Stay Hydrated During Summer Heat

Photo Credit: Olli Niemitalo PD
Summer 2012 has been exceptionally hot in the USA! States from shore to shore have experienced record high temperatures and stifling humidity. When the weather is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it might be best to exercise indoors or to dial down the level of intensity for your outdoor workout. It is especially important to take it easy when the humidity is high. High humidity prevents your sweat from evaporating to cool your body. You can become overheated quickly on hot, humid days. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be life-threatening. Seek immediate medical attention if you feel dizzy, nauseous or pass out. In addition to switching to light exercise or exercising in an air conditioned gym or at home, remember to drink plenty of water! Hydration is essential all the time, but critical when the weather is hot.
Your body loses a lot of water through sweating and cellular activity when you exercise. Drink water before, during and after exercise. Drink at least 16 ounces of water 1 1/2 hours before you start to exercise. During your workout, drink 6 to 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes. Drink at least 16 ounces of water immediately after your workout. 
Water is best to keep your body hydrated. Sports drinks that replace salts, minerals and balance your electrolytes are also a good drink during and after your workout. You lose sodium, potassium and magnesium when you sweat. Sports drinks can help replace these essential minerals. Some sports drinks contain glucose to help replenish your blood sugar levels. Read the labels on sports drinks to determine which minerals and nutrients are contained in the drink. A sports drink should provide some carbohydrates, potassium, sodium, glucose, and magnesium. Flavored water drinks that contain additional nutrients, such as vitamin A, C or D, may be a good choice. Avoid carbonated drinks because the bubbles in the drink may cause stomach upset. 

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