Hot weather and hydration

I feel that it is time to post some advice along with the weekly Toronto Tri Trek Team goings on.
It has been hot in south central Ontario this summer. I am not complaining; I love the heat. But, I also have learned through experience, knowledgeable coaches and my studies in physiology and biology how to take care of my hydration in the heat.

Here’s the rub for us athletes who are exercising in the heat: you need to take in water AND electrolytes in order to stay properly hydrated. The most important electrolypte is sodium, but potassium is also critical. Your body sets up osmotic gradients using sodium in order to absorb water. If you body does not have enough sodium, it can literally not absorb the water you are ingesting. Your body has 3 mechanism to regulate excess sodium – via urine, sweat, water retention. But it does not have mechanisms to deal with low sodium other than shutting down or slowing down its physical functions.
Even slight dehydration can harm performance by 2%.

My advice?
Make sure that you are taking in some specific electrolytes (tabs, caps, premixed drink) every time you exercise in the heat – before, during and after.
Drink 500mls of water within the first 2 hours of waking in the morning.
Drink a couple of glasses of water or low fat milk in the evening after dinner (but stop drinking an hour before going to bed so that you aren’t waking to go pee!)
Eat a couple of pieces of fruit everyday (great sourse of water and electrolytes)

Take care of your body’s hydration and it will perform and recover better.

Ayesha

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