National Hydration Day is recognized to create awareness on the importance of hydration and the negative influence of dehydration. Water is essential to our keeping our body safe, especially during the hot summer days! Dehydration can cause serious issues, leading to decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, lack of blood flow to the arteries, the formation of kidney stones, and other physical and cognitive issues. Becoming overheated or dehydrated can lead to heat stroke and possibly death. The human body contains more than 60 percent water; maintaining that balance while training is a challenge, doing it during the summer months is a practice that must be consistent.
There are ways to help prevent dehydration, being hydrated before a workout even begins is important. If you are under-hydrated before you start it is hard to catch up once the sweating starts. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the training, these can include sports drinks which contain electrolytes (Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium) to replenish the essential minerals the body loses through perspiration.
How to Stay Hydrated:
- Monitor fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow, too smelly or cloudy.
- Any time you exercise in extreme heat or for more than one hour, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6 percent to 8 percent carbohydrates. This prevents “hyponatremia” (low blood sodium), which dilutes your blood and could also lead to serious impairment and death.
- Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover.
- Eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables per day for optimum health, as they all contain various levels of water and the all-important nutrient potassium.
To determine your individualized need for fluid replacement: During heavy exercise, weigh yourself immediately before and after exercise. If you see an immediate loss of weight, you’ve lost valuable water. Drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost; use this figure to determine the amount of water (or sports drink) you’ll need to drink before and during your next exercise session to prevent weight/water loss in the future. Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to take action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water. Remember, if you don’t replace the water you lose, you can become dehydrated!