5 Hydration Tips to Beat the Summer Heat
by Jeremy Koerber, Fit2Hunt
Whether on the water, in the woods or on the trail, if you are outside this summer you will have to manage heat and humidity. Fail to do the wrong things and you can also get really sick so here are five tips to keep you hydrated, healthy and performing at high levels all summer long.
Tip #1: Understand Acclimation
When the temperature rises performance dips, core body temperature increases and the risk of heat illness goes up, but you can perform outdoor activity at high levels if you allow your body to acclimate to warmer temps over the course of 10-14 days. Initially, cut back the intensity and duration of your activity, then slowly build back up over time. Most heat illness occurs in the first two to three days of activity.
Tip #2: Drink Up
Once acclimated, increase your fluid intake because your body will naturally sweat more. Always have fluids with you. The vessel you carry it in (water bottle, camel back pack, etc) does not matter. What does matter is you have enough to get you through your activity and beyond.
Tip #3: If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated
Thirst is an indicator of dehydration. Most sources will encourage you to drink up prior to going out for a hike, run or working in the woods and suggest 5-10 ounces of fluids for every 15-20 minutes of outdoor activity in hot weather. And avoid alcohol and caffeine. A cold beer on a hot day may sound good but it will accelerate dehydration due to its diuretic effect.
Tip #4: Hydrate & Recover
A question we often receive is on what to drink? Generally speaking, for activity less than an hour, water will suffice. Anything longer and we suggest a recovery drink and I will adjust that rule if I go for a quick three mile run in really humid conditions. The product we recommend is Wilderness Athlete Hydrate and Recover because it contains both electrolytes and components like branch chain amino acids and B Vitamins that help the muscles recover. Last year I was working on the farm to get ready for deer season and I did not hydrate properly. I credit Hydrate and Recover for helping me avoid having to call an ambulance. Available in both individual packets and tubs, we keep them in the truck, tackle box, gym bag and hunting pack. Use promo code: fittohunt to save some green on your order.
Tip #5: How to tell you are hydrated
If you lose a pound of weight when exercising or working outdoors, it will take approximately two cups of fluids to replenish your body. The easy way to ensure proper hydration would be to consume fluids equal to the fluid you lose through sweating but since it is unlikely you are toting a scale on the hiking trail or in the woods there is an easier way to measure hydration levels: Urine color. When properly hydrated, your urine should be an odorless, pale yellow color. A darker, yellow color with an odor is a sign you need to consume more water.
Even mild dehydration will impact performance and ignoring signs of heat illness such as nausea, fatigue, dizziness, headache, and extreme weakness can be catastrophic. Follow these five tips to keep hydrated, be healthy and stay #FitToHunt!
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