Hydration At Its Finest

August 13, 2014

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Now that we’re in the dog days of summer, let’s talk about how to stay safe and healthy while you’re working up a sweat — even if it’s just lounging by the pool.

The main way your body cools itself is through sweat. As sweat evaporates from your body, it takes some of the heat with it.

Unfortunately, our body cannot store vast reserves of water or electrolytes. To keep up this cooling system, you need to continue to consume water and electrolytes — or risk heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Listen To Your Body

While you may have heard the eight-glasses-of-water-a-day rule, this is too generalized for most people. That number doesn’t take into consideration your diet, body weight or genetic predisposition, or the temperature and humidity of your surroundings.

Rather than blindly follow a specific number of glasses, we recommend that you listen to your body. Notice when you are thirsty or fatigued, as these can be signs of mild dehydration.

It is possible to overdo it by drinking too much water. If you don’t also replenish electrolytes, the water you’re consuming is wasted. Together, water and electrolytes paint a complete hydration picture.

Being well hydrated keeps your blood at the right consistency and volume, allowing for efficient delivery of oxygen to muscles and removal of waste.

Just Add Electrolytes

Electrolytes play an important role as they are responsible for fluid regulation, muscle contraction, heart beats, and nerve function. Calcium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and sodium are the main electrolytes that you can consume through food or an electrolyte-based beverage.

We recommend sipping an electrolyte-rich beverage every 10 to 15 minutes during exercise, or more, depending on variables like heat and humidity, the intensity of your workout, and your personal physiology.

If you know you are an especially salty sweater, make sure you are consuming more sodium than the average individual.

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