Staying Hydrated During Sweaty Summer Workouts

HOW HOT IS IT?

As summer kicks into high gear dehydration is a key problem for athletes.  Staying properly hydrated is fundamentally important in any summer exercise regiment.

First, take time to acclimate yourself. It takes the body 10 days to 2 weeks to acclimate to steamy summer heat. So, expose yourself regularly!

Drink water! Good old H20 is critical for rehydrating when the body experiences fluid loss, such as when we sweat. To maintain good hydration during a moderate summer workout it is recommended that you drink 20 ounces of water 2 hours before exercise, at least 8 ounces before heading out into the heat, and then a gulp every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. To stay better hydrated drink fluids with food throughout the day.

If you are working out for longer than an hour or participating in a high intensity train session you will probably need to replace electrolytes, which are minerals in the blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. Electrolytes affect the amount of water in your body, the acidity of your blood, your muscle function, and other important processes. You lose electrolytes when you sweat. When you sweat a lot it is important to replenish your store of electrolytes. This can be accomplished by drinking sports drinks or electrolyte-enhanced waters. If you aren’t into sports drinks, electrolyte-enhancing tablets, coconut water, or homemade sports drinks are great alternatives. (Click on the link below for a homemade sports drink recipe.)

Pay attention to your body. If you are feeling light headed, dizzy, dry mouthed, or have a headache, you are probably dehydrated. The body is approximately ⅔ water. Losing some water throughout the day in sweat, tears, and urine is completely normal. That amount of water lost is easily replaced by sipping water or other drinks (sorry - no the alcoholic kind!)  and eating foods.

There are two quick and easy ways to tell if you are dehydrated.

1. Check the toilet. If you are taking a break during your workout check the color of your
urine to make sure you are staying hydrated. 

2. Pinch yourself. Skin’s elasticity is an easy way to test your hydration. If the skin snaps back into place, your hydration levels are looking good. If the skin takes a few seconds to return to normal, you may be dehydrated.

When planning your next sweat session be sure to plan ahead and drink enough water. By doing this you will decrease your chances of injury while at the same time fighting fatigue and prolonging performance.



Recipe for homemade sports drinks: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2013/05/16/recipe-collection-electrolyte-drink-sports-drink-replacement/#



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