Questions and answers about drinking – Nick Bester

Q – How many Comrades Marathon’s did you run?
I ran 15 Comrades Marathons and dropped out once when my kneecap broke in half caused by the hammering and jarring on the road.  I was still lying in 5th place at halfway when I stopped. This alongside 1 other duathlon when I crashed with my bike are the only times I have dropped out a race.

Nick Bester National Manager and Head Coach – Nedbank Running Club

Q – How many marathons and ultras do you estimate to have run in your life?
It’s really hard to say – probably hundreds. I’ve run in excess of 140 000 kilometres. Now it’s mostly just walking, cycling and canoeing. I estimate to have ridden around 150 000 kilometres on my bike and canoed 15 000 kilometres in total thus far.

Q – How much water would you typically drink in a marathon?
I would recommend around 500ml every hour. Prior to a run I would have three litres mixed with energy and protein powder and then another three litres after the run.

Q – What is the most important thing about drinking water when running?
Don’t over drink: It depends too on the speed at which you run but I suggest that you should drink between 400 – 600 ml per hour.

Q – When you were in competition – did you have a strategy as to when to drink or did you just drink when you needed it?
Make sure you fully rehydrated seven days prior to the race. On race day drink around two to three litres during the three hours before the start. Don’t drink any energy drinks the first hour of the race-just water-around 400 ml. Thereafter 500-600 ml every hour – a combination of energy drink and pure water.

– What is the importance of good, clean water.
Our bodies are like a machine or a racing car. Put the best petrol (food and water) into it and you will perform better – faster and stronger. We need the minerals that’s stored in the water. Water also flushes the body of toxins and rids the body of all the junk we are eating as well as pills and medicine we are taking.

– How much water would you consume leading up to a race, and immediately after a race?
I do the Salton diet seven days prior the race and just eat protein and fats for four and a half days. This causes a lot of urea and acidity in the body. Drink at least four litres per day. Then when you start carbo-loading for two-and-a-half days before the race you need to keep on drinking pure water to store the carbs and glycogen in the muscles. After the race drink a lot of water to clear the toxins and to help recover the muscles.

Q – How much water do you drink on average during the day?
Four to five litres a day minimum.

– How do you like to drink your water?
Hot / cold / with lemon / first thing in the morning. Mostly water at room temperature, sometimes colder. Any fruit like lemon or strawberries and cucumber makes it very nice!