Hydration in the Heat

Photo credit: Puroxi

By:  Diana Davis RD LD CDE

It’s that time of year again – hot, humid, muggy May! We know it’s only going to get worse as we head into summer, but we still want/need to train to maintain fitness or get ready for the next event. The most important detail of your run plans over summer will be hydration.

Why: Better hydration (specifically using a sports drink) promotes better cooling of the body, better endurance, less muscle damage, less cortisol release, faster recovery and a better workout the next time you go out.
What to drink: This is a very individual choice. If your run is 1 hour or less, water is an appropriate choice. For all runs that are over 60 minutes, I recommend a sports drink – the one that tastes so good that you want to drink it! Your sports drink choice should contain carbohydrates from dextrose, sucrose, and/or maltodextrin and relatively less fructose. Sweat contains the electrolytes sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium so your electrolyte replacement drink should ideally contain these.

How much to drink: The most accurate way to determine this is to calculate your sweat rate, but if you have not done this, a good rule of thumb is to drink 16-32 ounces of your favorite sports drink for each hour of running.

When to drink: Drink early and often, taking sips before you start and continuing to take sips while you run. This means that you need to carry or wear your preferred sports drink and have replenishments stashed along your route or circle back to your house, car or other source to refill.

If you need more detailed hydration and nutrition plans to supplement your training, contact Diana at dianadavisrd@gmail.com.