Summertime draws you out of winter hibernation and into exercise mode. If you or your kids routinely exercise when it’s hot, sunny and humid, you should know how to stay hydrated. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends water as your top choice before, during and after exercise. But it warns that waiting until you’re thirsty is not a good idea. That’s because at the point where you’re feeling thirsty, you’re actually heading toward dehydration.
To stay hydrated while you’re walking, running, biking or hiking this summer, here are some clues you can use from the ACSM:
• Expelling a large amount of light-colored urine means you’re hydrated. Dark urine indicates dehydration.
• Sports beverages provide carbohydrates and electrolytes, such as potassium. The longer the activity you engage in, the more you need a sports beverage.
• Weigh yourself before and after you exercise, to see how much fluid you lose through activity. A 1% or greater weight loss signals dehydration.
If you have von Willebrand disease (VWD), check with your hematologist about hydration. The VWD medication DDAVP can cause fluid retention and hyponatremia, an excessively low concentration of sodium in the blood.