19 May Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
In the South, summer is always brutal. We have sticky heat, dry heat, wet heat, and just plain ole super hot heat. It’s a love-hate relationship, especially for those of us exercising (or spending more than 10 minutes outside). In this horrid heat, we lose fluids quicker, which makes hydration extremely important.
Hydration isn’t just important for us Southerners. Everyone who engages in physical activity should pay attention to his or her hydration levels to prevent damaging dehydration. Yet, many do not understand how to check for dehydration or the steps needed to prevent it from happening. Thankfully, we’ve got your back. Keep reading for the tips you need to stay hydrated this summer.
Prevention: Many consider themselves adequately hydrated if they don’t feel thirsty. This is not a true at all. You must take precautions when you know you will be sweating.
1) Check your urine: We know. It sounds sort of gross. But your urine is a definite indicator of hydration. Light urine, the color of lemonade or even paler, shows that you are hydrated. However, darker urine, the color of apple juice or darker, indicates you are dehydrated.
2) Before: Starting taking in fluids 1-2 hours before exercising. These fluids could come from low sugar juices, water, or even high water foods. Be sure to take in 20 ounces before exercise.
3) During: Many people skip this step, but it is essential to a successful workout. Drinking while exercising replaces what is being lost, decreasing your chances of becoming dehydrated. Take in small amounts often.
4) After: Even drinking during your workout won’t replace everything you lose during the workout. Be sure to take in adequate amounts of fluid, whether through drinking or eating foods with high water content.
Dehydration Symptoms: Thirst, flushed skin, premature fatigue, faster breathing, and increased pulse rate are very early symptoms of dehydration. Headache, light headedness, muscle cramps, and side stitches are later symptoms of dehydration. Be sure to check for these symptoms as you exercise.
Treatment: If you realize you have become dehydrated, start taking in fluids immediately. Drink a variety of beverages including low sugar juices or a sports drink. If the dehydration seems severe, consult a physician immediately.
We hope these tips will keep you hydrated throughout our sure-to-be scorching summer. If you have any questions, contact us at 662-282-4949.