The heat is on….are you hydrating properly?
As the Florida summer cranks up and temperatures are regularly above 90 degrees (hotter in the box), its easy to see and increase in the amounts of sweat pouring off of you while you train. The heat coupled with the high humidity we face here is the perfect recipe for chronic dehydration.
As easy as it is to see you sweating more profusely, it is also easy to see you attempting to drink more and more water during the course of your workout. The old adage “Hydrate or Die” may be true during a long encounter with harsh elements, this is not be usually the case in a gym or training scenario. Now Gatorade may use fear tactics to sell you sugar water but true science and empirical data should be the determining factor in fluid replacement so let’s look a little closer…
Some studies have shown that a 2% level of dehydration, which is about the level needed to trigger the sensation of thirst, can compromise performance. Not getting to this level of course is the goal and drinking fluids throughout the day is the obvious best choice to ensure proper hydration status. The other equally obvious point is that guzzling extraordinary amounts of water all at once simply wont do it. You not drinking throughout the day can be for several reasons; schedule, too busy, poor planning, availability of fluids etc…these for the most part are easy to fix. What I want to discuss is how to make sure you are using best practices for hydration.
The ACSM recommends that you do not drink more than one quart per hour during exercise and recommends drinking 3-8 ounces of a sports beverage with electrolytes every 15 minutes when exercising longer than 1 hour.
The take away from this is that while volume of fluid is important, drinking isn’t useful unless the fluids can be absorbed and utilized. Fluid composition effects absorption so what makes a highly absorbable fluid…
- Fluid temperature between 59-72 degrees optimizes palatability and absorption
- Carbohydrate concentration of 2-3% (high concentrations limit absorption)
- Caloric density of 40-50 calories of 100% maltodextrin or maltodextrin/fructose blend
- Electrolytes facilitate absorption, include: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium (but not too much).
Skip the sugary drinks. Sucrose does not empty quickly from the gut so be wary of consumer grade “sports drinks”. Fructose fruit sugar) can also cause gastric distress, so if you plan on using fruit juice, be sure to dilute it well.
Electrolytes are added primarily to increase or facilitate absorption across the intestinal wall not necessarily to “put back what you lose when sweating” as drink manufactures would lead you to believe. Sweat contains less electrolytes than plasma. So, we lose more fluids than electrolytes so…. it’s more important to replace fluids than electrolytes. Put another way…you can not sweat enough to cause an electrolyte imbalance. HOWEVER…you may cause this via dilution by drinking too much, which brings us back full circle. Stay hydrated!
All of this is pretty simple…get into the habit of drinking throughout the day with a mild flavored, low calorie drink that is lightly dosed with electrolytes and drink to satisfy your thirst and stay ahead of the game.
A: Split Jerk Tech work and 5 min. build to a perfect moderate weight single.
B: EMOM for 5 Minutes- 3 Push Press.
4 sets at tough effort
5 C&J- fast with good form
7 Burpee Box Jumps
20 Second Row All Out
Rest 4-6 minutes