Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tips for Training and Racing in the Heat - #2 Stay Hydrated!

Unfortunately, The Most Interesting Man in the World has it all wrong!  He should be telling athletes to "Stay Hydrated"!

Getting acclimated to the heat and staying hydrated is more important now more than ever!  The temperatures are starting to rise and we'll be in the thick of summer before we know it.

If you are an athlete who will be training and racing over the summer, it's best to think of hydrating as a continuous cycle.

First thing in the morning, grab a glass of water and start drinking.  If you brew coffee at home, take the time to drink a glass of water while you prepare your morning pot of coffee.  If you stop by a local coffee shop for your morning caffeine fix, take a bottle of water and drink it on the way! Then, re-fill that bottle and drink from it throughout the day.

Water is totally fine to use for daily hydration.  If you are not thrilled with the taste of plain water, just add some juice from a lemon, lime, orange or your other favorite fruit.  You can also add a little bit of salt and sugar to your water for some calories and electrolytes.  Or, try a vitamin powder like Emergen-C.

During the summer months, limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.  Both will negatively affect your ability to stay hydrated.

For workouts, plan to actually start the workout hydrated!  Then, stay hydrated by consuming at least one 20 - 24 ounce bottle of fluid per hour of exercise.  For long workouts, plan to do loops where you can circle back around to your car or secret bottle hiding place to re-load your bottle.  You might also want to carry a hand-held water bottle or a waist-belt hydration system.

Be sure to hydrate post-workout!  It can take 24 - 48 hours to rehydrate after a long, hard workout.  If you are driving to your workout location, pack a cooler with a snack and fluid with electrolytes and carbohydrates to consume immediately after your workout.  Keep up with the cycle of continuous hydration!

Follow these suggestions and you will be feeling strong all summer long!

Happy Training and Racing...in the heat!

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