Yesterday my car said 95 degrees in Portland. And I decided to go for a run a 4pm. Needless to say, when I got home, I was a hot, sweaty mess! And incredibly thirsty. I grabbed my water and immediately felt my internal temperature decreasing. Thank Heavens!
With the recent spike in temperature, the necessity to stay properly hydrated is essential – especially if you’re exercising outside in this heat. But how much should you drink? What should you drink? How can I tell if I’ve had enough? Glad you asked!
How much: The established Adequate Intake (AI) is about 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women. However, if you are exercising, your needs increase. A good rule of thumb is to replenish 1 pound lost with 16oz of water (or 2 cups). So you need to weigh yourself before you exercise and then weigh yourself after. Figure out the difference and for every pound lost, times that by two to equal the amount of cups you need to drink.
What to drink: You can’t go wrong with water! However, if you have been working out for a while (more than one hour) you probably need to replenish your electrolytes, specifically sodium which helps regulate your body’s fluids. This is how most people justify drinking sports drinks. The problem with sports drinks is you get a lot of added sugar. So keep your eye out for sports drinks that contain little amounts of added sugar. Another option is to avoid sports drinks all together and go for something like chocolate milk or…water! If you do stick with water as your hydration method, you do need to make sure you get some sodium in your system, especially if you’ve run in this hot weather and have gone for an extended amount of time. Good sodium-rich snack options include pretzels, crackers, veggies with salt sprinkled on top, cottage cheese or low-fat/non-fat yogurt.
Enough?: Use the pee test. Yup! If your urine is a dark, tea-colored yellow then you need more fluids. If your urine is a nice light yellow color, then you’ve reached your goal.
Today’s Challenge: Stay hydrated! Make sure you consume enough fluids to achieve that ideal light yellow urine color!
And stay cool out there!