Ernest’s July Arundel Voice Article
Did you miss the heat and humidity? For many it greatly affects our outdoor activities; what you do and when you do it. We can’t allow the weather to completely dictate when and what we do outside, whether it is yard work or a physical activity of some kind. What you can do is make sure you are taking care of your body while exposing it to hotter conditions. The most important component is being properly hydrated. I don’t think we can be reminded about hydration enough, you still hear stories of individuals that get themselves into trouble from improper hydration. On average your body is made up of 65% water. It may surprise you but the old adage of 8 glasses of water a day has been updated. One of the current thoughts on water consumption is that you should be drinking 0.6 – 0.7 ounces of water per pound of body weight. One other thought is to take your body weight and divide it in half and that is how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day. This is a much simpler calculation and is close to the other recommendation at 0.5 ounces of water per body weight. These are guidelines and will vary depending on your activity level and your personal body characteristics. Did you know your hydration is one of the greatest determinations of your strength?
A study from Loma Linda University in California showed that men drinking 5 glasses of water a day vs. 2 glasses a day, had a 54% lower risk of dying of a heart attack, for women it was a 41% lower risk. If that isn’t a motivator to increase your daily water intake I don’t know what is.
WHY HYDRATE DURING EXERCISE?
Even at a moderate pace in mild temperatures, you can lose 3 to 4 liters of water during 2 to 3 hours of exercise. That’s equal to between 3/4 and one gallon of water!
YOU NEED TO HYDRATE CONTINUALLY:
The key to assimilating water and staying properly hydrated is to drink water continually, a little bit at a time, the cooler the better. Your body can absorb only about a liter of water per hour, which is often less than you’re losing. Which is why you need to be properly hydrated prior to your activities.
HOW TO STAY HYDRAYED:
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – the leading authority on sports medicine and physiology in the United States – has released “Exercise and Fluid Replacement”, a position stand that provides scientifically-based guidelines for effective hydration. They recommend the following actions to minimize the debilitating effects of hydration on health and performance:
|1. Drink Early||Drink about 17 ounces of liquid about 2 hours before exercise.|
|2. Drink Often||The body absorbs liquids better when it is continually sipped rather than gulped infrequently. Drink 5-8 oz every 15-20 minutes.|
|3. Add Sports Mixes||For exercise over 1 hour, add mixes with carbohydrates and electrolytes.|
|4. Keep Fluids Cool||Liquids in the 59-72 degree range are more easily absorbed.|
|5. Keep Fluids Accessible||Fluids should be readily available and served in containers that allow adequate amounts to be ingested with ease and minimal interruption of exercise.|
|6. Drink After Exercise||Make sure you drink after finishing exercise, since it is nearly impossible during exercise to ingest as much fluid as you are losing.|
Talk to your family about proper hydration to help improve their health and strength.
Editors Note: My favorite water bottles are the Camelbak bottles. I carry one of the Eddy bottles everyday for my hydration needs and I ride with either the Podium bottle or the Chill bottle.