It is always important to stay hydrated, but with the heat of summer, it becomes even more important. That is especially true when exercising. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the leading exercise science organization in the world, makes these recommendations to ensure safe participation.
For most, thirst is generally a good indicator of fluid need, but according to W. Larry Kenney, Ph.D., past president of the ASCM, it is not good enough for those who are exercising, especially in hot conditions. “The clear and important message should be that thirst alone is not the best indicator of dehydration or the body’s fluid needs.” You need a plan. For safety, and optimal performance, the ACSM recommends:
In most situations, water is the preferred beverage. However, with high-intensity exercise of more than an hour or any exercise longer than 90 minutes, you not only need to rehydrate, you need to refuel. A sports beverage like Gatorade can replenish lost carbohydrates and electrolytes and accelerate rehydration. Look for those with 12 – 18 grams of carbohydrate per 8oz. (Gatorade has 14). More carbohydrate will bring in more calories and slow the rate of absorption. (Coke has 26 grams and orange juice has 27 grams of carbohydrate per 8 oz).
There is no question water consumption contributes to safe exercise, and for general well-being for that matter, but what about its role in weight management? At first thought, it seems obvious; water has no calories so it has no impact on weight. But if you dig a little deeper, water actually might influence your weight in a number of ways.
Looking for ways to incorporate more water into your plan? Check out our tips for infused waters!