5/29/15

Summer hydration tips for athletes

Can you feel that? 
The warm weather is finally here!!

For the past few months, it's likely that you have been just fine with your fueling/hydration strategy while training/exercising. Perhaps you feel like you have been just fine getting by with little to no fluids or electrolytes when you train. 

Well, when summer arrives, it's extremely important to make sure that you are focused on preventing dehydration and heat-related illnesses by making a huge effort to fuel and hydrate during every workout. 

As an athlete, you should never ever feel like you are just getting by. If you do not make an effort or do not know how to fuel/hydrate properly for your workouts you will limit your ability to progress with your fitness as you work your butt off to get stronger, faster, fitter and more powerful. 
You want to tweak, perfect and nail your sport nutrition and hydration regime all the time to ensure that you are getting the most out of your training and keeping your body in good health. 

Here are a few hydration tips to apply to your training/racing to ensure that you are not putting your body into a dangerous situation. If you feel like you are underfueling/underhydrating, consult a sport RD to help you in your athletic journey. 

-Staying hydrated on a daily basis is extremely important so that you go into all workouts well hydrated and with normal electrolyte levels. Don't assume that you can under-hydrate throughout the day and then "be good" during your workout and meet your performance needs. 

-Before workouts, you should not feel the need to overdrink but don't assume you can go into a workout dehydrated and make-up for it during the workout. In the 2 hours before a workout, aim for around 20 ounces of fluid, with 8-10 ounces in the 30 min before the workout. It's ok if you drink a bit more but you want to all urine output to return to normal in the 30 min before a workout. 

-During a workout, your goal is to consume a well formulated sport drink to prevent dehydration and excessive changes in the balance of electrolytes. Consume your sport drink in frequent intervals, every 10-15 minutes, 2-3 swallows at a time (1 ounce = 1 small mouthful of fluid) for all workouts more than 60 minutes. 
I suggest to aim for around 30-50g of carbs and 200-400 mg sodium for workouts between 1-2 hours.

-Much of an athlete's fatigue that occurs in the later miles of a workout is from dehydration and a drop in blood sugar so a well formulate sport drink is an effective way to keep good form and focus to take your fitness to that next level. Stop "getting by" without adequate sport nutrition during workouts. 

-Post workout, your goal is to replace the fluid/electrolyte deficit that occurred through metabolic heat (muscle contractions) and sweating (especially in hot/humid temperatures). Rather than consuming a large amount of fluid immediately post workout, aim to drink around 16-20 ounce of fluid every 2 hours post workout, starting immediately post workout with an electrolyte replenishment drink and protein recovery drink.

A few extra tips: 


Thanks SHAPE Magazine for interviewing me for hot weather dangers.
Article here