Proper hydration key to beating the summer heat

The Grand Strand is filled with all types of athletes and sports enthusiasts. The extreme heat and humidity of the Carolinas make proper hydration during and after exercise of paramount importance.

Here are some basic guidelines to make sure you are getting your proper dose:

As a rule of thumb, 1 oz of fluid is equal to one normal adult gulp and individuals should consume about 5-10 oz of cool fluid every 15 minutes during exercise. The question that always arises is whether the better choice of fluids is water or a sports drink.  The general agreement amongst researchers is that for exercise lasting less than 60-90 minutes, cool water will fulfill your needs.
For exercise lasting longer than 90 minutes and for exercise in extreme heat or humidity, choose a fluid replacement that has a carbohydrate-electrolyte basis.  The electrolytes that we mainly speak of are sodium and potassium.  At the proper ratio, these beverages aid in the absorption of fluid.  Most over the counter sports drinks come properly formulated to achieve this.

In addition to improved fluid absorption, these supplemental drinks have the ability to supply additional energy for continued exercise.  This is of crucial importance so as to not to go into a state in which your body will begin to burn muscle.  For any athlete, this would be counterproductive.

Proper fluid intake is not only important during exercise, but also afterwards.  One of the easiest ways to ensure proper intake is to take your weight before exercise and immediately after.  An individual should consume three cups (8oz) for a total of 24oz, for each pound lost during exercise.

For example, if your sweat loss is equal to three pounds, you would want to consume 72oz of fluid following your training. For a more precise measurement, you should be wearing minimal clothing when weighing yourself, for your clothes will weigh more after exercise due to fluid retention.

These are basic recommendations to ensure proper hydration for exercise and optimal performance. For questions on this or other related topics you can contact Dr.Richard DeFalco at Professional Rehabilitation Services, 843-839-1300, or visit our website at www.prsrehabservices.com.

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