Avoid Dehydration With These Actions
Last week I covered how you can stay safe and enjoy exercising in warm weather. Of course, hydration is an important part of that; so this week I am going to focus on how to avoid dehydration and answer four key questions:
When should you drink?
You should be drinking fluids throughout the day, especially during warm weather. You need to drink during the hours before you exercise as well as during and after. You should aim to be fully hydrated when you start as it does take time for fluids to work their way through your body.
How much should you drink?
You need to drink enough to stay hydrated and avoid dehydration. You should drink at least 16 ounces (1 small bottle) between one and two hours before and another 16 ounces in the hour before you exercise. A good way to know if you are dehydrated is by checking the color of your urine. If it is clear you are hydrated but if it is dark and concentrated then you are dehydrated.
How often should you drink while exercising?
The answer, of course, depends on how long you are exercising. If you are hydrated to start with, you should be fine for up to forty minutes, even in warm weather; though you are likely to be relatively dehydrated and thirsty by the time you finish. Once you go over forty minutes, you should drink eight ounces (half bottle) of fluid every twenty minutes.
What should you drink?
You can stay hydrated most days simply by drinking water; though you should consider using sports drinks, especially on your longer days. The minerals in these drinks help to get fluids into the blood faster and they also help maintain appropriate levels in your blood, which are reduced through sweating while you exercise.
So make sure you are hydrated at all times, but especially before, during and after exercise. You will be safe, avoid injury, and enjoy your exercise all the more!
Until the next time, remember my motto:
“You don’t have to be fit and healthy to start but you do have to start to be fit and healthy!”
By Jim Kirwan
Get America Moving