The summer heat is here, and with temperatures already reaching 105 degrees it’s more important than ever to consume plenty of water. Most research shows that the majority of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and those that exercise in the heat may suffer from fatigue, weakness, muscle cramps, and an eventual rise in core body temperature. The key to fighting off dehydration is to drink before you’re thirsty and anticipate your body’s need for fluids long before you begin to see the symptoms.
Here are some quick tips for exercising in the heat and staying hydrating this summer:
- Drink before you’re thirsty— thirst means you’re already about 20% dehydrated!
- Try to exercise outside in the morning or head indoors
- Slowly ease into outdoor activities as the temperature rises (the average time to acclimate to the Arizona heat is 14 days!)
- Wear loose cotton or performance wicking clothing
- Drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning
- Drink a large glass of water about 1-2 hours before exercising
- Sip on water about every 15 minutes during exertion
- Continue to consume plenty of water throughout the day – the 8 / 8 ounce glass a day rule doesn’t fit everyone, you may need more!
- Check the color of your urine – Clear or light color means you’re hydrated
- Understand that caffeine is a diuretic which can speed up dehydration