Thursday, June 4, 2009

Staying Hydrated

Now that it's June, we can expect to see temperatures in the mid to upper 90's everyday. Hot, Hot, HOT! As you know, staying hydrated is extremely important, especially for triathletes and endurance athletes. We put in a lot of time outdoors while riding and running. Below is a great article on staying hydrated everyday from local registered dietitian and ultra distance runner, Meredith Terranova. You can check out her website Eating and Living Healthy and sign up for her newsletter for more great tips like the following:

"It's summertime in Texas! Every year I find it essential to take an opportunity in my newsletter to discuss the importance of hydration, as it is key to feeling good in this weather. Whether you are exercising outside, doing work in your yard, or just walking around in the heat you can't ignore the importance of drinking your fluids.

If you find: that your mouth is dry; you are feeling fatigued; you are getting headaches that you didn't before; or your exercise is suffering, consider that you might be dehydrated and use the tips below to help you creatively stay hydrated on a daily basis.


This time of year may find you eating on the go, and losing track of how much or how little water you are consuming. No matter how busy you find yourself during these hot summer months, have a water bottle in hand at all times! Even if you are not exercising, you should be consuming AT LEAST 2-3 liters of water a day!

Many of my clients are always searching for which beverages are best for their daily hydration. Water, of course, is best. People often don't understand that beverages are less satiating than solid foods. When you consume calories from beverages, you don't compensate by eating less food later on. Liquid calories don't register with our appetite controls. This is a very important fact for both athletes and non-athletes. As you pass through the shelves of your grocery store, running store, or cycling store remember that all of the electrolyte replacement drinks available are just that, electrolyte replacement. They are mostly meant for before, during, and after exercise, or to balance out your water consumption if you drink too much plain water. The calories in them are used during your workout, but if you are drinking these drinks as your major source of hydration throughout the day, you can end up adding 150-300 calories to your day. The same can also be said for multiple cups of coffee; how many calories are you adding with your milk, sugar, or other flavoring? Pay attention to these facts; the calories do add up.

As you go through the summer, find drinks that work for you to stay well hydrated. Below are some options:

  • Water with lemon, lime, or orange slices
  • Sparkling water with a splash of pomegranate juice (try POM brand flavors)
  • Water with a splash of your favorite energy drink
  • Water with Emergen-C
  • A glass (8oz) of milk (even though it is 100 calories, it counts toward your hydration and gives you a serving of dairy, calcium, and protein)
  • A glass of juice (6oz counts as a fruit serving)
  • Zico Water (coconut water. Still 60 calories, but a great option)
  • Decaf. Unsweetened Tea - try one of the many herb flavors available
  • Low-sodium V8 juice (offers a serving of vegetables)
Even with these ideas and tips, if you can't seem to make yourself drink enough everyday, or you are sick of keeping track...try this fun new bottle."

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