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How To Properly Hydrate Yourself In The Summer

Summer is a time to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and hang out with friends and family.

Sometimes the grueling Texas heat leaves us feeling less than our best, which is why the experts at Orangetheory Fitness offer these tips and tricks to stay hydrated and healthy this summer.

Spending your days in the summer sun is a great way to soak up some Vitamin C, but it’s also one of the quickest ways to put yourself at risk for heat exhaustion. You’ve probably felt the effects of heat exhaustion before - clammy palms, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and cramping are all common symptoms of spending a little too much time in the sun’s harmful rays. The coaches at Orangetheory Fitness understand that proper hydration is vital to living a happy, healthy life and also key to having a great workout. The change in temperature during summer months makes it difficult to determine just how much hydration we really need. This is where the Orangetheory Fitness experts can give us all some guidance.Research shows that the average person sweats around 30 oz in one hour of exercise, which is almost half of our daily recommended water intake. Since we naturally sweat more in the sun, it’s important that we account for this increased sweat rate when calculating our daily H2O needs.

CRAVING COCO - HYDRATE AND REPLENISH

Plain old H2O is the most common way to hydrate. It gets the job done but can become boring and tasteless when you’re looking to fulfill your daily intake - especially in the summertime when you need to spike your hydration consumption. Due to recent research around the importance of electrolytes and proteins that fuel us for longer periods of time, existing and new brands have taken on the challenge of creating advanced hydration options. Coconut water, touted by health professionals as “mother nature’s sports drink” contains more potassium per serving than four bananas, and far less sugar than popular sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade.

Coconut water alone won’t fuel you for an entire day, but pro-tennis player John Isner famously relied on the drink during his grueling 11-hour Wimbledon match-up versus Nicolas Mahut in 2010. Still, many people stray away from coconut water’s nutty flavor, opting instead to enjoy fruity sports drinks or infused water.

When it comes to proper hydration, health experts warn that we should be especially mindful of our sugar intake in the summer when sweet treats like ice cream and frozen drinks are popular. Eating too much sugar leaves the cells in our body dehydrated, which leads to those painful muscle cramps and feelings of fatigue that we tend to experience after spending long days in the sun. Many of the foods we eat contain more sugar than we might think. It’s important to keep an eye on what we consume to minimize our sugar intake.

Once you’ve found your favorite hydrating drink, don’t forget to stock up on hydrating foods with high water concentrations to munch on throughout the day. Watermelon, zucchini, cucumber, and apples are all summer-recipe ready and offer their own additional health benefits to keep you feeling replenished and hydrated.

So what else can you be drinking to quench your thirst this summer? The Daily Meal has a great list of beverages that are more hydrating than water alone.

WARMER WORKOUTS

With more and more activities shifting outdoors for the summer, it is important to keep in mind that heat and humidity can affect the body if you’re not careful. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when it comes to exercising in the heat that will help keep your body and mind functioning properly during the summer.

Loose fitting, light colored, sweat wicking clothing. Be sure to wear loose fitting, sweat wicking clothing that is light in color. Darker colors and heavier/thicker fabrics will retain heat and not allow the body to cool itself.

Hydration. Not only is it important to stay hydrated during an outdoor workout in the summer heat, be sure to prepare yourself both pre- and post-workout. Drink water often throughout the day and roughly every 15 minutes during exercise.

Time of Day. If possible, try to workout early in the morning before the atmosphere heats up (prior to roughly 10:00 AM) or once the sun goes down (after roughly 7:00 PM). This will reduce the risk of fatigue, dehydration and sunburn.

Covered/shaded trails/pathways/fields. If you can’t run early in the morning or late in the evening, try to keep the activity on a shaded trail, path or field. Not only will the body and mind fatigue quickly when working out directly in the sun but the ground gets heated and reflects onto the body as well. Picking covered or shaded paths can prevent dehydration, fatigue and exhaustion.

Listen to your body. The human body is a chemistry set that is extremely unique and must be listened to during physical activity. Take time to acclimate to any training in the heat and pay attention to any bodily abnormalities

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