Beating the Summer Heat
Gord Fyfe, RMT - Registered Massage Therapist & Osteopathy Student
Welcome to summer along with the heat and humidity that comes with it. We’re just coming out of a heatwave in southern Ontario as our friends in BC were hitting record breaking temperatures.
Many people battle with staying hydrated, but the summer months just compound the problem. I have firsthand knowledge of “bonking” or running out of fuel in races. Cramping or muscle aches are just a few signs that you may be dehydrated. It’s not just the water or fluid that we need, but also the calories or food to keep going. Remember, by the time you begin feeling thirsty, you’re already depleted.
Here are a few tips to keep yourself topped up:
Drink water consistently through the day. Have a water bottle sitting in front of you. It’s a constant reminder that you need to drink.
Check the colour of your urine. Clear and pale yellow are great. Dark yellow and orange are signs of dehydration. Note that if you are taking certain supplements, the colour of urine may be different.
Avoid beverages containing alcohol. If you do indulge, make sure to follow it up with some water.
Try some electrolyte products and use those that work best for you. Your local running or cycling store will have a variety of products to choose from. Please keep in mind that trying new products on the day of a race may be a recipe for disaster. Use the products that you know your body works well with.
There are a lot of foods that have a higher water content. Do your research and find a few you like. Watermelon is fantastic!
An old method of making sure you are hydrated is taking your weight in pounds, dividing it by 2 and using that figure in ounces each day. For example, 200lb/2 = 100lb, that’s 100oz or 2.95L. As your activity level increases, so should your fluid intake.
As well, be sure that you don’t overhydrate as this could have negative effects too. Now get outside and enjoy the fresh air. We’ve all been cooped up for too long. I’ll see you on the trails, road and water.