Just because the weather is cooling down, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on your hydration. Cool weather not only means more layers for working out or going for a run outside, but it also means you might not notice how much you’re actually perspiring when you work out. Being well hydrated is something that can impact your performance on a game day or running day, but it can also affect how you recover from intense physical activity.
Heat cramps, exhaustion and stroke can all result from an athlete’s inability to cool down or from a lack of hydration. While the cool temperatures may help with the cooling down process, overlooking hydration can have some serious side effects like:
- poor concentration
- personality changes
- flushed skin
- loss of coordination
If you experience any of these symptoms, take immediate steps to hydrate and cool off.
During a single hour of physical activity, a person can lose up to 16 oz. of fluid. Losing even the smallest amount of body fluid can have an impact on performance and make it more difficult for the body to adapt to the activity. Continuously replacing those fluids becomes vital.
By rule, an athlete should consumer up to 20 ounces of fluid per pound of weight lost during a workout. Water serves as the “go-to” beverage of choice, but sports drinks can also be critical in the build up and recovery phases of a workout. Replenishing the electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during a workout will help stabilize your levels.
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