Keep hydrated during summer for your 5k race
Summertime: that time of the year when the beach calls you by name. Before heeding its call, you must first do a few things: grab that sweet, little yellow polka dot bikini (or trunks), a bottle of sunblock and most importantly: BOTTLED WATER! Proper hydration is of vital importance, even more crucial than catching that skin- blessing Vitamin D. For every degree the temperature rises, an additional (minimum) amount of 300ml of water is required. You must look to replenish that deficit by either drinking more water or obtaining the additional required amount through food and/or beverage.
Consuming the right amount of water and minerals (like electrolytes) is necessary to maintain homeostasis. Electrolytes are key players which keep your digestive, nervous, muscular and cardiac systems balanced. When electrolyte levels in the body are imbalanced, they can cause cramping and fatigue.
What minerals are necessary for daily consumption?
[Cue Jeopardy “think” music]
No answers? Not to worry – here’s a cheat sheet:
- Sodium (sea salt, canned tuna, sodas, peanut butter).
- Potassium (bananas, avocado, spinach, etc.)
- Calcium (Milk, yogurt, kale, broccoli, etc.)
- Magnesium (whole-grain, quinoa, spinach, dark chocolate -yay!-, etc.)
- Phosphorus (meats, poultry, fish, nuts, beans, dairy products)
- Sulfur (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onion, garlic, eggs). Pro tip: Sulphur is key to the recovery of joint health.
So, what exactly happens when we are dehydrated? Plenty happens. To name a few: fatigue, headaches, dark colored urine, and other symptoms you may not immediately attribute to dehydration, like dry skin, bad breath and cravings, especially for sweets.
This is a real struggle in the summer, especially among runners. Due to the high levels of humidity and heat, the evaporation process of sweat from the skin is slower, making it difficult for the body to cool itself. These factors can turn an easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy 5k race into an odyssey of epic proportions.
The question is, how much water should you drink during this time?
On average, most runners shed anywhere between half a liter to two liters of sweat per hour of exercise. To replenish, you need to consume at least 25 ounces of fluid per hour. Of course, each runner has different needs. Listen to your body and pay close attention to your perspiration rate. You must determine if you need extra hydration doses like electrolytes. Keep in mind, though, that electrolytes are lost through both urine and sweat.
What will you get in turn when you successfully manage your body’s hydration needs?
Research shows that cardiovascular and thermoregulatory processes will be optimized, hence, your performance will improve. You will also suffer less muscle fatigue, enjoy a better mood throughout the day, and you might even sleep better at night.
Now it’s time to put into practice all these tips and strive for an improved time, pace and ultimately, performance.
If you have any other tips that can benefit runners around the world, we’d love to hear them! Share them using hashtag #IntratecPerformance, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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