Ways for Hydration For Hot Weather Walks

June 10, 2023 0 Comments

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It is always important to stay hydrated, but even more so if you are going to exercise. Drinking water helps your heart pump efficiently, prevents your muscles from cramping, and better regulates your body temperature. In addition, your fluid needs may increase in hot weather, when the heat and humidity mean that you sweat more than usual. Here, the experts share their best hydration tips for walks on hot summer days:

1. LET THIRST BE YOUR GUIDE

“Don’t believe the myth that if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated and it’s too after to fix it,” says Tamara Hew-Butler, DPM, PhD, associate professor of exercise and sports science at Wayne State. “If this were true, then all terrestrial mammals would have died because they drink according to the physiological dictates of behavioral thirst. They survived well enough without setting a timer to remind them to drink at regular intervals or to try to calculate their rate of fluid loss during grazing.”

Fluid requirements are based on factors such as height and weight, the amount of sweat you sweat, the outside temperature and the duration of your walk. There is no exact amount of liquid that is suitable for everyone. Instead, “thirst is the best individual guide for fluid replacement. It is regulated in real time by neural circuits closely linked to our brain and nervous system. In our brain there are sensors that constantly monitor the balance between water and salt in the body.”

2. GIVE YOUR WATER A TASTY TOUCH

Walking for an hour is not such an exhausting activity that you have to replenish your electrolytes with a sports drink, even on a hot summer day, Water is an ideal choice. But if you hate drinking water, bring something tastier, like fruit-infused water, to make sure you stay hydrated when you walk.

“For healthy recreational athletes who exercise at a relatively low intensity, such as walking for short to medium periods, drinking water is perfect,” explains hydration researcher Gethin Evans, PhD, senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. “[But] Perhaps one of the most important factors to take into account is the taste of the liquid used. The better it tastes, the more people will absorb it.”

3. EXPECT FEWER PIT STOPS

Do not deny yourself a drink if you are thirsty, because you are afraid that you will have to go to the bathroom when you go. This could lead to dehydration. Your body helps you manage this potential problem by reducing your urge to pee while you are in heat.

“When it’s hot and you sweat a lot, the body limits urine production by stimulating an antidiuretic hormone that serves to retain water in the kidneys,” explains Hew-Butler. “The more you sweat, the less you pee, and that’s normal.”

4. START WELL HYDRATION

Do not leave on a hot day if you are thirsty. Drink about half an hour before the planned walk to quench your thirst. “The ingested water must be emptied from the stomach and absorbed by the intestines before entering the circulation,” says Evans. “Relieving thirst just before starting the exercise does not mean that the water level is restored; it can take up to 20 minutes for the water to appear in the circuit.”

5. BRING YOUR WATER BOTTLE

Even if you have a drink at home before leaving, you should drink to quench your thirst when walking in hot weather. Bring a bottle large enough to quench your thirst. “For most people, it’s no more than a 32-ounce bottle of water per hour,” says Martin D. Hoffman, MD, professor of body medicine and rehabilitation at the University of California, Davis and founder of the Ultra Sports Science Foundation in Sacramento. “If you are sufficiently hydrated at the beginning of an hour-long walk, you will not be severely dehydrated, even if you do not drink a sip during this walk. However, bringing a bottle of water can help quench your thirst, which is essential to maintain proper hydration.”

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