Hot Weather Hydration Tips
By Lauren Antonucci, MS, RD, CSSD, CDE, CDN
Maintaining adequate hydration is often a challenge when the temperature rises. The old adage ” 8×8″ (8x 8oz glasses of water daily) is not the most accurate way to determine and meet YOUR daily fluid needs. Instead, aim to drink half your body weight in ounces daily (so 80 oz for a 160lb person; 10 x 8 oz glasses in this case).
Additionally, active individuals should drink 2 cups (16oz) of water or sports drink about 2 hours before beginning their activity and an additional 24-32oz of water or sports drink per hour during activity in order to maintain optimal hydration status and performance.
Dehydration is a serious risk for endurance athletes; pace slows by 3% for every 1% decrease in body weight caused by dehydration (a 150lb runner who loses 1.5 lbs to dehydration would slow almost 15 seconds/mile)! This is not the only risk for athletes; hyponatremia-when your blood sodium levels drop too low-is a serious problem as well and another reason to replenish not only fluid but also sodium loses (ie: choose sports drinks, not just plain water during prolonged activity).