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How To Stay Hydrated On A Hot Run

How To Stay Hydrated On A Hot Run

Just like every piece of good advice, we often ignore the adage about staying hydrated on a hot run. But perhaps knowing exactly what happens to your body when you exercise without proper dehydration will finally convince you. Here are some lesser known dehydration effects:

Skin

As you exercise and your body becomes warm, the pores of your skin open and begin to produce water in a cooling effort. This is completely normal. As you continue to exercise, however, your body is forced to choose between allocating available water to your muscles or to your skin.

In that contest, the muscles win every time, and your skin, lacking water, begins to contract, and close pores and sweat outlets.

Test it: Pinch your skin during a hot run. Warm skin that bounces back quickly from a pinch is an indication of good water levels. Cold skin that fails to bounce is a warning that dehydration has already begun.

Tip: Begin hydrating before and at the start of your workout. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Two to three hours before you first hit the run is the best time to begin guzzling.

Kidneys

Your kidneys are the liquid processing center of your entire body. They not only clean about 135 quarts of blood every day, but they process excess waste water, while also keeping life-saving electrolytes–such as sodium, potassium, and phosphate—in balance.

As your body loses water, the kidneys desperately attempt to save water and minerals. Less water is routed to the bladder and the delicate balance of electrolyte minerals is disrupted.

Test it: As less and less water is used in your body’s waste water, the concentration of ammonia and mineral content rises. Urine color changes from a nearly clear color to yellow and then amber. Amber colored urine means you’re already dehydrated.

Tip: Don’t just drink water. Get something with electrolytes. Sports drinks like Powerade, Gatorade, and Vitalyte can go the extra mile in replenishing your body’s minerals store, but even all-natural drinks such as coconut water can help too.

Your Performance and Your Life

A decrease of as little as 2% of your body weight in water can decrease your athletic performance by as much as 30%. A 200-pound man who loses between 2 and 4 pounds of water on a run will tack on 3 minutes to every mile he usually runs in 10. Add to that the impaired cognitive functioning and dangerous body conditions, and dehydration is not something any athlete can afford.

Last Tip: Make a drinking regimen and stick to it. Human beings, like most species, experience delayed rehydration. That means that even if you drink when you’re thirsty, it will take time for the water to circulate within all your systems.

Making a hydration schedule and sticking to it, drinking even when you don’t feel thirsty will go a long way in making sure your performance remains top notch.

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