C'mon let's sweat...But make sure you rehydrate after those runs too!

Summer is now officially in full swing, and that means for anyone running and working out outside the temperatures are rising...and the sweat will be pouring down more profusely than before too! While you do still always sweat working out outdoors even in the colder winter months, you may not 'feel' it because the cold air evaporates it very quickly but you do still lose fluids, it isn't as much as when the sun is blaring down on you. For this reason it is especially crucial to stay hydrated and not only with water but you also need to restore the electrolytes you are losing too.

When you sweat while running and working out you lose much more than strictly water content; if you don't ensure the balance of your electrolytes stays in the optimum level you will run the risk of not only bonking but could actually face some pretty serious health problems. This is extreme but when you hear about runners dying from being overhydrated, what that means is that they drank so much water (and only water) that they diluted their electrolyte levels (mainly potassium and sodium) so severely that their heart couldn't function. That isn't to scare any one as you'd have to drink lots of water, but the point is you need to make sure to rehydrate with a sports drink that contains these key elements along with water.

A good way to gauge how much fluids you are losing is to weigh yourself before and after your run; for every pound of weight that you lose (and it's only water weight folks not fat miraculously melting off of you in an instant...haha) you need to drink 16 ounces of fluids. There is the tried and true Gatorade, although there is lots of just plain sugar in that drink and there are better options, and you could even dilute it with water if the taste is too sweet. My favorite drink was Ultima but I don't think they sell that anymore as I haven't found it in years; even better though there are now sports recovery drinks that contain some protein that is excellent post run.

While you need to of course drink fluids after your run you need to remain hydrated throughout the day. Keeping a water bottle close at hand may look 'dorky' but you should be sipping all day long; by the time you actually feel thirsty your body is in a minor state of dehydration. You want to be 'friends' with that bathroom and your urine should be clear if you are properly hydrated. It's been proven that not only your endurance will suffer due to dehydration but your muscle strength too; you will peter out at the end of those runs and in studies weight lifters were unable to lift as heavy a load if in a state of even minor dehydration...those muscles need fluids and the electrolytes to follow!

Feeling dizzy or faint is a sure sign of dehydration...and you never want to feel that way, it's no fun. The standard rule of thumb you hear about 8 cups of fluids a day really isn't enough for very active individuals, and especially in the heat of summer. You don't have to take it to the other extreme and head out for every run carrying a water bottle and fuel belt but you need to be diligent before and after. If you are running for less than an hour it is usually okay to go sans drinks or gels (Unless of course you're running in ridiculously hot weather and humidity and you may want to plan beforehand and plant a few water bottles on your route or pass by some drinking fountains!) but once you eclipse that hour mark that is when you are heading into rehydration/refuel territory. Everyone's body is a bit different but obviously if you are out there training for a marathon and going to be on the roads for two plus hours you will need both!

Alright fellow fitness fanatics, we all love a good sweat and should be out there breaking one this summer season, but make sure to rehydrate smart so that you come back stronger and faster next time! :)

Bookmark and Share

0 Responses

Post a Comment