This summer, follow these hydration tips to stay safe and perform at your best! Whether you’re doing high-intensity training or simply enjoying the outdoors on a hike or run, it’s critical to stay hydrated, even more so during the summer months when the temperature rises.
Water is necessary for life to exist. It is second only to oxygen in terms of relevance to health, accounting for up to 75% of the body. While water does not contain calories, it is just as critical to athletic performance as food and is necessary for efficient training, playing, and racing.
Proper hydration not only quenches thirst, but also allows the body to flush toxins, maintain system equilibrium (balance), support brain function, hormone balance, metabolic processes (including fat metabolism), transport of vital vitamins and minerals, and maintain the integrity of muscle, joint, and bone in our bodies.
While the human body can survive for up to six weeks without food in extreme instances, it can only survive for one week without water. As a general guideline, the average individual should consume at least eight 8-ounce cups of water every day (2 liters a day). The more time spent outdoors and the more activity you engage in, the more water you will require to replenish lost fluids. It is especially critical to replenish fluids when exercising in hot and humid weather conditions since your body tends to sweat more.
Suggestions for Adequate Hydration:
Each day, begin and end with a 250 ml serving of water. While you sleep, your body loses water, so drink a serving before bed and another when you awaken.
Consume liquids before being thirsty. By the time you experience thirst, you have likely lost two or more cups of your total body water composition. Throughout the day, drink lots of water. Daily, carry a bottle of water with you. Maintain a bottle of water on your desk and periodically refill at the office water cooler.
Substitute non-alcoholic beverages for alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is a diuretic and will lead you to urinate more frequently.
It’s critical to remember that, while coffee and tea are diuretics, they also include a large amount of fluid, and any effect of caffeine on urine loss is minimal (especially for habitual caffeine users).
Continue to drink water even when the weather is cold. While you may not feel as thirsty as you do in the heat, you will still lose water through perspiration. Additionally, you lose fluids via exhaled air. When a person inhales cold, dry air, it is warmed and moistened in the lungs before being expelled as humid warm air. This procedure places a significant strain on the body’s water supply.
Sweat rates might range from 0.5L/hour to more than 2.5L/hour on average. Knowing your sweat rate enables you to prepare more effectively for training and competition. Determine your sweat rate. Calculating your sweat output is critical for adequate hydration.
Hydration Prior to Physical Activity
All workouts should begin with adequate hydration. 1–3 hours before exercise, consume 450–650 mL of water or sports drink. Consuming an additional 200-300 ml ten to twenty minutes ahead of the exercise session is also recommended.
Hydration During Physical Activity
Every 15-20 minutes, consume 200-350 mL. Take regular sips throughout your sporting activity, if possible. Consider utilizing a sports drink as part of your hydration strategy during longer training sessions (especially in hot conditions) (prior to, during and following activity). Most sports drinks contain enough sodium and potassium to help you maintain an adequate electrolyte balance.
Hydration After Physical Activity
Consume 500-1000ml of water within one hour of exercise. Even if you do not feel thirsty, you should attempt to ‘push’ fluid consumption. Given that you’re going to lose some fluid through urination, you’ll want to drink more than you’re going to lose.
How can I know if I’m dehydrated?
The color of your urine is one of the simplest methods to determine whether you are well hydrated. By and large, light-colored urine indicates enough hydration. If you have infrequent pee and your urine is a dark yellow color, this is an indication of dehydration.
Thirst, headaches, constipation, lethargy, weakness, disorientation, irritability, cramps, depression, weight gain, water retention, skin blemishes, vomiting or nausea, and bladder infections are other indicators of dehydration.
Can I consume an excessive amount of alcohol?
Absolutely! While many athletes recognize the critical nature of sufficient hydration, the majority are unaware that excessive hydration can dangerously dehydrate the body, a condition known as hyponatremia or “water intoxication.”
Everyone’s response to exercise is unique. At the end of the day, hydration is not simply a matter of drinking water. It’s about understanding your own body and drinking the appropriate fluids for you and the many activities you engage in, as well as preparing for a variety of environmental circumstances, particularly the heat.