The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the endorphins are flowing like the trees in a summer breeze. Suddenly, a feeling of weakness interrupts your workout. Your mouth becomes dry, your muscles are cramping and you’ve noticed that your sweating has decreased. This is your body telling you that you are dehydrated. While Mother Nature’s scenic landscape may distract you from listening to your body during your outdoor workout, it is crucial that you stay hydrated while exercising beneath the hot summer sun.
The most effective defense against dehydration is to drink fluids before, during and after a workout. About one to two hours before exercising drink fifteen to twenty ounces of water, which is about one standard sized water bottle. Then, fifteen to twenty minutes before you begin, drink about 8-10 ounces. During your workout, try to hydrate about 8 ounces every fifteen minutes. It is important to weigh yourself after exercising so that you know how much fluid needs to be replaced—this will guide how much water you should drink throughout the rest of the day. Drink twenty-twenty four ounces for every pound lost. Even if you are not outdoors, dehydration still poses a threat to anyone breaking a sweat without replace his or her lost fluids.
Putting water in your body is like putting gasoline in a car. Without water, your body cannot work to its full potential. You will become more lethargic, dizzy, mentally exhausted and you will feel cramps sooner. Water is necessary for many of the chemical reactions that take place in your body while you exercise, too. When these reactions slow down, the muscles and tissues in your body will recover less quickly as compared to a hydrated athlete. It’s okay to soak up the sun—but be sure to beat the heat by staying hydrated all summer long.