Staying Hydrated: Essential Tips for Exercise in Hot Weather

Coach John
Coach John
Hydration is extra important while exercising in the hotter months. Most don't understand how to properly do to stay hydrated. We got you!
Staying Hydrated: Essential Tips for Exercise in Hot Weather

The weather is hot and that means hydration is extra important, especially while working out in the gym. We are going to naturally lose more water and electrolytes working out in the warmer temperatures, which makes it extra important to replenish it consistently so our body stays functioning and performing the way we want it too. In this post, I am going to cover a few keys things for recognizing dehydration, importance of hydration as someone who works out consistently and aims to stay healthy, and how to stay hydrated!

Proper hydration not only increases performance in the gym in the hot weather but it will also prevent any type of heat related illness, simply to extreme, that could possibly occur.

First, let’s cover recognizing dehydration. Super simple things you can start to be aware of is thirst, dryness in the lips and mouth, dizziness, fatigue, and feeling lethargic. These will likely amplify during your workouts, especially ones with a little more intensity and sweating.

Many time people will come into the gym and feel off, eventually getting light headed. They just can’t put their finger on why all of a sudden, they feel off, and their workout gets negatively affected. My go to in this situation, especially in the warmer weather is dehydration.

The level of hydration in your body controls A LOT. Think if our bodies are already 75% water, there is clearly a reason for it that is very important. Things such as thermoregulation (overheating), keeping our joints moving and feeling good, retention of water in our muscles to prevent injury. All of these things are directly impacted by your level of hydration, and if we want to stay as healthy as possible and keep with our routine of feeling good, it is something we absolutely need to keep in mind in the warmer weather.

So how do we maintain proper hydration? Well it is going to be a healthy mix of water and electrolytes. Electrolytes, meaning sodium, potassium, and magnesium, are extremely important to maintaining hydration. Many often think it is just drinking as much water as possible, but when you do that, you are actually flushing your system of essential electrolytes. This is why it is important to have some form of electrolytes throughout the day, especially post workout, to replenish all that was lost!

But wait coach, I thought too much salt was bad? I don’t believe so. If you have a condition that would be negatively impacted by a higher blood volume, then yes you should consult a doctor to understand what is the proper amount to stay hydrated for you specifically. For the majority of us working out on a regular basis, we are losing a lot of these electrolytes and getting them back into our system in the form of packets, drinks, or salt, is really just replenishing what we got rid of. If we don’t replenish, it isn’t just going to magically appear.

How do we stay hydrated then so we can keep doing what we love and staying healthy. I have a few things that have worked well for me over the years that I can recommend. First, as soon as I wake up in the morning, I have some electrolytes in ice water. You actually sweat a lot at night while you sleep especially in the summer months, so starting the day on the up has always been good to me.

In terms of electrolyte packets, I am a fan of LMNT. The main reason is there is no sugar or BS in there like you may find in CVS or Target brand electrolytes. Truthfully, Gatorade is more sugar than it is electrolytes and hydration, just read the label. So I always aim for no sugar and just the essentials of what I need, and that is sodium, potassium, and magnesium. LMNT can be a little high on the salt for some people who don’t like super salty. There are some others out there that have half of the sodium per serving, like the BPN electrolytes. Great flavor, less salty, still no BS ingredients. Find what works for you.

Other things I will do is eat more fruit. Great sources of potassium and magnesium, and taste great! I always have my water bottle with me and sip on it throughout the day. Couple things here, keep it cold, and try to aim for half your body weight in ounces of water.

Lastly, I will have even more electrolytes before and after a workout. I usually split a packet and do half before and half after, rather than the whole thing. This usually works pretty well.

Why do I do all of this? Well a few years ago when the summer months came, I was getting very light headed, not even just during workouts, but getting up and down at any time throughout the day. I figured out it was my hydration, and have not had any issues since. I can work out in the heat, sweat, feel great, and continue with my lifestyle and goals of being healthy for the long run.

With some simply hydration tactics and education, you can be on top of the summer heat and continue towards the best version of yourself!

If you have any question at all on hydration, or you are ready to make a jump towards being the best version of yourself, click the link below to come chat with me!

- Coach John


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