Did you know: Dehydration is the leading cause of training injuries?
When summer comes to Michigan, hydration becomes even more important when you’re training. Your level of hydration impacts your whole body – heartbeat, bloodflow, temperature regulation, and muscle function to name a few – which in return, impacts your performance and ability to run.
Humidity and hot weather don’t have to be a runner’s enemy. Read below on how to properly hydrate and enjoy summer training.
Humidity and Sweat
Believe it or not, warm temperatures are far more dangerous in a humid climate rather than a dry one. Humidity slows the evaporation process of the sweat from the skin, causing it to be difficult for the body to cool down.
The most important tip about running in humidity is to adjust your pace, the stress of humidity on your body requires you to slow down a bit and take it easy.
How Much Water?
Runners typically shed anywhere from half a liter, to two liters of sweat per hour of exercise. When running in the heat, it’s important to drink about 25 ounces of fluid per hour you are out running. A great water bottle for your longer runs is the Nathan SpeedDraw. It’s lightweight and keeps your water cooler.
However, when we are out running and we become hot, we have the tendency to overdrink, which can lead to overhydration, weakening your electrolytes. We recommend have an electrolyte sports drink to help balance out your body’s needs while running. We love the Gu Gel, but have many options for electrolytes in-store and online.
"With Nathan SpeedDraw handheld in hand and my Honey Stinger chews this can only mean I am ready to head out for my long run. It is so important to stay hydrated, especially with the rising temps." Angela Carron, Gazelle Sports Northville
Electrolytes, how important?
Electrolytes help keep your digestive, nervous, muscular and cardiac systems balanced. When these levels are imbalanced, fatigue can start to kick in. When you’re running in hot weather, you lose the key electrolytes (sodium and potassium) when you sweat. That’s why runners need to restore these imbalances with a sport drink or gel. We have many options from Nuun, Gu Roctane, Clif Shot and more.
How Hydrated Are You?
Try the Pinch test! Pinch a small section of skin on the back of your hand and let go - it should snapback to flat quickly. If the pinched skin stays up for a few seconds, you could be dehydrated.
All in all - don’t just “wing” it while out on a long run. Grab water, your electrolytes and adjust your pace! These few tips will make such a difference when you’re out running.
And do remember - the weather is unpredictable as to how your body will react. Be generous with yourself as you adjust to training in these temperatures.
Have a favorite electrolyte drink? Drop them below!