Summer is right around the corner. The days are longer, and we’re all spending more time having fun outside.
A day spent outside in the sun and heat may be fun, but it can mess with your hydration and electrolyte levels.
So what’s the best way to stay hydrated? The obvious choice that’s readily available is going to be water. Our bodies need water to carry out essential functions. Plus, water is how we maintain healthy blood circulation and normal body temperature.
When we get dehydrated, your body isn’t as efficient at cooling itself off. To keep things running smoothly, make sure that you’re making water a priority. Especially in hotter temperatures. Drink enough so that you’re not thirsty, but not so much that you end up with that uncomfortable sloshy feeling in your stomach.
In really extreme temperatures or during longer or high-intensity workouts where you’re sweating more than what seems normal, it’s a good idea to supplement your water with electrolytes.
Here are a few ways that you can get those necessary electrolytes:
Coconut water naturally contains electrolytes, but not all coconut water options are the same. Aim for options that don’t have added sugars. The more simple the ingredient list, the better.
Sports drinks can contain as much sugar as soda, so they might not seem like the best option for staying hydrated. However, when used for their original purpose (to keep you fueled and hydrated), then it’s not a bad choice. They’re full of electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which is what can get depleted. Look for drinks that don’t contain additives or over-do the sugar content. And, only drink sports drinks during or immediately after a workout.
Electrolyte tablets (for example, Nuun), make it easy to carry electrolytes with you. These portable tablets come in a small cylinder, and all you have to do is drop one or two into your water. Tablets tend to have little to no carbohydrates and will replenish electrolytes like sodium, calcium and potassium.
A Few Final Tips
If you know you’re going to spend a day outside or you have a tough workout coming up, then start hydrating the day before. If you start the day in a deficit, you’ll be playing catch-up all day. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol which can increase your chances of becoming dehydrated.
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