To enjoy your summer adventures and perform at your best, focus on hydration and nutrition for recovery.
As sweat is produced to cool your body, your internal water levels are slowly depleted. It's important to replace water as it's lost to prevent dehydration and maintain performance. Challenging exercise can drain your body of electrolytes: special minerals that help the brain, heart, gut, and muscles send and receive electrical signals. Electrolytes are critical for athletic performance as well as basic biological functioning. Sodium and chloride are the electrolytes that we lose the most! Losing sodium and chloride can reduce power, strength, agility, skill, and concentration, all of which are essential for athletes. Additional electrolytes are lost when you sweat: calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, all of which are important for muscle health and muscle repair post-workout. Even top athletes can lose their edge near the end of training sessions, races, and games if they're low on electrolytes. But not everyone sweats the same way, and athletes who lose too many electrolytes can experience cramps.
Advanced Hydration and Nutrition for Performance and Recovery Try a rehydration solution. Pedialyte sport is a great one. There are also lots of different options on the market. Check out the Sodium levels in the product. Some are higher in sodium for those who have intense sweat sessions. If it tastes too salty you probably don't need that much. Watch those high fructose drinks - not the healthiest choice. Choose what works for you and your body.
Combine Hydration and Nutrition for Recovery Even if you're not a professional athlete, following a hydration and recovery game plan can help you take your performance to the next level.
Focus on hydration for recovery, and your body will better adapt to your workouts. Not sure where to start? Consider these nutrition and hydration best practices:
Head in Hydrated: A common source of dehydration during exercise is starting the workout in a hypohydrated state. This poor planning can lead to workouts that feel harder.
Color Check: Check your urine's color to determine whether you're hydrated heading into your workouts. Your urine should be a light, straw-like color. If it's any darker, you're likely dehydrated and will need to level up with fluids.
Diet Matters: The foods you eat are also a considerable part of hydration and nutrition for recovery. Water-rich fruits and vegetables boiled whole grains such as pasta and oatmeal, and milk and yogurt are all great sources of the fluids and electrolytes you need to replenish during recovery.
Overshoot: By just replacing what's lost isn't enough, since sweating and urine losses continue post-workout. Aim to replace more then you have lost. This should occur within two hours of your cool-down period.
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