky and may benefit you if you have run something like a HM. But for the distance s you are doing then water should suffice as SC1472 says. Not just during the runs. You would do better to increase your general water intake daily.

I don't take water on my runs at all, but make sure I keep well-hydrated at all times, rather than boom and bust around running times

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Thank you. Yes I've found I'm better off not taking water with me since doing the constant runs. I do drink quite well anyway I think - more than most people I know weirdly. I'll make doubly sure to keep well hydrated before & after runs though.

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Thanks, yes I will get to the docs as soon as I can as I have a list now of non-urgent niggles lol.

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A resounding no from me. Isotonic drinks are designed for athletes to replace electrolytes and water lost during exercise through sweating. That usually kicks in after around 90 minutes of competition level activity. 30 minutes of jogging, even in this heat is not going to warrant it. The sugar in the drink will be stored as fat. You don't need sodium until about 4 hours in. The electrolytes will be more likely to give you a tummy upset.

Make sure you are hydrated before you run. Drink 4 litres of water the day before. When you have finished running drink more water. The swigging as you go, on a 30 minute run is for psychological benefit not physical.

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Thanks Rignold, yes I'm making sure to keep drinking all the time but will start to measure it a bit to check it's enough.

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My son, who used to be a serious club cyclist, put me onto very diluted apple juice, about 6 water to 1juice, with a pinch of salt added. I use this for longer runs, 10k +, which is the only time I carry fluids with me.

I am sure isotonic drinks have special ingredients, but this tightwad would not pay out for them. Some people even buy bottled water......

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don't start me on bottled water!

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No choice here, but part of my weekly exercise is buying 2 x 10 litre bottles of water and carrying them from the shop across the road and up 2 storeys to my house. Nice little work out (carrying 20kg) and it gets the blood pumping. And at $1 (US) for 10 litres, it's affordable for almost anyone. And for the last year or so they've been recycling the bottles.

But I agree. Tap water all the time in the UK.

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true, some countries absolutely no choice. I like how you see the shop as a work out :)

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I have pathetic upper body strength so should probably do some lifting of the bottles up onto worktops and the like for some deliberate exercise, but....

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Ah well, my upper body is the good bit - swimming does that.

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I personally have issues with low blood sugar, so on longer runs (10k+) will take diluted sports drink or a diluted version of WHO's oral rehydration recipe ( ingredients- sugar and salt). I also am very sensitive to the heat, so if temperatures are high I'll bring some along even on short runs to avoid blacking out.

Heatat affects many people very strongly, and it seems to hit very quickly. It's standard safety equipment for me when I do fieldwork - I've seen too many people need medical attention when they've been relying on just water if temperatures are very high and people are doing even minimal activity.

If you do try it, dilute it. It's far too strong as it is.

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Interesting post...thank you I have what my GP and practice nurse refer to as 'normal' low blood pressure.. especially for my advanced age...I wonder if that is why I had a weird episode last evening? Had not been running, plenty of water... but was walking and cycling... ? Hmmm..need to check this out! Thanks!

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With low blood pressure (which is normal if you have it most of the time and with no symptoms) you will be prone to syncope (faints). The vasodilation (dilatation of the blood vessels) which occurs to aid heat loss from the body (and gives that nice beetroot look) will lower blood pressure a little. So if yours is low anyway, it can just push you over the edge so to speak. Fainting is a normal body response for blood not reaching the brain. Low pressure means the blood cant be pushed "uphill" and so the person faints, falls over, the head is then not uphill and the blood can get it again:)

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Thanks... I knew most of that..(my old GP was brilliant.)..I have only ever once fainted.. ( I was however, eight and a half months pregnant). I think yesterday I should have given a bit more thought to the humidity and heat.Phew!

Thanks you x

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Yes baby stealing your blood supply does it too lol

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It was a loooooong time ago :)

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Let me know if it helps or not OF. When we're in the field it isn't overly onerous. Slow hiking and standing around. But it still can get to you. I find on those days if I drink just water I'm hitting the bushes for a bathroom break every half hour, but with some 'enhanced' fluids I can actually retain it and feel loads better. After one particularly bad experience in Utah where some of my colleagues went to the hospital for IV fluids, everyone drank the dilute sports drink the rest of the week.

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Thank you. I really could not understand why I had the sort of a funny do the other evening. But what you are saying makes sense.

The first time I was told I had the low BP, was in summer and I had a sort of blackout...:)

I didn't and don't take added salt or sugar in or on anything... except.. when I was in France last year and the temps were in the 40s , I craved, really craved and ate, fresh tomatoes with salt on... something I would never ordinarily do:)

Apparently the salt bit, (after some tests at the hospital etc) was really contributing to things...I am going to have a look at some of the things you mention ... thanks again :)

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That's useful to know, thanks. I've been tested in the past for glucose issues/diabetes but the bloodwork has always been ok. And I have had low blood pressure at times but again, within acceptable parameters. One of the things I'm booking in to see my doc about is anaemia testing, as one of my niggles is that I am always covered in bruises & my oncology nurse suggested it may be anaemia last week. The joys eh?

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Water.... cool, clear, water :)

Hydrate well... all the time , not just on run days...I drink a lot of water, every day, but... have upped my water intake currently..check your pee colour too.. Realfoodieclub did a post on this.

Some interesting info here...

womensrunninguk.co.uk/nutri...

We are all very different, and obviously have different issues... and although I never usually take water for 5K, currently I have been doing, to pour over my wrists and the back of my neck and have a refreshing slurp :)

Blocked ear can make you really giddy ...

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I have used isotonic drinks but more for a hangover! (then I tend to go for dioralyte).

An inner ear infection will definitely make you wobbly (usually a spinning feeling - vertigo) and nauseous but it is not usually associated with a blocked feeling (that is outer or middle ear). Still it is worth having it looked at, as some middle ear infections have associated dizziness and any infection can make you feel sick.

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Thanks both. The thing with my ear just seems to be exercise related - I remember getting it years ago on treadmills. Weirdly I've only started getting it again this last week or so - prior to that it was my nose that seemed to block when I was running! It's the kind of blocked you get with altitude that you have to yawn or blow out. Will add it to my doc appointment list though lol.

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So it's a change in pressure. Not come across that before. Be interesting to know what your doctor thinks of it though.

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Just Googled it & the consensus seems to be that it's 'exercise induced eustachian tube dysfunction'. Not uncommon apparently. There are a few variants of this floating around on the wibbly wobbly web so I'll still check with my doc.

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Water water water. Nothing is better and not just when running. Anything fizzy will dehydrate you further and you will become more tired and if dehydrated you will also feel hungry. Drink plenty throughout the day. If nothing else you will get your steps in going to the toilet lol.

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