Here’s an alarming statistic: Studies show that 75% of Americans are walking around dehydrated. If you fall into that category — and you’re a runner — starting a workout in a dehydrated state may mean you are putting yourself in danger.
Dehydration is a much talked about issue in the summer months, but the truth is, you can get dehydrated no matter the weather. Your sweat rate and heat have an impact, of course, but aren’t the only contributing factors.
The recommendations of how many cups you should drink per day often vary, but there is a simple rule of thumb you can follow to help stay hydrated. “Drink when you are thirsty,” states Jess Underhill, a running coach and founder of the Race Pace Run Club. “Listen to the cues your body is giving and — if you are a runner — don’t ignore them in lieu of running a faster mile or saving time by not making a pit stop for a water fountain.”
SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION
There are some telltale signs of dehydration — and the easiest one to recognize is thirst. Being thirsty may seem like a normal part of everyday life, but you should be drinking enough water throughout the day that you don’t feel the need to chug water to satiate yourself.
“Feeling thirsty happens after you are dehydrated,” explains Dr. Martha Pyron, MD of Medicine in Motion. “You should try to prevent feeling thirsty.”
Other common symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, dry eyes, dry mouth, cramps, headache and muscle spasms. Underhill also notes that runners may notice they may stop sweating while on a run when they previously were sweating.
These, of course, are all of the signs of dehydration that you may experience as it sets in, however, it is important to know that there are more serious effects that can be felt should the issue not be addressed as soon as possible.
“Even moderate dehydration can cause fainting, confusion and convulsion,” adds Dr. Billy Holt D.O., owner of VIP Medical Services. “Dehydration can rapidly progress to heat exhaustion or heat stroke that can lead to hypovolaemic shock and ultimately death.”
FEELING THE EFFECTS
You can feel the effects of dehydration long after you first experience symptoms, which can impact your day and, in a runner’s case, any workouts you have planned that day or even that week. The amount of time you’ll notice an impact depends on how severe your dehydration and resulting symptoms were.
“If the rehydration process is not started after the run, dehydration can continue to negatively impact the body for hours or even days after the workout,” notes Dr. Holt. “This is why regular everyday hydration is important, but also pre-, mid-, and post-workout hydration, as well.”
It should be noted that dehydration can have negative consequences for your recovery from a workout, as well. Underhill explains that because of this addition to the length of recovery, your next day’s workout will be impacted.
This is all in terms of dehydration that is resolved quickly. If you have severe dehydration that leads to heat stroke, for example, the effects will be felt much longer.
“If you push yourself into full-on heat stroke, it could take weeks for your body to recover — and it may not completely recover,” shares Dr. Pyron. “Dehydration can affect the rest of your athletic career, especially if it is severe enough to lead to heat stroke.”
READ MORE > 5 REASONS WHY WATER IS GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS
REHYDRATING YOUR BODY
Dr. Holt reiterates that you always want to stay hydrated for optimal health and body function, and for runners, this means replenishing fluids after any exercise. This doesn’t necessarily mean just drinking water, however.
“It’s important to replace fluid loss and replenish glycogen stores after a run to diminish the impact of dehydration,” adds Underhill.
Though most people are OK to drink just water, if you are running long distances or are new to physical activity, you’ll want to add an electrolyte drink to your hydration routine during and post-run.
“Electrolyte drinks may be needed to keep salt levels in balance,” explains Dr. Pyron. “If you sweat out salt water and only replace it with pure water, you may change the salt concentration in your blood, which can also be bad. So, an average solution is to drink every third drink as an electrolyte drink and the rest can be water.”
It is also important to note that it is absolutely possible to drink too much water, which is known as hyponatremia. Underhill explains that this is a serious medical condition that occurs if there is too much water in the body and not enough sodium. Due to the effects, overhydration can be just as dangerous as dehydration.
To avoid taking in too much water during or after a run, knowing your sweat rate — on hot days especially — can help you meet specific hydration needs. “In order to do this, you need to weigh yourself immediately before your run, keep track of your fluid intake during your run and then weigh yourself immediately after your run,” notes Underhill. “Then, you calculate your sweat rate using this formula: Pre-run weight in ounces – post-run weight in ounces + fluid intake in ounces during your run = your sweat rate.”
Dehydration Red Flags That Every Runner Should Know was originally posted at <a href="https://blog.underarmour.com/dehydration-red-flags-every-runner-know/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://blog.underarmour.com/dehydration-red-flags-every-runner-know/</a> by Ashley Lauretta
5 Eating Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Workout
As the saying goes: Abs are made in the kitchen. Of course, time in the gym helps, too. “I think nutrition for optimal performance and recovery has gained recent attention because some high-profile athletes have been public about their nutrition strategies. But the science behind this has been around for years,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, a board-certified sports dietitian who has been a consultant to five professional teams and counsels professional athletes in her private practice.
Chef Lindsey Becker founded Tone House FUEL, a clean-eating program designed to help maximize recovery and boost results for people who work out at Tone House, an athletic-based group fitness studio in New York City. “A balanced, healthy diet with the right key nutrients can help your body become more efficient and enhance your athletic performance [in and out of the gym],” she says. “Consuming the necessary nutrients before and after exerting your body can help replenish energy stores, build muscle, decrease soreness, burn fat and repair damage or inflammation.”
Below Becker shares her tips for eating to get the most out of your workouts, with additional expert insights from Sass. Use their advice to ensure what you’re eating is supporting your exercise.
