Friday, August 27, 2010

Tip on Staying Hydrated

With the super-hot weather we had this week I thought it would be good to touch on the importance of staying hydrated while exercising.

Here's some hydration facts:
1) Being dehydrated by 1% increases your heart rate by 3-5 beats per minute!
2) Being more than 2% dehydrated in warm environments causes a decline in performance!
- In one study of runners in a 12K race, those who were dehydrated finished 2:30 minutes SLOWER than the runners that were properly hydrated.
3) Dehydration causes your blood volume to drop which lowers your body's ability to transfer heat and forces your heart to beat faster.

So how do we properly hydrate??
1) Drink 8 - 16 oz of water 1-2 hours prior to a run (or any exercise done outdoors in heat)
2) Drink 4 - 8 oz 15 - 30 minutes prior to starting the run/exercise.
3) Sip as needed during your run/exercise. You should not get to the point you feel thirsty!
4) After exercise, be sure to consume 4 - 6 oz for every 20 minutes that you were running/exercising in order to replenish your fluids.

Are you a distance runner? Here's a tip for doing distance in the heat: Before your run, make a slushy of ice and your favorite sports drink. Or, fill your water bottle half full the night before and freeze; before your run top off the bottle with water or your favorite sports drink. Either option serves the same purpose - colder drinks lower your body temperature which thereby lowers your Perceived Level of Exertion (how hard you think your working). Lowering your PLE means you don't think you're working as hard and therefore you end of working longer.

I hope these little facts and tip are helpful to you. Remember that hydration is extremely important to our overall health and performance.

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