Summertime is finally here! Which means days at the lake, camping, hiking, and adventuring of all sorts. Summer is definitely my favorite time of year. I’m not a fan of the cold. Plus, for me summer is the season where it is appropriate to be a little lazy. I enjoy lazy days all year round, but feel more justified in the summer. It’s just so much more enjoyable to go about your day not having plans, just doing whatever piques your interest, adventuring with friends on a whim. That’s my favorite. Of course, these adventures usually involve going to the gym. Which involves getting hella sweaty, which requires drinking a bajillion gallons of water.
You know you should be drinking water. You’ve heard the “drink half of your bodyweight in oz. everyday and more if you workout.” So why aren’t you doing it??? Summer is a tough season for exercising, especially in this Texas heat. If you want to keep crushing workouts this summer, you will need to help your body do so.
Hydration plays a huge role in keeping our bodies balanced. Water feeds our muscles and organs. Drink too little and they starve, resulting in muscle cramps and organ failure. Drink too much and you run the risk of essentially flooding your body, causing cells to swell and diluting your sodium levels, something else your body needs to stay running. You’d have to drink quite a lot of water for this to happen, but it does happen. Hence, the reason for sports drinks.
Sports drinks have gotten a bad reputation. Some aren’t all that great for you, but the ones that are can really help improve your performance and the way you feel during workouts. Sports drinks serve to hydrate your body, as well as replace your sodium and electrolyte levels. If you’re in the middle of a long, intense workout in the middle of the summer, you’re sweating out a lot of sodium and electrolytes. These drinks will help you get through the workout better than just plain water because you’re refueling your body as you go. Instead of playing catch-up later, you replenish what you’re losing as you go.
Now for a 10 minute AMRAP, it’s not necessary to chug a sugary sports drink. If you stay on top of your water intake throughout the day, you should be fine for ten minutes of work. But if you’re going on, say, a long run that’s going to last you an hour or more, you should bring something besides water with you, or make it a point to stop and refuel somewhere. Kill Cliff is a great option, as are GU energy gels and salt sticks, both popular among endurance runners. You just have to find what works for you. For more reading on hydration and how to do it, here is a helpful article.
Dehydration happens very easily, and some of the signs are very subtle. Some to watch for are: bad breath, dry skin, muscle cramps, fever and chills, food cravings, and headaches. If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s time to start drinking more water throughout your day. Drinking water on a regular basis over the course of your day is the best way to ensure that you are properly hydrated.
Most people simply don’t think about drinking water. They have too many other things to think about during their day. But there are multiple ways to fix this. One is to keep a water bottle with you at all times. Keep it at your desk while you work, take it with you when you go for a drive (I have about three in my car right now), and ALWAYS bring one to the gym. Make sure you always have access to water. I find that this method is very useful for me because I am a very visual person. If I see my water bottle, I remember to drink water.
Some people set reminders throughout the day for themselves in order to remember to drink water. There is an app called Daily Water – Drink Tracker and Reminder that you could try out. You can set goals of how much water you want to drink that day, and it will track your progress. You can also customize when you want to be reminded to drink.
The Bottom Line
Pay attention to your body. This is the easiest way to determine what you need. Your body will communicate with you, you just need to listen and know what to look for. Take care of yourself and you will continue crushing WODs this summer. Good luck!