Proper Hydration for Summer Training

Additional Tips for Training and Racing in the Heat

1) Train and race in clothing that promotes evaporation from the skin. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing will allow more air to pass over the body for an added cooling effect. Avoid dark clothing which absorbs light rays and promotes radiant heat.

2) Hydrate at regular intervals during training and racing. As the intensity increases during training/racing, there is a simultaneous demand for blood flow and delivery of oxygen to working muscles. While the working muscles are receiving blood to sustain energy during exercise, the same blood must go to the skin, in order to help dissipate heat. By drinking every 10 to 15 minutes during exercise, the metabolic response to exercise will not be compromised as you hydrate your cells and meet fluid requirements.

3) Take your time while acclimating to the heat. Do not expect to perform at the same intensity/heart rate throughout the acclimation period. Be smart and adjust training intervals to allow for higher than normal heart rates. Additionally, acclimatization to the heat does not reduce your risk for dehydration. Though the body can become more efficient at cooling the body, acclimatization does not train your body to need fewer fluids (or calories) than recommended.

More: How to Prepare for Racing in Hot Weather

4) Focus on electrolytes, not just sodium. Most sport drinks will provide sodium and potassium to cover your basic electrolyte needs. However, search around and compare products, as the most advantageous sport drinks will provide a full panel of electrolytes (ex. sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride) in an effective quantity, to keep you hydrated, regulate blood pH and control proper nerve and muscle function.

More: How Hydration Levels Affect Muscle Cramps

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Source: Sawka MN, et al. (2007). American College of Sports Medicine position stand: Exercise and fluid replacement. Med Sci Sports Exerc., 39, 377– 390. 

Marni works as a PRN Clinical Dietitian at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, is the owner of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC and provides one-on-one consulting at Spa Me in Jacksonville, Florida. Marni is a Registered Dietitian, holding a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) and holds a certification by the American Dietetic Association in Adult Weight Management. As an elite endurance athlete, she is also a Level-1 USAT Coach and a 5x Ironman finisher. Marni is a 110 percent play harder and Oakley Women ambassador. Marni enjoys public speaking and writing, and she has several published articles in Fitness Magazine, The Florida Times-Union Shorelines, Lava Magazine, Hammer Endurance News, CosmoGirl magazine and Triathlete Magazine, and contributes monthly to, USAT multisport zone and Lava online.

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