We often focus on calories, but nutrients also matter, Sass says. “Certain nutrients help your brain and muscles perform more efficiently, and others are crucial for recovering from the wear and tear exercise puts on your body,” she explains. The best macronutrients pre- and post-workout depend on the type of workout you’re doing, as well as the length and intensity.
“Eating the right foods will prevent you from crashing, boost your performance and help your muscles recover and grow stronger,” Becker says. “On the other hand, choosing the wrong foods could cause cramping, nausea, lack of energy and improper muscle recovery.”
Becker recommends beets, sweet potatoes, oats, spinach and eggs for their varied benefits. “Beets increase blood flow to working muscles, which can improve your workout and boost stamina, and are rich in antioxidants, which help fight the oxidative stress that can come with intense workouts,” she says.
She likes sweet potatoes for carbs, antioxidants and potassium; oats for steady energy and B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy; and spinach because a study found that it may help muscles use less oxygen, which improves muscle performance. And of course the incredible edible egg is a source of easily digestible protein to help rebuild muscles.
Aim to eat something that’s high in carbs, moderate in protein and low in fat, sugar and fiber 2–4 hours before a workout. Some macros aren’t ideal before the gym. “Eating too much protein or fat close to the start of a workout can lead to cramps or a brick sitting in your stomach because protein and fat take longer to digest,” Sass says. “Also, the goal of a pre-workout snack is to fuel the workout. If the food is trapped in the digestive system, it’s not available to working muscles when they need it.”
That’s why carbs are great — they’re generally easy to digest and provide readily available, easily burned fuel. Becker recommends oatmeal with a sprinkling of hemp seeds (for protein) and sliced banana or a smoothie.
Sass recommends eating 30–60 minutes after a particularly tough workout. However, although improper recovery can make you go into your next workout weaker and increase the risk of injury, you only need to refuel within an hour after hard-core workouts. This isn’t so crucial after a walk or moderate-intensity group fitness class, particularly if you’ll be eating a meal soon after, Sass says.
“Consuming the necessary nutrients after exerting your body can help replenish energy stores, build muscle, decrease soreness, burn fat and repair any damage or inflammation,” Becker says.
Good advice for anyone, this is even more important for active people because “nutrients are key to performance and recovery, and unprocessed foods are naturally nutrient-rich,” Sass says.
Becker and Sass agree that refined sugars have zero nutritional benefit and fried and greasy foods can be difficult to digest and cause cramping during a workout. So skip that leftover pizza before your morning indoor cycling class.
Great as they are, you shouldn’t only consume these five foods. “Eat them strategically,” Sass recommends. For example, fuel up with oatmeal, sweet potato, beets or green juices pre-workout, and enjoy eggs with veggies and avocado after a morning workout.
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
5 Eating Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Workout was originally posted at <a href="https://blog.underarmour.com/5-eating-tips-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-workout/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://blog.underarmour.com/5-eating-tips-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-workout/</a> by Brittany Risher
What Your Workout Playlist Says About You
Your workout playlist is so much more than a collection of high-BPM songs. It’s a much-needed source of focus. It’s extra motivation when you need it. And, of course, it’s a window into your soul.
OK, maybe not your soul. But if you gave us a look at it, we could tell you a few things about yourself. Specifically, these things:
Your playlist: Demi Lovato’s “Confident.” Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
What it says about you: You are a) A strong-as-hell female; b) A man who is extremely comfortable with his masculinity; c) Somewhere in-between. Whatever the case, you have our fullest support.
Your playlist: Enough EDM to power several Electric Daisy Carnivals.
What it says about you: You’re getting in shape for an important networking event, by which we mean Burning Man.
Your playlist: Jay-Z. Eminem. Biggie.
What it says about you: You are a hip-hop aficionado of a certain age, and you are more than capable of outworking hip-hop aficionados of a younger age.
Your playlist: “Thunderstruck.” “Start Me Up.” “Immigrant Song.”
What it says about you: Your fitness icon is Mick Jagger. Dude’s 74 years old. How the hell does he still look like that — and still move like that?
Your playlist: James Brown. Curtis Mayfield. Earth, Wind & Fire.
What it says about you: You like your workouts a little funky. A little soulful. And you’re getting fit because it helps you have the energy to do great things. (Including dominating a wedding-night dance floor.)
Your playlist: Shakira. Pitbull. J-Lo.
What it says about you: Your moves in the gym are only bested by your moves in the club.
Your playlist: The Clash. The Ramones. Blondie.
What it says about you: You’re working hard to make sure you can still fit into your vintage band T-shirts. Also, you want to stay strong for the #resistance.
Your playlist: The “Rocky” soundtrack.
What it says about you: You are unafraid of cliches, which is why you’re throwing punches in a meat locker.
Your playlist: Brooks & Dunn. Brad Paisley. Sara Evans.
What it says about you: You were born country, so while you might enjoy spending your evenings on a front porch with good bourbon and a sleeping dog, you also enjoy feeling like you’ve earned said pleasures.
Your playlist: Classical music. Or jazz. Or showtunes.
What it says about you: … We honestly don’t know. But we’re curious to learn more.
Your playlist: “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Family Trip.”
What it says about you: You have kids and you accidentally put on one of their playlists instead of yours. Because you have kids, and this is the kind of thing hurried parents do. Hey, at least it’s uplifting! If you need to go potty, stop! And go right away…
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
What Your Workout Playlist Says About You was originally posted at <a href="https://blog.underarmour.com/workout-playlist-says/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://blog.underarmour.com/workout-playlist-says/</a> by Paul L. Underwood