Not everyone can stand summer running. Many like the idea of getting into shape and regaining overall health by regularly running. But not everyone can endure the heat and humidity. Plus the fact that you will be running around with sweat falling all over your body and may have sunburns and painful toes, may cause someone to irk at the thought of doing even short runs that are normally effortless.
There are so many benefits of running in the heat like helping in controlling your weight, increasing your bone density, strengthening your immune system, and more. However, even these may not pique your interest in getting drenched in sweat yourself while running in shorts, leggings, or running shoes. Still, you need to understand that proper hydration is essential in whatever activity you are doing. Actually, even if you are not doing anything at all as your body requires water every second to function as it is expected. That’s just enough reason for you to bring one of the best water bottles for running whenever you are out running or on the go to do your daily routine outside.
You may not even run on a hot summer day, but you will still have to go out and get some heat. That’s the reason why you need to know the essentials in retaining sufficient water level in your system. Proper hydration will help you get through the day mentally and physically alert to give your best at anything that you need to accomplish.
Drink regularly to prevent dehydration
Note that if you rely on your senses telling you that you are thirsty before you reach out for water or find the nearest source of water, you may already be hydrated. There are several scientific explanations for this. Practically speaking, if you just observe the number of times you go to the bathroom to urinate or release body fluids through other means, you will know that your body is constantly using up whatever water you have in your system. Also, remember that even your blood is made up of about 80% of water. If you to provide the water that your body needs much, you are slowly allowing your blood to thicken. This will make every other function in your body much difficult for the organs to accomplish.
Here are some essential things that you can do to keep yourself hydrated
- Drink before it’s too late. There are many ways and means to take in fluids (water, electrolyte-filled sports drinks, as well as water-containing foods). Likewise, there are different ways to determine if you are properly hydrated. You don’t have to wait until you are already dizzy or about to faint before taking a drink. You may reason, that you aren’t feeling thirsty yet, or that there is no good water source nearby. But if you are really bent on providing adequate hydration to your body, you will plan ahead to find alternatives that will best address your water requirement.
Expensive laboratory and medical equipment may tell you exactly if you are already beyond acceptable hydration level. However, there’s an easier and cheaper way to check approximate hydration level even from the comfort of your own bathroom. Just check the color and volume of your urine you can determine whether you need to drink more or otherwise. Dark-colored urine that is relatively of small volume indicates that you may already be dehydrated and should encourage you to drink more fluids throughout the day or during your run.
Remember, however, that anything in excess is not acceptable. In case you think you have forgotten to drink enough fluid before you head out, don’t just down more than you should drink. Doing so may just cause overhydration and lead to a condition known as hyponatremia. This condition happens when the sodium level in the body becomes extremely low as your body is holding too much water with excessive drinking.
Serious cases of hyponatremia may require hospitalization and medications.
- Drink enough liquid before heading out. The American College of Sports Medicine’s Position Stand recommends the following on the appropriate fluid replacement before an exercise:
- eat a nutritionally balanced food throughout a 24-period prior to an event
- drink about 500 ml or about 17 ounces of fluid two hours before your planned activity or exercise. This will ensure adequate hydration and will also allow enough
time for excretion of excess ingested water.
- Establish a regular drinking schedule throughout the run or an activity. Customizing a plan to fit your hydration requirement will best improve your hydration to the appropriate level instead of drinking to thirst. Several studies, including this one, indicate that drinking ad libitum is the preferred hydration program instead of drinking to thirst. Note that there are different factors influencing your perceived as well as actual hydration level. Most of the time, you are actually already dehydrated since the body has used up two-thirds of its water content before you sense the signal it might be sending that it is time for you to drink water.
There are also other instances that you may just have the desire to drink as the source of fluid replacement is either already nearby or is more appealing than it used to be, or perhaps you are just frightened by the thought of being dehydrated. Indeed, there are complex factors influencing or that might encourage you to drink up.
If you establish a regular drinking pattern, let us say about 15-20 minutes, you can focus more on your training rather on the thought that you are or might be thirsty. Just set an alarm on your watch to get notified when it’s already time to drink.
You may also need to perform a sweat test to determine how much liquid you have lost or how much you need to replace. To do this, you will have to weigh yourself before and after an activity to establish how much fluid is needed to be replaced.
- Drinking water is not enough. When you work out, you lose not just water. As you exert energy, you also lose essential electrolytes in your body. That’s the reason why the water that you drink may not be enough to regain your strength. That is also one good reason why you can drink other fluid sources that contain electrolytes like sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. However, you may lose more of the first two than the rest. To replace these essential elements, you may want to look for a good tasting sports drink that you can also bring with you as an alternative source of fluid for hydration.
Just as it is easy to voluntarily become dehydrated, so it is to properly deliver adequate hydration to your body. Be aware of these things and make sure to keep your body properly hydrated to keep it functioning efficiently.