Tips for Staying Hydrated
The official start of summer is just a few weeks away, but here but in Florida, the summer weather is in full force. With the hot and humid weather, it becomes even more important to pay attention to your hydration. Working out in warm temperatures creates added sweat loss, increasing the potential for dehydration. Here are some tips for monitoring and maintaining proper hydration.
Drink plenty of water
Drink water during exercise and after. It is recommended that everyone should drink at least eight cups of water a day, but if you are experiencing sweat loss with exercise, you need even more. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. Thirst is a sign of possible dehydration. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends adding 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes of exercise. As with anything, don’t over-do a good thing or you could experience water intoxication or hyponatremia.
Sip some sports drink or coconut water
When we sweat we lose electrolytes. Sports drinks and coconut water contain electrolytes which water does not. You can make a homemade sports drink (recipe here) if you want a less sugary, healthful alternative.
Don’t skip the fruit
Fruits can be a source of electrolytes and fluid. For example, dates and bananas have high levels of the electrolyte potassium.
Pay attention to your output
When you are hydrated, your urine should be pale yellow. Dark yellow could indicate dehydration.
Monitor your physical performance
If you are feeling more easily fatigued when exercising, it could be an indication that you are not properly hydrated. Dehydration creates a decrease in athletic performance aerobically and anaerobically.
Take the pinch test
If you pinch the skin on the back of your hand, holding for a few seconds and let go to find your skin takes a bit to return to normal, you may be dehydrated.
Keep these tips in mind to stay healthy and hydrated all summer.
By Lois Waite