If you’re like us, the warm weather cannot get here soon enough. Before you move your training back to the great, hot outdoors, we’ve put together some helpful tips and reminders on heat and hydration to keep you safe and prepared on even the hottest days:
- Sweat – While you definitely sweat in cold weather workouts, you will certainly sweat more running in the heat of the day. In fact, you’ll sweat differently in depending on the type of hot climates. So as your body acclimates to a new environment, your sweat rates will change. In more humid—or wet-hot—environments you tend to sweat less than in dry-hot regions. Surprisingly, the more acclimated your body gets to exertion in hot temperatures, the more you will sweat! Human sweating is the greatest mammal cooling system Mother Nature’s ever produced.
- Hydration – Following sweat is hydration! The basic guidelines are simple—you know you’ll lose fluids as you sweat and breath heavily, so go into your exercise adequately hydrated. You’ll do this my drinking with meals and taking in about 20oz of fluid a few hours before you exercise. While you’re working out, drink fluids as you feel thirsty. Your body is smart and it will let you know when it needs more. Don’t overdo it—never more than 800ml per hour. While rare, you can overhydrate and wind up with some really serious medical issues. After you train, make sure you drink with your recovery snack/meal.
- What to drink? – Water. If you’re concerned about electrolyte depletion or if you’re workout will be long or intense, add just a dash of sea salt to your water. For your most demanding workouts or longest distances, some glucose (sugar) will be helpful as well, whether in your hydration or food source. If you are training or have trained for an endurance race and found the calories in sports drinks to be beneficial in that sense, go ahead. But, for hydration needs, water will generally serve you just as well as a sports drink.
- Here comes the sun! – Sun damage can lead to painful sunburns and, overtime, cataracts and skin cancer. There are great options for sun protective clothing and sunscreen specifically for active outdoor sports. The key is to make sure you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and, if you’ll be out for a while, reapply as needed. Make sure you wear sunglasses with UV protection as well.
- Listen to your body – This is true not only for hydration needs, but for heat exposure in general. Heat exhaustion can strike without much warning when you really pushing yourself in hot conditions. Warning signs include faintness or dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Heatstroke, which is potentially fatal, shares many of these same warning signs. If you or someone you’re with experiences these symptoms, act quickly. Get out of the sun, lie down with fee elevated, and, if the symptoms are severe or you suspect heatstroke, use any means necessary to cool down, whether its ice packs around the neck, armpits, and groin, or soaking with a garden hose. The keys to preventing these issues are topics we’ve already discussed—stay hydrated, acclimate your body to activity in the heat, avoid sunburn, and avoid the overdoing it during the hottest part of the day.
- Cramping – Exercise associated muscle cramps (EAMCs) are the result of hyperactive motor neurons sending signals to the brain causing the muscle to erratically and painfully contract. Sudden changes in activity levels, fluctuating hydration levels, altered environmental conditions are a perfect catalyst for overexcited neuronal activity. Acclimation and proper hydration are great first steps, followed by HOTSHOT, which is scientifically proven to prevent and treat EAMCs.
As an athlete, we know you’re conscious of your body’s signals and responsive to what you need to be your best. We also know you push boundaries. And that’s what we love about you! Push yourself as hard as you can—but be safe to make sure you stay on track to being the best athlete you can be.
If cramping is holding you back, click here to learn more about how HOTSHOT works and here to check out the science behind the product. And for the product itself head right over here. As you begin your spring push towards greatness, keep in touch—we’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.