Hydration for Summer

Summer is HOT! Especially in Alabama... So we want to make sure that you and your active friends are hydrating properly in order to preform at your peak. 

Your body is 65% water. All of the organs and cells that are in your body NEED water to function correctly. When people say that water is the source of life, they are serious. Water supports all the major body processes—from regulating your body temperature to flushing waste products out of your system.

Jen Van Allen, author and an editor for Runner's World Magazine, recently shared five tips to staying hydrated during the summer season!

5 Tips for Summer Hydration

Drink to Thirst

"In recent years, hydration experts have concluded that during exercise, and the activities of everyday life, simply drinking when you're thirsty will help you stay adequately hydrated," writes Allen. Everyone requires different amounts of water at different times. Some runners may gulp large amounts of water before and after they run, while some runners can only sip small amounts of water throughout their run. Drink when you are thirsty, but be sure to actually drink water!

Use the Formula

When your body is thirsty, sometimes we think that we are actually hungry and end up snacking... Instead of going straight to the snacks, try drinking an 8 ounce cup of water to see if that satisfies your craving. Nutritionists say that an individual should drink half of your body weight in ounces per day. Allen gives an easy way to remember how much to drink by giving an example, "if you weigh 170 pounds, aim for 85 ounces per day. If you weigh 120, aim for 60 ounces."

Sip Instead of Chug

Always have a water bottle that you can carry around with you in order to help you consistently sipping water instead of chugging it right before exercising. Chugging water before a run can cause the large amount of water to rest in your stomach and slosh around, causing a nauseous run. 

The "Pee Test"

As unusual as it sounds, the "pee test" is rather common. Test yourself to determine if you are properly hydrating. If your urine is clear to a light yellow color with no odor, then you are hydrated. If your urine is dark yellow (like apple juice) with a strong odor, that is a definite sign of dehydration. 

Know When Water is Not Enough

When it is hot and humid, know when you need more than just water. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes that are critical to muscle and nerve function. Sports drinks and nutrition snacks can help rehydrate you and replace those lost electrolytes (potassium and sodium) quicker than water. You can get different types of rehydrating drinks, such as NUUN and Gatorade, that can actually rehydrate you quicker and more effectively than water. There are also nutritional snacks, such as Cliff gels and GU, that can replace electrolytes when you do not want to drink sports drinks. 

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