Refueling During Exercise
Depending on the duration, level of intensity and rate of sweat loss, an athlete may need to refuel and/or rehydrate during exercise. For high-intensity exercise lasting more than 45 minutes, it is recommended that athletes refuel with a source of easily digested carbohydrate-rich food like a banana or a sports bar and rehydrate with water and/or a sports drink. The type of fuel and fluid will depend in part on the athlete’s sweat rate. For instance, athletes with a spinal cord injury (SCI) may not sweat depending on their level and completeness of injury and thus will not need to refuel with food or fluid that contains high amounts of sodium or other electrolytes. They will also not need as much water to rehydrate as compared to an athlete with a high sweat rate.