On the ground in Austin with the Gatorade Gx Sweat Patch
The Gx Sweat Patch was developed with the hypothesis that “Every athlete is unique. Sports fuel personalization is the future.” First piloted with the Brazilian soccer team, it’s since been tested with sports teams and endurance athletes around the world. In advance of a wide release, Austin-based performance athlete, Chiara Adin Moore tells us about her own hydration challenges, and what it’s like when hydration is truly optimized on a personal level.
I’m a New York City girl who up and moved to Texas almost two years ago. I had always kept a close eye on hydration during training for marathons and triathlons, however, I had the most struggles training for my first Ironman 70.3. It was the first time I had long runs rides and runs back to back during the summer months. Working with my trainer at the time she helped me work through a plan, suggesting different electrolyte solutions, sodium options, fueling plans, and eventually I found what worked for me. I generally felt like I had marathons under control as I didn’t get depleted the same way I did during triathlons, however when I moved to Texas all that changed. The heat was a whole new challenge I had vastly underestimated. My first few runs and races were terrible, I crashed every time, felt slow and sluggish and eventually had to completely re-work my hydration plan. Salt tabs became my best friend, I never run without a camelback (over 7 miles) and I re-fill my water bottle constantly with electrolyte tabs/powder on just a regular day at the office.
I’ve had to learn a whole new way of training, the watch-out signs and what I need to do in the days leading up long runs/races to make sure I’m prepared. My husband started training with me after I moved and it’s been interesting to see how different his body relates to hydration levels. We have different thresholds and needs but the end result is the same, if we get dehydrated our performance suffers.
What is your current hydration and fueling routine?
Currently I’m training for the North Pole Marathon and I’m in the peak of long runs as it’s starting to get warmer in Texas. It’s the complete opposite of what I’ll experience at the Pole (I’ve done Antarctica so I’m comparing to that experience in -13 degree weather). The most important part of training is to remember that even in the cold you get depleted, it’s hard to drink water up there because it freezes so you are drinking hot water a lot and need to supplement with other liquids because hot water really doesn’t quench your thirst at all. Currently every Saturday before my long run (13+ miles) I start with 1 piece of cinnamon Ezekiel bread toasted with peanut butter and honey as well as 8oz. of water. For long runs in Austin I always run with a 1L camelback, as well as energy gels, blocks and salt tabs with caffeine. If the temperature is over 80 degrees I take a salt tab at the start of the run and then every 40 mins throughout the workout. I’ve found I get depleted of sodium very quickly when it’s hot. If it’s 60 degrees or under I forgo the salt tabs and only take them as needed. I generally take a few sips of water every 3 miles and eat either a gel or a few blocks every 6 -8 miles. I’ve never taken more than 3-4 gels during a marathon as I often have a hard time if I over eat or over drink. I have a very sensitive stomach so my main focus is making sure it stays calm throughout all distance trainings (biking or running). If I’m training for a triathlon (especially in Texas) I change my fueling significantly, I drink Skratch or an electrolyte mix in 2 water bottles on the bike (only on the bike) and I eat on the bike, salted boiled potatoes for a 70.3 or gels/blocks for anything shorter.
Tell us about your experience with the Gx Sweat Patch. Was it easy to use? Was it comfortable to wear?
The Gx Sweat Patch was super easy to use. The first time I used I was checking it every few minutes anxious to see what would happen, once I saw it start to fill up it was really interesting to gauge as I was physically sweating compared to the duration of my workout. I found it really simple to apply and use.
Talk to us about the results. Were you aware of how much you sweat, and your loss of fluids and sodium? Did it provide a good guide to replenish what you lost during activity?
I know I sweat A LOT, but I have to say I was most surprised that I didn’t lose fluids and sodium as fast or as much as I thought I did. It definitely did help me understand what I needed to replenish post-workout but also helped me figure out how to manage my fueling throughout based on what I was losing.
How do you feel the Gx Sweat Patch could improve your own athletic performance?
I think the Gx Sweat patch could really help me improve my performance during training as I would be able to pay more attention to my fluids and sodium during a variety of distances, over different temperatures and better under what works and what doesn’t work for my body.
How do you feel the Gx Sweat Patch will impact performance athletes as a whole?
I think the patch will really help athletes understand and track their fluids across workouts to determine when they are at their strongest, when they feel depleted and how much they need to replenish or keep hydrated throughout the workout in order to sustain.
If the Gx Sweat Patch could do more, what values or information could it deliver to improve your athletic journey?
It would be great if you could track the patch with an app or link it to your Garmin app to see the timing splits of when you reached certain thresholds. Really I would just like to be able to align the Gx patch with the timeline of my activity.