We’ve all heard that the three most important words in real estate are location, location, location. As athletes, when it comes to training and racing, there are also what I consider to be three of the most important words to remember – hydration, hydration, hydration.
Proper hydration is essential for anyone who exercises, but especially for endurance athletes such as runners and triathletes. As temperatures and humidity rise, proper hydration becomes even more essential in order to avoid heat related illness and injury.
In this episode we discuss tips and advice for staying properly hydrated and preparing the body for training/racing in hot and humid conditions. We’ll discuss:
Knowing your hydration status
How to check your hydration status
Never use thirst as a guage for dehydration.
Signs of dehydration
Cramps, muscle fatigue, weakness, extreme thirst, headache, nausea
Importance of Electrolytes
Water serves multiple functions – water regulates body temperature, aids digestion, protects vital organs, cushions joints, facilitates cellular communication, transports nutrients to the cells, and removes waste, including lactic acid (the primary cause of exercise-related muscle soreness).Exercise Increases Water Loss
In one hour of exercise, the body can lose a quart or more of water, depending on the air temperature and exercise intensity. Thus, proper hydration before, during, and after exercise is critical for performance as well as health safety.
In addition to water loss, important electrolytes, electrically charged minerals in the body such as sodium, potassium and chloride, can be flushed out of the body through sweating during exercise.
Sports drinks are designed to replace electrolytes in the body and they do have their place in high-intensity or endurance exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes.
In addition, people who sweat profusely or who exercise in hot weather should consider some type of re-hydration drink that will replenish electrolytes.
Tips for Sports Hydration
In order to prevent dehydration, anyone who exercises (especially athletes) should drink water before, during, and after the workout.
The following tips can help ensure your body has the hydration it requires for optimum exercise performance and recovery. These are general guidelines and may need to be increased for high-intensity or endurance activities or races.
If you are a serious athlete, you may want to weigh yourself before and after workouts to keep track of your fluid losses. Doing so will help you develop an individual hydration schedule.
- Drink at 16 ounces of water about two to three hours before exercising.
- Drink 8 ounces of water about 30 minutes before exercising.
- Drink 8 ounces of water every 15 to 30 minutes during exercise
- If exercising longer than 60 minutes, drink about 12 ounces of a sports drink that contains a mixture of carbohydrates every 20 to 30 minutes.
- Drink 8 to 16 ounces of water 30 minutes after exercise.
- If you weighed yourself before exercise, weigh yourself again and drink 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost.
Throughout the Day
- Drink at least one-half to three-fourths of your body weight in ounces of clean water throughout the entire day.
- Drink an additional 8 ounces of water for every cup of soda, coffee, tea, or alcohol consumed. These beverages are acidic and contribute to additional water loss in the body.
- The body can only utilize about 12-16 ounces of water at one time. Thus, when rehydrating, drink 16 ounces of water every 30 to 60 minutes.
- Drink water BEFORE you get thirsty. When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Thus, drink water regularly throughout the day.
- In preparation for a sports performance, the time to really focus on proper hydration is the three days prior to the event.
At Rockit Sports, we want to provide you with the tools to meet your hydration needs. Please check our line of hydration products from FUEL BELT, the leader in hydration products for athletes. Please go to http://rockitsportsonline.com/collections/vendors?q=Fuel%20Belt. Rockit Sports and Fuel Belt – keeping you hydrated.
Training in the Heat:
Failing to plan and prepare for exercise in the heat can be detrimental to your health and performance and may even result in heat related illness, which an be serious and even life threatening. There are three primary heat illnesses:
Tips for training in the heat:
Choose your exercise time wisely
Choose your route wisely (see shady routes)
Wear loose, moisture wicking materials
Replenish Electrolytes during longer workouts
Cool yourself (ice packs, cold towels, cold water, etc)
Use sunblock and a hat/visor
Rehydrate and re-fuel
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Links and Resources mentioned in this episode: