Staying Hydrated in the Heat

Summer training is in full swing now. As temperatures are rising outside and even in the gym, make sure you are staying hydrated. After all, our bodies are made up of 80% water.

 

Before you begin any sort of practice or training, make sure you are properly hydrated.  Check the color of your urine (it should be either clear or a very pale yellow).  Constant snacking and sugar cravings may be a sign that your body is dehydrated.  Here a few helpful tips to keep in mind as summer training picks up:

 

1. Make sure to drink 17-20 ounces of water 2-3 hours before practice begins. Every 20 minutes try to consume 7-10 ounces.

 

2. Research published in 2010 in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise tells us that lowering core temperatures before and after exercise actually helps athletes perform better.  Try freezing drinks such as Gatorade or other flavored sports drinks to lower internal temperatures and improve performance.

 

3. People who sweat more, generally require more fluids.  However, a lack of sweat can be an indicator of dehydration and puts one at risk for heat exhaustion.

 

4. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and energy drinks. Caffeinated beverages act as a diuretic and can cause further dehydration. Energy drinks can also be counterproductive to maintaining fluid balance, affecting blood pressure. Make sure either water or a sports drink (low in sugar) are consumed during training.

 

5. For each pound you lose during exercise, you will need to replenish with 1 pint of water after exercise.

 

6. Drink water BEFORE you exercise, especially outdoors.  Doing so keeps you from playing catch up during training.

 

Lisa Eichelberger

NASM Personal Trainer

 


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