It’s getting warmer – are you getting enough to drink?

CHEERS! IT’S SUMMER AT LAST!

No – I don’t mean have another glass of alcohol! I would like you to think about how much water you drink now compared to in the cooler months because it really IS important for your body to be properly hydrated and even more so if you exercise.

DRINKING

Drink to stay healthy!

If you do exercise regularly, you need to think more about how much fluid you should be taking in in different circumstances as you need more fluid than usual when you are carrying more weight than you should, or if you are training for an event are you sweating a lot of salt or do you have to travel to compete or do you train for more than an hour in warm environments.

It is not so simple as just drinking more because you have read it is good for you.

You can make the mistake of drinking too much or the wrong type of drink and both can be as detrimental to the body and brain as not drinking enough. You need to individualise your drinking as no two people are alike in their needs.

How do you know you are not drinking enough?

It is easy to ‘think’ you are doing so but if you suffer from:

Constipation

Light headedness when you get up

Feeling more tired than usual

You feel you are ‘flagging’ half way through the day

You are getting headaches

Your mood changes to feeling less motivated, more anxious than usual.

Then you could be suffering from lack of fluid.

The trouble is that the older we get, the less we actually FEEL thirsty and so we can more easily become dehydrated.

How do you know you ARE drinking enough?

You will pass urine five times per day

Your urine will be pale and you will passing a good volume

What if you exercise a lot?

You know you are dehydrated if you weigh 125 lbs and are female and after a race or exercise, you lose 2.5 lbs or if you weigh 200 lbs and you lose 4 lbs.

If you are racing and you drink close to the race it is too late to prevent dehydration! You need to drink over 2 hours prior to a race and even in the days before the race, you need to take on more fluids in preparation.

130 lb athlete needs 70 fluid ounces per day

Take your body weight in lbs and divide by 2 and that is the amount in fluid ounces that you should be drinking per day.

BEFORE A RACE

2 hours before take on 14 – 22 fluid ounces

15 minutes before take on 4 – 16 fluid ounces

AFTER A RACE

Take on 16 – 24 fluid ounces for every lb you have lost.

HOW TO INDIVIDUALISE YOU FLUID REQUIREMENTS

Warm up for 10 minutes of your typical intensity

Weigh yourself

Exercise for 30 minutes and weigh yourself again

Do this a couple of times and see what is the average weight loss.

For every lb lost, drink a pint of fluid. Easy!

WHAT SHOULD YOU DRINK?

Water is not always the perfect fluid.

It doesn’t replace carbohydrates lost

It doesn’t replace electrolytes lost

It is not absorbed very fast

You lose sense of thirst during exercise

You may drink less overall

You may drink too much and create hypernatremia

SO WHAT SHOULD I DRINK INSTEAD?

Something with good osmotic concentration such as grape juice or lemonade

Something containing 4 – 8% carbohydrates – this level helps to get the fluid into the blood stream from your gut

With a mix of sugars

A sodium content of 120 – 170 mg/8oz not more though – you can have too much of a good thing! But sodium reduces your urine output, helps activate your thirst mechanism and improves the taste of the drink thus it is easier to drink more unlike plain water.

DRINK 3

Love what you drink and you will drink more!

 

Potassium content of 20 – 50 mg/8 oz not more though

No weird ingredients – always look at the label though.

SIMPLE WAYS TO AVOID DEHYDRATION

Line up bottles of water so you can see what you have actually drunk.

Set an alarm on your phone.

Think about what exercise you are going to be doing and when and plan accordingly.

Just be more aware of the need for the right amount of fluid and that a lack of fluid can affect not just the body but the brain .. we are not only “what we eat” but “how much we drink”.

CHEERS! And have a great summer!