SATURDAY, June 18, 2022 (HealthDay News). Keeping your body well-nourished and hydrated is essential during summer sports and outdoor exercise, according to a nutrition expert.
“For summer training, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough carbohydrates, fluids, and electrolytes,” says sports nutritionist Kristen Chang, associate director of the Master’s Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at Virginia Tech University.
“You have to make sure your blood sugar levels are maintained at the right level throughout your workout,” Chang said in a university press release, noting that you shouldn’t go to a workout hungry.
This means that you need to think about what you eat and drink before exercise to account for increased water loss through sweat.
This may include increasing fluid intake and electrolytesor foods with a higher water content, including melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew; and soups, smoothies, apples, berries, pineapple, bell peppers, tomatoes, and celery.
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Pay close attention to hydration before and after exercise, Chang recommends.
“You have to make sure that when you sweat a lot, you replenish lost nutrients,” she said.
Take a bottle of water and drink it throughout the day. If you sweat a lot or do a long outdoor workout, you need to replenish your electrolytes or get some sodium to replace what is lost through sweat, Chang suggested.
In addition, “it’s really important to include a quality source of electrolyte, which could be in the form of a sports drink or salty food in addition to water,” Chang said.
Keep track of your hydration status, she said.
“An easy way to do this is to keep track of the color of your urine. If it’s dark and concentrated and you rarely go to the bathroom, you need to drink more fluids,” Chang said. “If your urine is consistently clear and you make frequent pit stops, you may excessive moisture.”
To replenish energy after a workout, eat a snack or meal that includes easily digestible carbohydrates and protein.
“Especially in the heat of the summer, many people finish training and are simply not hungry. They don’t have an appetite and don’t want to eat,” Chang said. “Regardless, it’s important to give your body the nutrients it needs to recover. In these cases, it’s easier to use liquid nutrients like milk, juice, or smoothies.”
And give your body a chance to adjust, Chang advises: In hot weather, exercise outdoors to avoid heat-related illnesses.
“Many people don’t realize the negative impact that heat and humidity have on the body,” she said. “If you are not feeling well, slow down or stop. Be active and carry a source of fluid with you at all times.”
Mayo Clinic has more on heat and exercise.
SOURCE: Virginia Tech University press release June 10, 2022