Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Have I mention how important it is to stay hydrated? Of course I have. I’ve written about the foods and drinks that can dehydrate you as well as the healthy foods that can hydrate you.
Here in Michigan, and maybe where you live, also, we often have humidity coupled with heat. The danger in this is that sweat on your skin, prevents you from cooling through evaporation. The heat builds up and your core temperature rises!
There are serious dehydration/heat related injuries: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes. The risk of heat related injuries is also increased by alcohol, caffeine, and some over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
Be aware of the symptoms of an impending heat illness. These include weakness, chills, goose bumps on the chest and upper arms, nausea, headaches, faintness, disorientation, muscle cramping and cessation of sweating. It is recommended that you stop exercising ! Medical attention may be necessary!
Over hydration is just as serious as under hydration! If the sodium in your blood plasma is to low in the concentration, confusion may occur, followed by a headache, unconsciousness, coma and possibly death.
It is difficult to recommend how much fluids you should be taking in. Your height, your weight and your activity level all play a role. A good rule of thumb is your urine will be light yellow when you’re properly hydrated.
The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends two cups of fluids two hours before an event and then about six ounces of fluid every 15 minutes. This works well for most athletes.
Experiment with yourself BEFORE an event, to determine how much YOU need before, during and after.
Hmmm…what more can I say? Know yourself; know your body!