How to Properly Hydrate for Your Next Outdoor Workout
Warm weather is here! And while it technically is spring now, Summer is just around the corner! Warm weather brings more outdoor activities and many of you reading this will be signing up for some of them yourself. I’m talking marathons, swimming, baseball, soccer, 5k’s, Tri’s, Ironman’s, Spartans, Mud Runs, the list goes on and on. It's one of my favorite times of year because there are so many outdoor activities to choose from. Everything is more fun outside, whether you're swimming, running or cycling.
As we transition to being in the sun more, we tend to lose more sweat not just in training but in everyday life too. Warm weather can bring a distinct set of challenges to the table for us outdoors enthusiasts. It’s extra hard to maintain the fluid level in balance and because of this we may experience extra fatigue and feel more sweaty at all times too. Most of the world simply submits to drinking more water, which is partially the right thing to do, but it isn’t the only thing necessary to thrive when it comes to performing or even living at a high level.
When we sweat in the gym or outside we lose water, yes, but also electrolytes. We lose sodium, potassium and magnesium. It is extremely important that as we hydrate, we make sure it is with a balance of electrolytes as well. If we sweat and work hard, then simply replace our sweat with plain water then we are simply diluting our body. This is far from beneficial and can even become dangerous (look up hyponatremia). In order for us to optimize the way our muscles forcefully contract and even relax we must keep our electrolyte levels topped off. Considering the effects that the sun and warmer temperatures can have on your body and your performance, and to be sure to get appropriate hydration are a must.
Not only that, but in order for us to continue to pump oxygen-rich blood through our muscles at an efficient rate we must prioritize our hydration with these electrolytes, specifically sodium, so that our blood doesn’t become more viscous or thicker. The thicker our blood becomes the harder it is to pump through our bodies and because that is what delivers oxygen to our muscles, we are in trouble especially when it comes to a drop in our performance.
So what should we do then? Well, plan your hydration. Know that as the weather gets warmer it is a time you’ll sweat more inside and outside and plan to have a water bottle with you, almost at all times. But we suggest not just having plain water in it all day. Prior to and during training look for products like Hydra-Guard that will allow you to optimize your training and your hydration. This delicious drink has more electrolytes than Gatorade and a much lower ingredient list.
After a strenuous workout, it’s important to give your body time to recover. If you don’t rest, you will be more susceptible to soreness, trouble sleeping, and a decrease in performance. Rest needs to be part of your daily routine as well as part of your exercise plan—build in one rest day per week, and take time to recover after every workout. Overall, beating the heat and doing a full workout is entirely doable.
Just be smart and sensible about the temperature, and always keep in mind your own personal limits. If you want to avoid serious injuries that could put you out of commission for a while, you need to listen to your body. Persistence is key. By following the steps above I guarantee you will be able to achieve any goal you set yourself to do throughout the Spring!
Like I mentioned in this article, luckily there are already healthier options of foods and drinks on the market that can help people get their essential vitamins and minerals without the extra calories.
Ultimately, taking steps towards better mental and physical health will complement one another. When you have a good attitude and you feel well physically, you’ll feel less vulnerable to stress. Moreover, you’ll feel as though the world has more possibilities and there’s more to look forward to during your Spring workouts.
Many professional athletes endorse the use of sports drinks to better prepare them and to stay mentally and physically sharp throughout their season. Minnesota Vikings’ Running Back Alexander Mattison also emphasizes the importance of sports drinks like Hydra-Guard in his preparation to play at the NFL level. “I believe that staying Properly Hydrated with products such as Hydra-Guard is very important because as an athlete, it becomes part of a healthy lifestyle choice and it helps me to prevent any injuries,” says Alex.