Hydration in the summer
Summer hydration – When water is not enough
By Liz Lovering (intraining sports dietitian, nutritionist, chef, coach and runner)
Adequate hydration is particularly important in the Queensland summer. Pay attention to your everyday fluid intake to make sure you are not dehydrated. Urine colour can be used as a general guide, with a pale straw or clear colour indicating you are hydrated, (although bear in mind that multivitamins can affect the colour of urine too).
Water is great for general hydration and for shorter low intensity runs, but electrolyte replacement (especially sodium) is particularly important when running in the heat, or if you are a salty sweater (white residue on face and running gear).
Electrolytes can be found in foods, and so a meal eaten after a run can help provide electrolytes. But they are also found in sports drinks or in low/no carb electrolyte replacement formulas (useful if you don’t want or need the addition of carbohydrate for shorter low intensity runs). Electrolytes can be bought as tablets to swallow or chew, or dissolvable tablets and powders to add to your water bottle.
Liz’s top 5 tips to keep you hydrated
- Drink fluid before you start your run.
- Take in fluids during the run. Either run a route that has water bubblers or take fluids with you.
- Get an idea of your fluid losses by weighing yourself before and after a run. Then replace 125-150% of fluid losses in the 4-6 hours after a run. E.g. if you weigh 1 kg less after a run, replace 1.25-1.5L fluid.
- Include electrolytes! Sports drinks and electrolyte replacement formulas are useful to take before, during and after a run. Post run foods can help replace electrolytes too.
- Freeze a drink and take it out of the freezer before your run, on return you have a refreshing slushi.
Event partners, intraining Running Centre, have an extensive range of electrolyte and hydration products available to help keep you hydrated and happy during the summer months.
Liz Lovering is a sports dietitian, nutritionist, chef, coach and runner at the intraining Running Centre. Liz is available by appointment at intraining’s Running Injury Clinic at 33 Park Road, Milton.
Click here to find out more about how Liz can help you reach your goals.