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  • Writer's pictureBetsy

Avoid Thirst Traps. . .

. . . in terms of dehydration, people!

The weather in Florida (where Suda's FitFoot is based) and around the country has either turned warm or is very close to getting there (I'm looking at you, Estcourt Station, ME ~23 degrees this morning!).

Whether you find yourself sweltering in the swamp (go Gators!) or melting in Massachusetts (it can get wicked hot there, too), you want to stay on top of your hydration game with some sort of plan.

Signs of dehydration

Thirst is not always the best indicator that you need to drink. Some people in general and folks over the age of 60-65 definitely have a diminished thirst response. Do not rely on this sign alone to tell you when to drink. The color of your urine should be very light yellow/almost clear. Beer color is no good. If you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, blurred vision, you are need to bench yourself until you get yourself some fluids and give them time to absorb.

Drinking while exercising

A general rule of thumb is to drink 2-4 ounces of water every 20 minutes while vigorously exercising (enough to work up a good sweat). Interestingly, if you are running and running faster than approximately 8 min/mile pace (which is moving right along, especially in hot and humid conditions!) you want to shoot for 6-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes. This is actually quite a bit of fluid and I often struggle to get this much down during a run (mostly because drinking causes me to stop/slow down and often that's not on my agenda for the day :). In addition, during a hard workout or race, metabolic rate and heat production are also high, which can lead to your core temperature increasing to a hazardous level. All of this is to say, if you are working hard, you need to drink up before and afterwards!

Replacement fluids

If you are a heavy sweater...

Not that kind.

You will be a heavy sweater if you live in both hot and humid conditions (hello Florida!). This is because the sweat rolls off your skin and onto the ground rather than evaporating and cooling your skin. You will be considered a salty sweater if you see salt rings on your shirts/hats or can taste it on your lips. This salt (and other electrolytes lost in sweat) needs to be replaced for everything in your body to work right.

Probably not the best source of post workout electrolytes. First try something like a traditional sports drink, watered down fruit juice with a dash of salt (or pickle juice - not kidding!), or Nuun tablets.

Or you can make your own sports drink by using the classic recipe from Sports Nutrition Guru Nancy Clark (

NC's Sports Drink

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup hot water

1/4 cup orange juice (not concentrate) plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 1/2 cups cold water

 1. In the bottom of a pitcher, dissolve the sugar and salt in the hot water.

 2. Add the juice and the remaining water; chill.

Makes 1 quart. per 8-ounce serving: 50 calories, 12 grams carbohydrate, 110 mg sodium

As always, stay well and happy running/walking, FitFooters!

:) Betsy

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