The Heat is On

Summer Time Hydration

No, we’re not talking about grabbing a cold one with a few buddies on a Friday evening during happy hour. That one you can figure out on your own. What we are here to give you is some information on is staying hydrated throughout exercise and your day during the warm summer months. While there is a lot of information out there regarding hydration, we hope to provide you with a number of reminders and possibly a new trick or tip to help you reach your HOT training goals. The following are what we try to incorporate into our training as the temps heat up, and we are trying to drop our times in races!

Start your day with a big glass of water. This is sometimes harder than it sounds, with snooze buttons delaying your morning, children, work prep, etc, but having that glass of water will help get a good start to your morning, whether you are going out for a run or not. We already start the day off somewhat dehydrated after not drinking anything for anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on when your last drink was the night before. Shoot for 16 ounces 1-2 hours before your run and still keep drinking smaller doses until it’s time to hit the road or your favorite trail.

Pay attention to your pee.  Dark colored urine is an extremely solid indicator that you aren’t hydrated adequately. It’s probably going to be darker in the morning, but make sure you are getting a very light yellow, if not clear the rest of the day. This is generally the easiest way to monitor your hydration although there may be more specific tests to perform if you’re still feeling dehydrated on a typical run.

Perform a sweat test.  Occasionally you should try to perform a sweat test on yourself. This simply means to weigh yourself before and after your run, calculate the difference, and compare that to how much water, sports drink, and other calories you consumed during exercise.  If you have lost weight, you should try to hydrate more, proportionately. On the other hand, if you’ve gained weight, you may be able to reduce your intake so that you aren’t feeling heavy and/or bloated. If you lose 1 lb on a 1 hour run, you will generally need another 16 ounces of fluid during that hour. If you lost the same amount on a 2 hour run, you will need about 8 ounces per hour. These numbers can change with different factors, so keep that in mind when planning your hydration for your next run. If you perform the test on a 50 degree overcast day, you may sweat less than on a day when you sleep in a bit and it’s all of a sudden 75 and sunny before you get out to grind out a run.

Practice your fuel plan, a lot. Just like you practice running hills before racing Boston, or your form before your track workout, hydrating and finding that right balance of the perfect sports drink, water, and other nutrition combination should be practiced as well.  PowerBar Perform Sports drink is an excellent choice to start with. Mixing 1 scoop with 8 ounces of water will give you 190 mg of sodium, 10 mg of potassium, 17 carbohydrates, along with 10 g of sugar.  These electrolytes, carbs, and sugars will give you a balance of energy, endurance boost, and cramp fighting ingredients you will need on a warm run.  Their recommended intake of sports drink is anywhere from 13-26 ounces per hour.  This is a large range, so figuring out what works with your body is key.

Rehydrate after your run.  Along with an ice cold glass of water after you’re done crushing your long run, find a post run carbohydrate and protein filled drink to provide the jumpstart to recovery that you need so that you can come back in your next workout feeling strong and repaired. While chocolate milk will certainly do the trick, you can step up your recovery game a bit by getting a recovery drink mix and making a killer smoothie. Look for a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrates to protein when buying a recovery mix with anywhere between 10-20 g of protein.  PowerBar Recovery mix will provide these nutritional values for you. Mix up a serving of protein, some almond milk, a banana and a handful or two of another favorite fruit, scoop of peanut butter and top with unsweetened coconut flakes and you have yourself a dynamite recovery smoothie.

Hydrating, especially in the summer months is a huge key to training and racing success. We wish you cool mornings for training and the best summer of racing and fun possible!  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us!