Did you know that hydration is the key to fitness especially during the warmest time of the year?
Whether you run, bike, walk or play a game, staying properly hydrated is the key of optimal health and fitness during the hot days of summer.Drinking plenty of water will prevent a host of heat related illness such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Heat related illness can also lead to death if it is not immediately treated.
Factors that affect dehydration
- The rate of perspiration
- Type of clothing an individual is wearing
- Environment conditions (temperature, humidity)
- Fitness level
- Intensity of exercise
- Individual's acclimation to the environment
Adequate fluid replacement
Although there is no specific amount of fluid an individual should drink the following is a list of the least you want to start at and then increase as needed.
Before and during exercise
- Drink 15-20 oz of water 2-3 hours prior to exercise
- Weigh yourself before exercise
- Continue to drink 7-10 oz of water every 10-20 min during exercise
- If exercising more than an hour then a sports drink may be a better option. Drink 8-10 oz every 15-30 min, with carbohydrate solution less than 10%
- Weigh yourself again
- For every 1lb lost drink 20-24 oz fluid
- Check your urine. You should have a steady stream of light yellow urine which indicates you are well hydrated
Signs of dehydration
- Decrease urine output
- Dark colored urine
- Dry mouth
- Sweating may stop
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Eyes stop producing tears
Water intoxication, also called hyponatremia is a possibility as well. However, it mainly affects individuals involved in endurance sports. Due the intensity and duration of these activities, these athletes need to rehydrate with sports drinks instead water to prevent hyponatremia.