Exercising in the summer heat will deplete the body of minerals and water quickly. That is why adequate hydration can maintain aerobic capacity, body temperature, heart rates, immunity, cognitive functions, power, and strength.
Signs of Dehydration
If you often struggle with muscle fatigue, dizziness, thirst, confusion, cramping, or dry mouth when you exercise, you may not be getting enough electrolyte and fluids. There are a lot of factors that affect sweat loss, including temperature, humidity, availability of fluids, and exercise intensity. Take all these into consideration to create a plan to stay hydrated.
- Check the color of your urine throughout the day. The lighter or clearer your urine, the better hydrated you are.
- Are you thirsty? The sensation of thirst only sets in once you are already dehydrated.
- Before you exercise, especially in the heat, drink plenty of water and eat foods that are high in water and electrolytes during the day. This can include:
Soups (if you like soups in the summer), vegetable juice, 100% vegetable juice, fruit smoothies
- Fruits and vegetables
- Salty snack-like pretzels, popcorn, pickles, jerky, and trail mix
While You Are Exercising
If you will be working out for less than 60 minutes or doing a low-intensity workout, the general recommendation is to drink 200-300 milliliters every 15 minutes.
Exercising for more than 60 minutes or for more intense activity, sports drinks may be a good option. Sports drinks can provide carbohydrates that give your body energy, as well as electrolytes to promote hydration. Drinking cold fluids can also bring down your core temperature.
It is important to rehydrate within 2 hours after exercise. This can be done by comparing your weight before exercise and your weight after. Generally, you may need about 16 ounces of water for every pound lost. Again, these are general recommendations, and this can vary between individuals.
Stay safe this summer by staying hydrated! Whether you are doing high intensity workouts or simply enjoying the outdoors on a hike or run this summer, it is especially important you make sure you are getting enough water and electrolytes.