A sound hydration strategy isn’t as simple as sipping on water. When it feels like you’re running through a sponge on a summer day, it’s important to replace water loss, but also sodium, potassium and other important electrolytes. What’s the best way to do this? My colleague, Matt Fitzgerald, recommends sports drinks as the most effective way to hydrate on a hot day. He says that, “because a sports drink contains dissolved minerals and carbohydrates, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly than water, which has fewer or no dissolved particles.”
Have a stomach that’s sensitive to sugary sports drinks? Then try taking electrolyte tablets with your water to stave off cramping and supply your systems with all the minerals they need to work efficiently and effectively in hot weather. Furthermore, never go into a mid-summer run dehydrated, and be sure to drink before, during and after a run in the hot sun. Wearing a hydration belt, planting bottles along your route or planning your run to loop back past your house or car are easy and effective ways to keep your fluid levels, body temperature and energy levels in check.