Lisa Money, RDN, CSSD, LD
Apex Athletic Performance
In South Carolina, you can always count on a hot summer. While your family enjoys fun activities like summer camps for children, summer training for athletes and days by the beach or lake, increased temperatures will make your body produce more sweat to keep you cool. This makes adults, children and athletes struggle with staying hydrated. Just 2 to 3 pounds of sweat loss during physical activity can lead to dehydration.
Here are a few symptoms of dehydration to look out for:
- Increased thirst.
- Dry mouth.
- Elevated heart rate.
- Muscle cramps.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke, which is extremely dangerous. But there are simple things you can do to prevent that from happening. Here are five hydration tips to help you beat the heat:
- Try to drink eight glasses of 8 ounces of water a day.
- Make sure you are well-hydrated before, during and after any physical activity.
- Eat water-packed snacks, such as celery, melon, berries or grapes.
- Keep an eye on your urine. People may not do this often, but it is actually a great indicator of hydration levels. If it is the color of apple juice or lighter, you’re probably in the clear. If it’s a deep yellow or orange, you need to be drinking more water.
- For athletes, it is a good idea to use a fluid plan during training and competition.
One last tip is to consider drinking a sports drink to replenish the electrolytes lost when you sweat. Homemade sports drinks can offer the same nutritional value but at a much lower cost. You can even get creative when making a sports drink by adding 1 cup of cranberry juice, 1 cup of lemonade, 2 ½ cups of water, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Athletes should remember to try the sports drink during training to ensure that it is appealing to them. You can find great recipes for homemade sports drinks here
As the temperatures rise, make sure you follow these tips to staying hydrated. Your mind and body will thank you! If you or someone you know is severely dehydrated, call 911 immediately.
Serving Columbia and Lexington, Apex Athletic Performance has a comprehensive and scientific approach to athletic training and exercise, which includes nutritional assessments.
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