Nathan offers great products to help you carry your hydration on the run - and we have these hot-weather hydration tips from our friends at Nuun! Read on to find out how to stay safe in the heat and run your best!
By Jesse Kropelnicki & Jaime Windrow – The Core Diet
As the hot weather months approach, you should move hydration to the top of your athletic priority list. Although hydration is an important factor year-round to overall health, slight dehydration of even 2% of your body weight can negatively affect performance, and your chances of this happening in the upcoming months are much higher. It’s been shown in studies that this nutritional intervention of staying properly hydrating is the best way to enhance or improve performance.
While drinking water is important, another major factor that can impair performance is hyponatremia. This metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium (salt) in the body fluids can be caused by over-hydrating and/or hydrating with only water, which can flush electrolytes from your body. Electrolyte drinks such as Nuun are perfect for pre-event or during the day hydration as they contain sodium but without much of the un-needed carbohydrates many sports drinks have.
Drink fluids throughout the day and before/during/post workouts. Maintaining a good hydration status on a daily basis by staying a step ahead of dehydration is the best approach. Waiting until you are thirsty to drink fluids is too late – you are already dehydrated and you’ll find yourself constantly playing the game of catch-up!
Each day try to consume half your body weight (in pounds) in liquid ounces PLUS what you sweat out in training (your sweat rate). For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim to consume 75 ounces of water or electrolyte drink per day plus losses that occur during workouts.
Average sweat rate is typically 1 – 1.5L of fluid per hour (32-48oz), and 500 – 1,500mg of sodium per hour, however your personal sweat rate will depend on several factors such the environmental conditions (temperature, humidity); genetics, and the athletic conditioning of the athlete.
Your sweat rate can be determined by a simple “sweat test”:
Most people’s sweat contains about 500mg of sodium per 16oz. Very salty sweaters can have up to 1000mg or 1500mg per 16oz of sweat. As a very general rule of thumb, during long walking or running events, you should pee a minimum of every 2.5 hours to ensure you are staying hydrated.
The majority of your fluid requirements throughout the day to maintain health and hydration should come from water or electrolyte drink like Nuun. For those individuals training for extended periods of time (~ 1 hour +), water may not be the best rehydration approach. As you’ve learned above, electrolytes are lost in sweat, most importantly sodium and potassium, and these will not be replaced by drinking plain water. Choosing a drink with electrolytes, such as Nuun, will provide your body with these vital electrolytes, and you’ll have more rapid rehydration because of it.