The hot summer months are here and many of you are enjoying the ability to exercise out. But with the heat and humidity comes an increased risk for dehydration, which can potentially lead to serious side effects. Here are a few tips to ensure you stay hydrated:
Before Exercise: Consume generous amounts of fluid in the 24 hour pre-exercise period. Approximately 2 to 3 hours before training, drink about 2 to 3 cups of additional fluid.
During Exercise: Drink about 8 ounces of fluids every fifteen minutes regardless of thirst as the throat sensors are inhibited during exercise. Cool beverages are preferable as they help to increase absorption rate. For exercise lasting longer than one hour, sodium should be included in the drink to replace that which is lost through sweating. A small percentage of glucose (about 4 to 8%, as found in many sports drinks) can also be beneficial to maintain energy and increase the palatability of the fluid. Attempts should be made to conduct training when it is cooler (i.e. early in the morning, later in the evening) so that ambient temperature does not exceed body temperature.
After Exercise: Consume up to 150% of the weight lost during training. Fluids should contain some sodium to reduce dieresis and maintaining plasma osmolality, with the amount of sodium included dependent on sweat rate (i.e. higher sweat rates require greater sodium content of fluid).