#AskAmany discusses the power of H2O and hydration
Drink up, challengers!
Spring is already here and summer is right around the corner! That means one thing: it’s getting HOT HOT HOT. Ok, maybe not today because it’s chilly here! I’m fairly certain that it’ll warm up soon enough though. Let’s cut to the chase; we’re about to sweat our butts off! Being mindful of hydration is extra important during the summer because of the increased risk for dehydration. Dehydration increases risk for injury, and can lead to fatigue, light-headedness, and cramping. A bonus of being well hydrated is that it’s been linked to aiding weight loss/weight maintenance. When we’re under hydrated, our body sometimes confuses hunger with thirst, which is why you may have seen the “drink a glass of water when you think you’re hungry” tip floating around. It’s tried and true trick! Here are some tips and tricks to help keep you hydrated moving forward:
The general 8 glasses of water tip is a good baseline. Try shooting for 8 glasses of day if you’re not very active. I always suggest keeping a water bottle in plain sight to remind you to drink water throughout the day.
For days those active days, or just extra hot, extra sweaty days, I suggest the following: drink 1-2 cups of water 90 minutes to 2 hours before you get going. Sip water throughout the activity. And drink 2-3 cups of water after.
Water can be boring, I know. Try adding fruits and herbs to your water to spice it up. Try strawberry and basil, melon and mint, or just a few slices of cucumber.
Electrolyte replacement during these sweaty months is crucial. I know a lot of people go reaching for PowerAde or Gatorade for hydration and replacement. However, these drinks are full of sugar. I’m a huge fan of using Nuun after runs to replenish some of those depleted electrolytes. Remember that you can get electrolytes (potassium particularly) from foods. Good sources of potassium include bananas, tomatoes, oranges, and sweet potatoes; try pretzels or pickles if you’re looking to get some salt back in your body. If Powerade/Gatorade are the only options, try G2 or PowerAde Zero or watering down regular products to cut down on some of the sugar. I know there’s controversy because of those products being made with “fake sugar.” I assure you 1 bottle of PowerAde Zero or G2 won’t be the end of the world and the research behind the claims are still up in the air.
Be aware of the things that DEHYDRATE you. Coffee and tea are the big obvious ones. Alcohol is a diuretic. So, before you go reaching for that post run cup of coffee (or beer), rehydrate first and continue to rehydrate, even as your dehydrating!
We’re all adults here, so let’s talk pee. Your pee color really is a great indication of your hydration status.
Click here and take a look at this chart is a great tool for knowing what the color of your pee says about your hydration status.
Hope these hydration tips help. Keep it up challengers; you’re in the home stretch!
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