Water. It’s one of the most important elements for all living things. Up to 60 percent of the human adult body is made of water. It’s essential for biochemical reactions, supplying nutrients throughout the body and removing waste, and maintaining blood circulation and body temperature. It aids in digestion, prevents constipation, cushions joints, stabilizes the heartbeat, and protects vital organs and tissues.
The key to staying safe this summer? Staying hydrated. The key to staying hydrated? That’s where the following tips will come in handy:
Hydration Prior to Exercise
Begin all workouts well hydrated. Drink 450-650 ml of water or sports drink 1 to 3 hours before exercise. Consuming an additional 200-300 ml 10-20 minutes prior to the training session is also good practice.
Hydration During Exercise
Drink 200-350 ml every 15-20 minutes. If possible, given your sporting activity, take regular ‘sips’ throughout the activity. For longer training sessions (or in hot weather) consider using a sports drink as part of your hydration regimen (prior to, during and following activity). The sodium and potassium content in most sports drinks will permit you to maintain a proper electrolyte balance.
Sip on Your Summer Favorites
Lemonade and iced tea are two of the most popular summer drinks, but the calories can add up from all the sugar. Don’t fret – order an unsweetened iced tea and add your own packet of sweetener or make a pitcher of your fave drink at home.
Quench Your Thirst with Hydrating Foods
We often mistake hunger for thirst, but you can satisfy both needs with water-rich summer produce. Watermelon, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, summer squash, berries, peaches and nectarines are just some of the many fruits and vegetables with high water content available during the summer months. Serve them in salads, cold gazpacho soups, or use them to make low-cal flavored drinks.
Flavor It Up
Water is the best choice for a calorie-free drink, but not everyone can guzzle enough plain H2O to meet hydration needs for the day. Infuse your water with fresh fruit and vegetables to add flavor without calories. Try sliced oranges, lemons or cucumbers, whole berries, or fresh mint.
Can I drink too much?
Absolutely! While many athletes understand the importance of proper hydration, most do not realize that overhydrating can dangerously lower blood sodium levels; a condition known as hyponatremia or “water intoxication.”
Everyone responds to exercise differently. Ultimately, hydration is not simply a question of drinking fluids. It’s about knowing your own body and drinking the right fluids for you and the various activities you participate in, preparing accordingly for various environmental conditions — especially the heat.
We hope that we provided some new information on how to stay hydrated this summer. Our office in San Antonio has made a concrete effort to raise awareness on the importance of water!
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