Kate Cornelius is the Brand Manager for Fleet Feet Sports PDX Fit Right. She’s currently training for her first Olympic distance triathlon and the Portland Marathon. When she’s not out for a run, you’ll find her cooking or enjoying the Portland food scene!
Dehydration can sneak up on you, especially now that the weather is really warming up. While we may not be dealing with Phoenix, Arizona level heat, temperatures and humidity in Oregon can reach highs that make dehydration a serious threat.
Last month, we covered nutrition before, during, and after your workout; this month, it’s hydration’s turn! After all, if you have a plan for one and not the other, you’re setting yourself up for problems. Water is critical to the body at all times, but especially when the temperature begins to rise. It’s important to keep your body’s water level replenished, especially during exercise when your body turns on it’s cooling mechanism: sweat. As your sweat evaporates, it cools tissue below and uses up your body’s water supplies. As your water levels drop, bodily function decreases (and if you’re working out, your performance suffers).
Signs of dehydration include:
● Flushed skin
● Dry cough/mouth
● Dark colored urine
● Heat intolerance
How much liquid should I be taking in?
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends active people drink 16-20 oz of fluid water one to two hours before outdoor activity. You also need 6-12 oz of fluids for every additional 10-15 minutes you’re outside. Once you’re finished with your workout, you need to replace what you’ve lost—at least another 16-24 oz. Coffee and alcohol don’t count (they’ll actually have the opposite effect)!
Sounds like a lot, right? I know I’m guilty of skimping on the liquids. And it’s not always as
simply as filling up a water bottle and heading out the door. If you’re planning on more than an hour or so of light activity (like walking), you should consider a sports drink. You lose more than just water in sweat; valuable and necessary electrolytes (including sodium and
potassium) are lost as well.
Here at Fleet Feet Sports, we’re big fans of the many drink options available. My personal
favorite is Nuun Hydration, available in so many (sugar-free! no stickiness!) delicious flavor
tablets (try the strawberry lemonade). There are both caffeinated and non-caffeinated
options available. Great for on the go simply drop a tablet into your water bottle and watch the effervescence power up your water! Our Fleet Feet Training Program members love it too!
Other great options for during your workout include GU Hydration Drink Mix (formerly GU
Brew provides carbohydrates and electrolytes and comes in fun flavors like blueberry
pomegranate) and Hammer HEED (High Energy Electrolyte Drink provides complex carbs,
complex electrolytes, and supplemental nutrients). You may also want to consider
supplementing your drinks with electrolyte pills (such as by Hammer or Replace Sustained
Don’t forget to hydrate after your workout as well. Keep drinking electrolyte beverages if
you’re feeling run down and need a bit more, try Hammer Recoverite, which includes both
carbs and protein.
Now that you’re set on what to drink, you need a fluid delivery system (sounds fancy, right?). This can be something as simple as a hand carried water bottle or something as involved as a hydration backpack. We’re big fans of Nathan, Ultimate Direction, and Amphipod. Each brand and product offers something a little different, so it’s important to come in to the store to try them out and see how each feels. If you’re heading out for a quick run, you’re likely set with a hand bottle. Going a little longer? Try a belt! Training for a long distance race? You might need a backpack. Don’t forget that your body need more fluids at higher elevations, so take more with you if you’re already at a high altitude or are going for a climb.
Our in-store Nathan Pro Mary Miller loves TriBerry Nuun and the Nathan Quick Shot Plus water bottle – it’s small, light, and easy (with thumbholes for a secure grip!). A great combo for short runs!
Remember, drink before you’re thirsty. If you wait until you’re thirsty, you’re already