Friday, July 6, 2012

The Heat of Summer Takes it Out of You

So, you're outside having fun and enjoying all kinds of summer activities. Well, it's very important to be mindful of your water intake and your electrolyte balance.  These hot summer days can, and do, deplete your fluid levels and electrolytes very quickly.  You can quickly feel light headed, dizzy and even a little nauseous. Of course, prevention is always worth a pound of cure.  Hydrate first, before going out in the hot sun or before exercising in the heat.

Hydration is a Must
It is well-documented in the research literature that exercise performance is optimal when athletes and active individuals maintain fluid balance during exercise (Coyle, 2004). So, it is imperative that all active individuals drink adequate amounts of fluids and stay well hydrated.  Active individuals exercising in special environmental conditions (heat, cold, altitude) need to take extra precautions to remain hydrated (ACSM 1996a; Brinkley et al., 2002; Freund & Sawka, 1996).

Maintaining Water and Electrolyte Balance
Maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance means that active individuals need to replace the water and electrolytes lost in sweat. This requires that active individuals, regardless of age, strive to hydrate well before exercise, drink fluids throughout exercise, and rehydrate once exercise is over.

As outlined by ACSM and NATA (ACSM, 1996a; Casa et al., 2000), generous amounts of fluids should be consumed 24-h before exercise and 400-600 ml of fluid should be consumed 2-h before exercise. During exercise, active individuals should attempt to drink ~150-350 ml (6-12 oz) of fluid every 15-20 minutes.

Click here to see some products that help maintain your electrolyte balance.

In Health, 
Naturally Botanicals Team