Learn how to stay hydrated in hot weather when working out

  • 2 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Whether you're out on a long run, bike ride, or doing a HIIT workout outside, it is vital to know how to stay hydrated in hot weather. Sweat is your body's way of cooling itself and drinking fluids helps replenish those losses. Check out these tips and when a sports drink might be appropriate over water.

How to stay hydrated in hot weather

Stay hydrated in hot weather with these tips

Start well hydrated

You know to bring water with you during exercise, but did you know how important it is to be well hydrated even before you start your workout? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 16-20 ounces of fluids four hours before beginning your exercise. If you are planning to go for an early morning bike ride, make sure you are on top of your fluids the day before, in addition to drinking before you start your ride.

Take water breaks

While certain outdoor activities such as soccer, tennis, and swimming require you to pause to take a drink, don't wait till you feel thirsty to start. You'll feel best if you sip small amounts of fluids regularly instead of chugging a lot before and after your activity.

In addition to impacting how you feel, mild dehydration also affects performance. Did you know even a 2% loss of body weight (during activity) impairs mental and physical performance? To learn more about the impact of hydration on performance, click here.

How to stay hydrated in hot weather if you don't like the taste of plain water

If you are one of the many people who knows hydration is essential, though the taste of plain water is not your thing, you are not alone. Get creative and try some fruit-infused water or sugar-free flavored water. Need more ideas? Here are some other ways to hydrate besides drinking plain water.

Here's when sports drinks are appropriate for hydration

If you are exercising continuously for an hour or more, consider sipping a sports drink. These drinks help replenish sodium (lost through heavy sweating) and water during activity, supporting muscles and nerves with optimal function. Simple carbohydrates added to sports drinks can help improve performance by providing a slight energy boost. Fairly diluted, these drinks shouldn't cause too much stomach upset.

Since you have the time to sit and digest without cramping during stop-and-go activities such as yard work and gardening, then you get the luxury of replacing electrolytes and water with more concentrated sources. For instance, an eight-fluid-ounce bottle of regular V-8 Juice contains 420 mg sodium and 470 mg potassium. Click here to learn more about replacing electrolytes naturally.

An overall healthy eating plan such as the Mediterranean diet helps with hydration as it features a lot of water-rich vegetables and fruits. Consume this type of balanced diet to replenish your nutrients during times of rest.

Are sports drinks ok if I am trying to lose weight?

Sports drinks, when used in the right amount during intense exercise in the heat should not cause weight gain. While sports drinks do contain added sugar, this is needed by the body (in addition to the electrolytes) when you are working out for more than one hour continuously. Some people feel these drinks are beneficial to weight loss efforts if they allow you to exercise longer and harder.

See how sports drinks fit into your plan by using MyNetDiary to track your calories from food and drink as well as calories burned with exercise.

Have a plan to stay hydrated in hot weather

Develop a hydration plan by asking yourself these questions and preparing before your next summertime workout

Additional Resources

Hydrate Right from the American Dietetic Association
MyNetDiary water needs

Adapted from original content from Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES

Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.

Exercise->Fueling for Exercise
Apr 26, 2021
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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