Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Stand the Heat

Hydration Strategies for Summer Training
   by Bob Wells, CES, PES, Pn1

Courtesy Live NY Now
The long winter of our discontent is finally over. The snow has melted, and we have stored our sweaters, warm coats, and other winter gear in boxes, or in the back of our closet. We can finally breath a sigh of relief--summer is here!

The temperatures are soaring, along with our spirits about this development. The surplus of daylight hours and warm weather has many of us giddy. We can eschew the treadmill, and opt for a pre and/or post work run outside.

However, we need to take certain precautions regarding fluid intake to perform at a high level and stay safe. There are three periods that we have to take note of for hydration strategies:

  1. Before Exercise- Most of us don't think of proper hydration strategies until we have finished our training session, and we are sweating profusely. This thinking both compromises the quality of our workout and is dangerous. Underconsumption of fluids can lead to problems such as heat stroke and eventually death. Make sure you consume enough liquids, primarily water, by drinking 500mL of fluid (about 17 ounces) about 30 minutes prior to exercise.
  2. During Exercise- Once you start exercising, it is important to stay hydrated. Dr. John Berardi, of Precision Nutrition, suggests that athletes consume nearly 250mL (about 8 ounces) for every 15 minutes of exercise. This is a general guideline and temperature, one's body size, and intensity of the training session will affect how much fluid intake is appropriate. (Email me at bob@bobwellsfitness.com or contact your local personal trainer or fitness professional to determine exactly how much fluid you should consume based on these factors.)
  3. After Exercise- Once your training session is over, fluid intake is key for recovery. If you don't replace the fluids that you have lost, recovery is delayed. One way to replace the sodium and carbohydrate losses is to consume 400mL-800mL (13-26 oz.) of a commercial sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade.
Courtesy NBA

To read more about hydration strategies and the importance of water, check out "Exploring the Relationship between Water and Fat Loss" or "Running in the Heat" by Jennifer Van Allen of Runner's World

Comments? Questions? 


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