Watering down

After last night’s edition of Britain’s Fat Fight I realised the danger sugar in drinks poses. It is very hard to know how dangerous those appetizing bottles of liquid are unless you find that a mass publication finally notifies the population of the facts and that only happens once things have become desperate.

Kids just love endless soft drinks in restaurants. Fruit juice and smoothies, presented as healthy options are full of sugar.

I learned that apparently a 150ml serving of fruit juice is recommended by government health officials.

Why is it then that producers can fill shelves with rows of bottles of smoothies, juices and sell soft drinks in bottles and restaurants in abundance but why is it that it is much more difficult for the consumer to be educated about the effects of consumption than buying those items.

I am now cutting down on fruit juices bought in bottles. If I serve it, I water it down by at least 1/3. I’ve already stopped baking those sugary muffins because if I add up all the sugar consumed by just drinking juice, having smoothies and eating muffins, than also eating desserts after school dinners or having chocolate milk after training, I end up serving a huge amount of sugar per day.

water in a bottle at Swimathon

Volunteered at the Swimathon this weekend and to my amazement some swimmers did 200 length of the 25m pool, that makes 5000 meters or 5km and had not a drop of water with them, no snacks or any type of refreshment.

As a parent, I would not be able to swim 5000 m without any water drink.

Apparently competitions have as longest distance 1500 m or 1.5 k, that is at most 60 length in a 25m pool. I think that swimmers already get very hot when competing at a 1500 meter race and often the pool water is kept at a lower temperature to accommodate that extra body heat.

I understand that Swimathon long-distance swimmers do not swim at their highest speed for 200 length of the pool but the strain on the body is severe I imagine.

Swimmers to perspire just as runners do and we would not put on running events without the supply of water to the runners, at least not any more.

Yes you can say that it is the responsibility of the swimmer to bring their own supplies, but people do forget. They find themselves having started the event and suddenly get thirsty. I don’t think it is much to ask an organiser to make some water available or emphasis to swimmers that they need to bring at least a bottle that can be filled up at a water fountain. And if all that fails have some spare bottles available.

At youth events, e.g. the London Youth Games, organisers give one free plastic bottle and water tanks to fill up those bottles to all participants.

I do think that organisers have a duty of care, even if the participants are adults.

drink water

EPSON MFP image
NIke fun run 1989

As a parent I ran my first and only Marathon (10k) in 1989. I ran in the NIKE ‘woman’s own’ event fun run at Hyde Park, I came 282 out of 487. I trained every day, preparing myself by jogging around Victoria Park. My youngest and fifth child was just under 1-year-old.

On the day of the event, there was not one water station at the run. That was normal at the time. I didn’t prepare myself either by bringing any water. About 2/3 through the race, I gotten rather tired. I think that was the last public running event held without water provision.

By now a big industry has sprung up by producing all kinds of water supplies that help counter the dehydration.

imageI suppose that swimmers produce as much perspiration as marathon runners do. Yet whilst in the water, you cannot see or feel the sweat.

I spoken to some young swimmers and they said that because they feel water in their mouth all the time, their brain might be tricked into believing that they drink water, whilst in fact they do not. Some youngsters just don’t feel thirsty, perhaps again the mind is tricked into thinking that because of all the water around them, they do not need to drink it.

However losing all that body moisture that must fatigue a swimmer. But on the other hand because the body is in water, perhaps the water helps to moisturise. I have not found any study around that.

Perhaps it helps swimmers if they are reminded just to drink more water if they feel fatigued and just think they cannot do another lap. Encourage swimmers to drink lots of water before a training session and also have sips during the session and drink again a considerable amount after the session, I think they feel less tired and worn out doing this.