With all the stories I read about athletes (and non-athletes as well) collapsing because of heat exhaustion, a little bit more about hydration, in the midst of one very hot summer across most of the US, seems worthy. Daily I encourage you to exercise, for all the reasons we talk about, and with exercise comes sweating (a good thing!) and with sweating comes dehydration. So exercise but drink up!! Experts recommend about 16 ounces about 2 hours before working out, 6 or so ounces every 15-20 minutes during exercise and several glasses after your workout. Personally, I have found that drinking upon rising, and then continuing to drink throughout the day, seems to work for me. A good idea, if you are unsure how much fluid you sweat out, is to weigh yourself just before and immediately after a vigorous session. IF your weight is down after, it is fluid and you should drink up! I tend to sweat a lot during my workouts but never have had dehydration issues, so for me, drinking continuously seems to work well. If you are doing a 2 hour or more workout, you may benefit from a sports drink. I know they work well, but I can’t handle the sugar or salt in them, personally. Sometimes, adding just an ounce or two to your water jug can be perfect.
Once again, I strongly encourage having drinking vessels that make you want to drink the water. Lately, I have been finding club soda a nice addition to my daily hydration. It seems a little more special with dinner than still another glass of water. Make sure to take your vessel with you–everywhere! If you spend time in your car, or at a desk, it should always be with you. Whatever you do, don’t wait until your thirsty to drink…the experts say that means you are already dehydrating. If you are feeling unusually fatigued, it’s possible that all you need is a couple of glasses of H20. If you pinch the skin on your arm and it doesn’t “bounce” right back, that is another sign. Headaches? Definitely a sign.
Listen to YOUR body. Trust me, you do NOT want to dehydrate. This is one condition that we don’t take nearly as serious as we should.
So how long has it been since your last sips of this miracle fluid? Maybe NOW is a very good time to get up and fill up! And yes, the full feeling after a glass or two definitely helps curb our appetites. In fact, often that feeling we call a hunger pang, is often thirst in disguise.
- Fit Tip: Hydrate Before You Exercise (fitsugar.com)
- How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion During Outdoor Activities (fitsugar.com)