physiotherapist don mills and steeles

By: Team Family Physio

Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists and Acupuncture

As the summer good weather calls us outdoors for activity and workouts, it's crucial to address an important aspect of exercise: hydration. Knowing how to stay hydrated is not only essential for performance but also for preventing injuries and ensuring a quick recovery.

Understanding Hydration:

Hydration isn't merely about quenching your thirst - it's about maintaining the delicate balance of fluids and electrolytes in your body. During exercise, especially in the midst of summer heat, our bodies lose water through sweat, which also contains essential electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Failure to replenish these fluids and electrolytes can lead to dehydration, impairing both physical and cognitive functions.

The Science Behind Hydration:

Numerous studies have highlighted the significance of hydration in optimizing exercise performance and reducing the risk of heat-related illnesses. Research published in the Journal of Athletic Training suggests that even mild dehydration, equivalent to a fluid loss of just 2% of body weight, can impair endurance and strength performance. Furthermore, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine emphasizes the role of proper hydration in preventing heat-related injuries, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can have serious consequences if not addressed promptly.

Hydration Strategies for Summer Exercise:

Pre-Hydration:

Begin your workout session well-hydrated by consuming fluids in the hours leading up to exercise. Water is a primary choice, but for prolonged or intense activities, beverages containing electrolytes can be beneficial.

Hydration During Exercise:

Aim to sip fluids regularly throughout your workout, rather than waiting until you feel thirsty. Sports drinks with electrolytes can help replace both fluids and essential minerals lost through sweat. The American Council on Exercise recommends consuming 200-300 ml of fluid every 10-20 minutes during intense outdoor exercise.

Post-Exercise Rehydration:

After completing your workout, replenish fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise. Water remains an excellent choice for hydration, but if you've engaged in prolonged or intense activity, consider beverages specifically formulated for post-exercise recovery, which often contain a blend of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and protein to facilitate replenishment and muscle repair.

Monitor Your Hydration Status:

Pay attention to signs of dehydration, such as dark urine, dizziness, fatigue, or reduced performance.

As summer beckons us outdoors, and we are embracing the joys of being physically active, let's not overlook the crucial role of hydration in maximizing performance and making your summer workouts not only enjoyable but also safe and effective.

Canadian Summers are Short

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