NOT only is H20 an essential nutrient, it literally makes up your entire being: We’re all 40 to 70 percent water, depending on your fitness level and age. And while staying hydrated is always important, it may become more challenging as the weather heats up. Hard-working muscles generate more heat when they’re surrounded by hot air, making it harder for your body to maintain a normal temperature.
Even a 1 to 2 percent loss of body weight (from water) can compromise your performance and impact your body’s ability to cool itself. When I am doing my weekly rounds of street running, I can feel that my heart pumped harder, and circulation slowed and muscles became fatigue quite quickly. And that will be at increased risk of developing heat-related illness and injury, including cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
To stay hydrated is, of course, is to replace what’s lost. And with a little planning and preparation, you can during any outdoor activity, no matter what the thermometer says. Here’s how:
Drink before you’re thirsty. Need to quench your thirst? Chances are you’re already dehydrated. Your best defense against dehydration? Drinking water on a consistent basis, so you never reach the point of thirst.
Take frequent water breaks. While you may not want to disrupt your workout for a water break, taking a time out for some much-needed liquid nourishment will pay off in the long run. Drink one full glass of water before starting any activity.
Track your intake. Many people don’t know how much water they should drink daily—or even how much water they’re typically downing. If you’re sipping on a 16-ounce bottle, drink 8 of them each day—and even more if you’re exercising heavily.
Consider an electrolyte drink. Working out for more than an hour? Consider sipping a sports drink—or nibbling on some pretzels or a banana to restore lost electrolytes (minerals in the blood that regulate bodily systems). Your body loses important electrolytes like sodium, potassium and chloride when you sweat. A good sports drink can help you replenish them. Coconut water is a great choice which you can get easily at any supermarkets, but there are also a slew of healthy, low-sugar options on the market.
Choices are yours and our goal is to live a healthier and better lifestyle. With determination, I am sure you will get there.