Dog Days of Summer

I don’t know about you all, but I am done with summer. I never really get into it, truth be told, but this year, the heat has sucked the life out of me worse than usual. I am tired of finishing runs looking like I jumped into a swimming pool somewhere along the way, squishing my way through the miles and flinging sweat off my elbows. I am no fun to run with these days either, as there is a major splash zone surrounding me and to run side by side is to risk getting drenched by proxy.

I probably should have written about proper hydration earlier in the year, but there is still plenty of summer left and it is never to late to practice better habits. So I thought today we would talk about hydration a little bit.

I am a sweater, but even if you aren’t a sweater, you need to pay attention to the amount of water you drink in a day. It is recommended by the Institute of Medicine that women drink 91 ounces of water a day and men ought to drink 120 ounces a day. If you sweat a lot, if your shirt and shorts are soaked at the end of an easy run, then you should make an effort to drink more. You can go by thirst, but it helps to pay attention. I am not great at drinking throughout the day, so I have a giant water bottle that I know I have to go all the way through two times. It helps to have that goal in mind, otherwise I would never be hydrated fully.

If after you run or exercise, you have salty streaks on your skin, then you need to make sure to drink something other than water to replace the salt lost. Water is great, but you need to get in some sports drink or anything with electrolytes. Even salting your food a little bit extra can help to replace sodium.

When running longer than 60-90 minutes, it is always a good idea to drink midrun, and summer heats make that especially key. Having sports drink within longer runs is helpful too, as the carbs can be used for energy, along with valuable electrolyte replacement.

It is also helpful to pay attention to the color of your urine. You don’t need to drink until your pee is clear, that is a bit excessive, but pale yellow is a good color to shoot for. Even more important though is to notice differences in your own pee spectrum. If you see big changes toward darker colors, you probably need to drink more.

And don’t forget that you get water from food too! All those delicious summer time fruits, watermelon, peaches, cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes, are full of water, so eat up!! Even better, you get vitamins and other nutrients as well. More bang for your buck!

I hope that helped a little. I know I need the reminder every now and again to pay attention and drink up!!

Happy running!!

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