Good hydration will boost athletic performance and speed up recovery – here’s how to get it right
Good hydration is about more than drinking water during training sessions. Being well hydrated means paying attention to fluid and electrolyte water all day long, and maintaining a good balance of minerals in your nutrition plan.
Sweating a lot (whether that’s due to the weather or training intensity!) means your body will lose electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Running low on these important minerals can led to cramp, digestive issues, fatigue and a serious lag in recovery between sessions.
5 WAYS TO STAY HYDRATED IN HOT WEATHER
1 Do you use an intraworkout? If you don’t, it’s time to rethink your strategy. A good intra has electrolytes, including sodium and potassium, and probably amino acids or the three BCAAs too. You could make your own, or choose a solid intra product from a supplement company you trust.
2 Add a small amount of salt to your food. There’s no need to overdo this, but a little extra table salt in really hot weather will help your body maintain balance.
3 Limit your use of caffeinated drinks like coffee, and energy drinks – these can have a diuretic effect which can compound with sweating to leave your body depleted.
4 Avoid alcohol in hot weather. Not only does it make you feel pretty bad (even if it feels good at the time!), it lowers your motivation to train and can be really dehydrating.
5 Eat plenty of hydrating foods like vegetables, berries, and fruits – choose veggies which are heavy but low in calories (this suggests they are mostly water!)
Stock your fridge and freezer with these naturally hydrating ingredients for smoothies, snacks and salads to help your body recover from hot weather training.
Coconut water:more than a fad, pure coconut water (or coconut water powder) helps hydrate, and has high levels of electrolytes including potassium
Watermelon:delicious and refreshing, and a great natural source of electrolytes. You can even buy bags of frozen watermelon balls in the supermarket.
Frozen berries:all berries are great, but strawberries and cherries contain anti-oxidants which can help with inflammation.
Salad leaves:summer is a great time to experiment with different salad ingredients, so branch out from boring iceberg lettuce!
Pineapple:contains the enzyme bromelain which can help reduce inflammation. Add it to smoothies, eat it raw as a snack, add it to yoghurt – it’s great post-workout
ELECTROLYTES INTRA WORKOUT
What you drink during training gets more important on hot days, so don’t wing it (and definitely don’t train without any fluids at all!) Choose an intra workout with electrolytes including sodium. Go into training already hydrated, and keep drinking water after training too.
DEVELOP A HEALTHY WATER HABIT
You’ll need a water strategy for hot weather. Don’t just rely on remembering to drink enough. Here are some tips that work for the Gravity team
1 Drink water in the morning, before your traditional coffee
2 Carry a water bottle with you and keep it filled
3 Have a water bottle or glass of water on your desk
4 Drink water in the car
5 Keep a big jug of water in the fridge – add sliced lemon/lime and fresh herbs (mint works well)
6 Finish the day with a herbal tea
BONUS RECIPE: SUPER HYDRATING SMOOTHIE
Forget boring whey shakes, how about this for a simple smoothie which hydrates (and tastes like a treat!)
In a blender, add:
100g frozen watermelon balls or frozen pineapple chunks (you can buy these from the supermarket)
50g frozen berry mix
30g whey or plant based protein
A pinch xantham gum (from the free from bit of supermarkets)
Water to blend
If you like it super icy, add a few extra ice cubes once you’ve blended the initial set of ingredients.
Eat this as it comes, or top with cereal, crumbled rice cakes, or any topping of your choice!