Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 141, May 2021 May 2021 | Page 5

Nick Knows Best

Thirsti is the official water partner of the Nedbank Running Club , so we caught up with former Comrades Marathon winner and National Team Manager of the Nedbank club , Nick Bester , for a quick Q & A about the ideal way for athletes to stay hydrated during training and competition .
Q . How much water would you consume leading up to a race , as well as immediately after a race ? Is it as simple as “ drink as much as you want ” after a run ?
NB : I do the Salton diet seven days prior to the race and just eat protein and fats for four and a half days . This causes a lot of uria and acidity in the body , so I drink at least four litres per day . Then when you start carboloading two to three days prior to the race , you need to keep on drinking pure water to store the carbs and glycogen in the muscles . I would drink around two to three litres of water mixed with energy and protein powder in the three hours leading up to the start , and after the race I drank a lot of water to clear the toxins and to help the muscles recover .
Images : Courtesy Thirsti
Q . How many marathons and ultras have you run , and do know how much mileage you ’ ve done in total ?
NB : It ’ s really hard to say – probably hundreds of marathons and ultras . I ’ ve run in excess of 140,000 km in my life , but now it ’ s mostly just walking , cycling and canoeing . I estimate to have ridden around 150,000 km on my bike , and canoed 15,000km in total thus far .
Q . How many Comrades Marathons did you run , and did you complete all of them ?
NB : I finished 15 Comrades and dropped out once when my kneecap broke in half , caused by the hammering and jarring on the road . I was still lying in fifth place at halfway when I stopped . That , alongside one duathlon when I crashed with my bike , are the only times I have dropped out of a race .
Q . When you were racing , did you have a strategy as to when to drink , or did you just drink when you needed it ?
NB : I made sure I was fully rehydrated the seven days prior to the race . Then on race day I never drank any energy drinks in the first hour of the race , just water , around 400ml . Thereafter , I drank 500 to 600ml every hour , a combination of energy drink or pure water .
Q . What is the most important thing about drinking water when running , and can you give advice to runners as to how much water to consume during a run ?
NB : It depends on the speed at which you run , but I suggest that you should drink between 400 and 600ml per hour . But don ’ t overdrink !
Q . Talk about the importance of good , clean water . NB : Our bodies are like a racing car : Put the best petrol ( food and water ) into it and you will perform faster and stronger . We need the minerals that are stored in the water , and 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 .
Q . How much water do you drink on average during the day , and how do you like to drink it
NB : I drink four to five litres a day minimum , mostly at room temperature , sometimes colder . Any fruit like lemon or strawberries , or cucumber , etc ., makes it very nice !
Q . What are your thoughts on THIRSTI water ? Can you taste the difference and purity when compared to tap water , or other water products ?
NB : I can definitely taste the pureness of Thirsti water . I haven ’ t drunk tap water for the last 10 years or more . I love a healthy body , healthy living , longevity , and spending time and money to try and stay healthy and strong for many years to come . Health is everything in life !