How to Stay Hydrated During Summer Exercise

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
07/10/13  6:01 PM PST
Summer dehydration

You already know you should drink extra water in the summer heat to prevent dehydration. What you may not know is that if you wait until you’re thirsty, you may already be dehydrated!

About 60% of your body is made up of water and only 10% of this water is in your bloodstream, according to the Texas Heart Institute. Sweating in hot weather or during intense exercise can cause you to lose almost all of the water in your bloodstream, which is equal to about 3 liters.

You are at increased risk for dehydration if you work or exercise outdoors during hot weather. Here’s how to stay hydrated before, during and after strenuous outdoor activity:

  • One to two hours before: Drink 16 ounces of cool water.
  • Fifteen minutes before: Drink 5 ounces of water or a sports drink.
  • During: Drink 5 ounces of water every 10 minutes.
  • Immediately after: Drink 16 ounces of cool water.
  • Avoid: fruit drinks or soda. The water in high-sugar beverages is not well absorbed during exercise.

For all-day hydration, sip on low-sugar beverages throughout the day. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables. A cup of grapes or a medium peach provides about a half-cup of water. Try fruit salad, fruit popsicles or fruit smoothies for variety.

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