Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Be Water-Wise

It often takes this intense heat for the importance of proper hydration to really hit home. I know after my run tonight it was quite evident I missed the mark today!

Proper intake throughout your day is just as important as the H2O you down right before and after your run. Hydration is important for your health, metabolism and energy level. The amount that most women need is approximately their weight divided by 2 (in ounces). Any caffeinated or alcoholic drinks increase this need due to their diuretic effect, and any exercise sessions increase your requirements by about 8 ounces per intense 15 minutes.

Non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks are not the only thing that count towards this total. If your diet is high in fruits and vegetables you can reduce the liquid consumption, as fruits and veggies on average are 80% water.

Hydration is important for performance as well. Studies show dehydrated runners run significantly slower. Dehydration drops your blood volume, forcing your heart to beat faster, making it hard to keep up with the aerobic demands of running.

So what about right before you head out?

Drink 8-16 ounces 1-2 hours beforehand. If you didn't quite plan that well in advance, drink 4-8 ounces 15-30 minutes in advance.

Stay tuned for more hydration tips, including advice on water temperature and sports drinks.

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