The summer months mean the weather is getting hot, or REALLY hot depending on where you live, and keeping hydrated is essential for staying healthy and thriving in your training. Your body is made up of over 50% water, so if you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel the difference in your training energy and recovery.
Let’s talk about some general figures here. At a minimum, we want to be consuming .5 to 1 oz. of fluid per pound of body weight, aiming for the higher end if we’re losing more sweat through training. This roughly works out to be around a gallon per day.
If we begin to factor in rising temperatures and water loss through sweat outside the gym, we have to work a little harder to ensure that we’re properly hydrated. Here are some tips for making hydration a priority this summer.
Hydration is a habit.
We understand that remembering to drink water isn’t always easy. You’ve probably had instances where you’re headed to the gym and realize you haven’t been drinking enough water for the day, so you chug a water bottle. Unfortunately, if you’re already dehydrated, this isn’t going to cut it and that bottle of water isn’t going to keep you hydrated through your session.
Just like you track macros to build habits with your food intake, track your water intake to ensure you are hitting your fluid goals consistently. If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, set alarms on your phone and always be sure you have water on hand.
If you’re someone who finds success in using apps for tracking, these are great tools for making sure you’re getting enough daily H20: My Water Balance, Plant Nanny and Aqualert. Or you can take it to the next level and let your water bottle do the work for you with options like the Bluetooth-monitored Hidrate Spark or Spring Smart Bottle by Bellabeat.
Weigh your water loss.
If you’re curious to see how well you’re rehydrating throughout training, you can weigh yourself before and after your sessions. Within an hour or two after your session, you should weigh more than before your session. If you find that you lose about a pound or so of water (454 g) while training, then you know that in order to stay hydrated, you need to drink an additional 454 ml while you train.
You don’t need to worry about understanding the exact figures, but having a rough idea of how much you’re losing versus taking in is an excellent way to spot-check your hydration.
Check your urine.
Minus your first bathroom trip in the morning, checking the color of your urine is an easy way to check how hydrated you are.
Eat hydrating foods.
Yep! You can eat your water too. Not only are fruits and veggies a cool, refreshing snack in the heat, but many of them contain water, along with plenty of vitamins and minerals to help keep you hydrated.
Manage sodium and potassium.
Depending on your diet, you may be getting plenty of sodium. However, if you’re opting to stay away from processed or packaged foods, adding a bit more salt to your meals in the heat can be beneficial to help you retain more water. For example, many sports drinks or electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte contain added sodium to help keep you hydrated. Both salty foods and sodium-enriched fluids provide sodium to help bond fluid onto something in order to stay hydrated.
Potassium is another electrolyte, often overlooked but crucial for hydration, as it works alongside sodium to maintain proper fluid levels in our bodies.
Other than the classic example of a banana, other sources of potassium include white potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, peppers, and spinach. You can also add “sodium-free salt,” which is a potassium blend, to your food to help adjust these ratios.
Time it right.
When possible, try avoiding the hottest times of the day (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) and opt for a morning training session before the gym heats up to its max.
Don’t overdo it.
Listen to your body! If you start getting dizzy, nauseated or light-headed, find a fan, grab your water and take a seat if needed. Heat strokes are not something you want to joke around with.
Another option is to add some INDOOR workouts to your routine. Our WAG Summer Getaway Guide includes workouts from our friends at Brute Strength that you can do anywhere—in the hotel room… or on the beach, if the breeze is nice enough 😎.
Enjoy the heat and the sun—but don’t underestimate it!