This summer, it is better to stay hydrated while exercising!

2022/07/18 Home Education and advice

This summer, it is better to stay hydrated while exercising!
Nick Arcaro Nick Arcaro Athletic Therapist

To maintain optimal performance while exercising during the summer months, it is essential to drink a lot fluids. An imbalance of water and electrolyte levels in the body can adversely affect the systemic functions of the body and significantly reduce tolerance for prolonged exercise. This article will provide you with useful information and tips to stay hydrated all summer long!

The importance of hydration during exercise

The body is made up of almost 65% water. During physical activity perspiration, also known as sweating, helps control the body’s temperature. On the other hand, during prolonged exercise or exercise in extreme heat, the body temperature rises excessively without the proper replacement of fluids lost by perspiration.

As little as 1% decrease in the water level in the body can affect the cardiovascular system. As a result, the body’s ability to sweat and lower the body’s temperature will be reduced.

Hydration

When am I dehydrated?

Unfortunately, it is common for active people not to drink enough fluids, which would help offset the losses caused by exercise and sweating. A person’s feeling of thirst cannot be used as an indicator of the fluid level. It is quite possible that the body is already low on fluids before you feel thirsty.  Dehydration occurs when the proper levels of water and electrolytes are not maintained during exercise. During the summer months, when the temperature is high, these requirements increase by 20-30%.

Here are the initial symptoms that dehydration:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling tired or lazy

As dehydration progresses, symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

How to stay hydrated?

Water and electrolytes like sodium and potassium are lost during exercise. To rebalance those losses, here’s what you can do:

  • drink at least two hours before physical activity
  • start drinking early and at regular intervals during physical activity, approximately 4 sips (150 to 300 ml) every 20 minutes
  • consume fluids that are colder than room temperature and lightly flavored
  • add carbohydrates and electrolytes for physical exercise lasting more than an hour
  • eat balanced meals and drink adequate fluids to help restore the body to normal within 24 hours of exercising

There are several common hydration mistakes. Staying aware of these common mistakes can help you stay healthy and comfortable during your physical activities:

  • Drinking too little
  • Drinking too much
  • Drinking the wrong liquid
  • Swallowing instead of sipping

Hydration

Always keep a water bottle close

Here are some other useful tips to help you stay hydrated:

Before physical activity

  • Drink 500 mL (17oz) 2 hours before

During physical activity

  • Start drinking early and at regular intervals
  • Drinks should be cooler than room temperature
  • Drinks should be available and close at hand

Exercise lasting more than an hour

  • Add electrolytes (30 to 60 g / h) / 600 to 1200 mL

💡The best indicator to measure the level of your body’s hydration is the color of your urine. Urine that is light yellow in color and clear is healthy and urine that is dark yellow is a sign of dehydration.

During the summer, it is even more important to remember that fluid replacement is essential to maintaining normal body temperature. It is not recommended to wait until you are thirsty to replenish fluids. Dehydration is a serious medical condition that can lead to more serious ailments such as heat stress, heat stroke or stroke.

To consult one of our physiotherapists for your summer injuries, go to our website by clicking on the button below or call us for an appointment at 450 934-0701.

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