It is summertime and it is HOT out there! One of my goals for this year is to improve my hydration. It is important to hydrate all day long. We tend to become more cognizant of our hydration during or after a workout. But it is important to drink fluid leading up to a workout as well so you aren't at risk for overhydrating during exercise. During exercise the amount of fluids you need to consume can vary based on each individual's needs. Some factors that can influence the amount of fluids you need can include the duration of your exercise, intensity of your workout, temperature and humidity, and most importantly your individual sweat rate. There are many sweat rate calculators available online you can use to calculate your sweat rate. Repeat this test in different climate conditions to be sure you are hydrating properly during each season.
To do sweat test manually:
1. Weigh yourself without any clothes on.
2. Run (exercise) for 1 hour.
3. Keep track of how many ounces of fluid you consume while exercising.
4. Get undressed and wipe the sweat off your body.
5. Weigh yourself again without any clothes on.
6. Subtract your post workout weight from your pre workout rate.
7. Convert your weight loss to ounces and add in the amount of ounces you consumed during exercise.
8. Divide this number by four and you will have the amount of ounces you need to be consuming every 15 minutes for the duration of your exercise.
For example, I weighed myself before my workout and weighed 104.8 pounds. I drank 16 ounces during my workout. After my workout and wiping down I weighed 103.6 pounds. I lost 1.2 pounds which converts to 18 ounces. Add in the 16 ounces and that comes to 34 ounces. Divide that number by 4. I should be consuming 8.5 ounces every 15 minutes while exercising.
After your workout you should focus on making up for any deficits by refueling with drinks and meals. Be sure to replace those electrolytes!
Once you get behind on your fluids it's really difficult to "catch up". I learned this the hard way during my first Olympic distance triathlon. I was anxious on the bike because of a prior bike accident and I didn't drink. Temps and humidity were extremely high. By time I got to the run I couldn't make it up and my run suffered. It was definitely a lesson learned. I am fortunate it didn't turn out worse given the conditions. Early signs of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, swollen tongue. Drink before you get thirsty! If you are not sweating or urinating you need to be concerned. You may begin to experience weakness or become dizzy and even confused. You may experience vomiting. And more serious symptoms like heart palpitations and fainting can occur. Please be cautious because these are very serious and severe dehydration can cause irreparable damage and even death. This is why hydration has become such an important goal for me.
I have never liked carrying fluids with me when I run. I don't love carrying a handheld and the belts move around on me and jostle and end up making me nauseous. But I knew on my long runs, especially trail runs or the ones where I venture far from home, I needed to do something! So I decided to try out a vest from Orange Mud. And it was just the answer I needed!!
I have the Hydraquiver Vest Pack 1. It is a single barrel vest meaning it carries one 25 ounce bottle. It also has two front pouches that are very convenient. The two pouches are large enough to carry my iPhone 6s, nutrition, and even my GoPro camera. I was concerned about chafing, but the vest fits snuggly and comfortably so that is not a problem at all. The single barrel is enough fluids for me right now, but I will be looking to invest in the double barrel once I get more into my Ironman training and increase my distance. And after Ironman I see Ultras in my future. My fitness journey began with trail running and that is where I most love to be.
Do you prefer a handheld, hydration/fuel belt, backpack hydration system, or vest for your hydration?