Endurance athletes know the important need to stay hydrated during summer training. Proper hydration is a concern for every individual during warm months. It is not as simple as drinking as much water as possible. It is also important to understand factors such as how much fluid the body can absorb, how much water is lost and what drinks are best. Drinking high volumes of water in hot weather does not mean that all the water is absorbed into your body. Electrolytes, sodium and potassium also play an important role in aiding water absorption.
Water, sports drinks and fruit juice are good for hydrating during summer months. Make sure you carry a water bottle with you whenever you go out. For short trips, water and juice are the best fluids to drink. However, drinking juice or water over long periods of activity outdoors can cause electrolyte levels to drop. Eventually, water alone is inhibited from absorbing into the body. In these situations, sport drinks are best because they contain important electrolytes. An alternative to sports drink is to include a salty snack, like pretzels.
The general recommended guideline for drinking is eight 8-ounce glasses (8 cups total) each day. It is a good idea to get something that can track exactly how much water you are drinking, like the SOURCE Liquitainer that comes in 4 sizes ranging from .75 liters to 4 liters. That way you know how many times you need to fill it up to drink your quota for the day.
Keep in mind that 8 ounces (1 cup) is only a guideline for an average person partaking in average activities. People tend to lose six cups of water through urination and an additional two cups from respiration. Active people, especially those outside in the heat, should be drinking far more than the 64-ounce (8 cup) a day guideline.
One simple method to determine hydration levels is by looking at the color of urine. It should be slightly yellow. Dark yellow is a strong indicator that an individual is not hydrated sufficiently. Clear urine is generally not problematic and an indication that a person is well hydrated.
Not every person sweats at the same rate. For those involved in outdoor activities, it is possible to determine sweat rate. This is simply performed by determining weight before the activity and after a designated period, 30 minutes. Weight loss is attributed mostly to the amount of water lost from sweating.
Summer hydration depends on a careful balance of water intake and water loss. Thirst is often a simple indicator. The body knows that the need for water and thirst is an early symptom of dehydration like hunger is a need for food. A one percent drop in water generally causes a feeling of thirst. If you are active and do not like having to stop what you are doing every time you need a drink, the SOURCE hydration backpack is the best solution for you. With a tube that is easily accessible you won’t need to stop to take a drink.
Every individual should follow basic recommendations and stay well hydrated during summer months. Remember that the general guidelines do not apply for every person and every activity. Take a moment to analyze your hydration needs and adjust your intake accordingly.