Hydration or Hype? How, Why, When, What’s the fuss anyway?

Photo credz @ Pinterest

Hot is more than how the stepper in front of you looks my friend, it’s a current state of being these summer days. I’m not quite sure about in other parts of the world, save for the Caribbean and here in these United States, but I’d wager that the temps are a bit on the upside just about everywhere this side of heaven. No climate debating tho, it’s just too damn hot for all that. Lol. Personally, I feel I’m the only one concerned about self-combustion, everyone else is just skulking around in less and less clothes. On the run tho is an entirely different affair. We’re out here sweating something crazy! Which reminds me of how we can overestimate our capacity sometimes and get tripped up by the smallest of things – in this case, staying hydrated.

See, we only watch these superhero movies and some of us pretend but spoiler alert, it’s not real! We’re still humans, and outside of our  capacity for love and compassion – still sort of superheroish I think – we still have to do the needful and drink not so dumb stuff like water. And in greater amounts too! So superhero size that if you want, but don’t leave it out no matter what you do. According to Harvard School of Public Health, drinking enough water daily is important for many reasons including: regulating body temperature, delivering nutrients to the cells, keeping organs functioning properly, preventing infections, improving sleep quality, cognition, and mood. The truth is they had me at the “keeping organs functioning properly” – that part. I would not want to know me without properly functioning organs – all 79 of them – because I probably wouldn’t be able to walk much less run. Sounds painful. Also, we’re out here conversating, drumming up ideas, and firing up our imaginations. We need to be alert, have clarity, and the right energy etc., Who doesn’t need a good night’s sleep! In fact, many nights. I promise you wouldn’t want to know me sleep deprived either. And thank God you don’t have to! We are blessed to be living in a part of the world with access to drinking water.

Modern day conveniences have brought about not only access to drinking water, but a host of other much-touted H2O alternatives in the form of juices, energy drinks, sports drinks, flavored water, vitamin water, sparkling water, and even bottled coconut water. Choices. Choices. What to do with all these choices? The literature out there still gives preference to water as the #1 hydrating beverage for the average Joe who engages in any exercise activity up to thirty minutes. For endurance athletes and others engaging in exercise activity for longer durations some type of sports drinks may be necessary to maintain energy levels needed for exercise but there are also protein and carb options like dried fruit and nuts and healthier protien bars that can fuel energy. Most health experts agree that it’s best to stay away from sugar-sweetened beverages when trying to stay hydrated. They’re just not worth the use, says Professor Walter Willet of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Luckily, I am an advocate for flavored water where I can add my choice of veggie or fruit like lemons, cucumbers, and a host of others. You’re entitled to go a little crazy with these options and find what excites your taste buds. And if you’re feeling like a dose of comfort with added energy, it’s safe to have milk, tea, and coffee to bring up those hydration levels too! Oh and have lots and lots of watermelon. It’s something crazy like 91% water and naturally sweetened. You can’t go wrong with that!

Experts recommend 11 cups of water for the average Jane and 16 cups for Joe – milk, coffee, and tea included. So now that we’ve established what to drink, the rest is pretty easy right? In the words of Nike, just do it. Typical daily hydration involves me usually greeting the day with a big hearty slug of water, because gosh, it feels like I’ve been running in my sleep, I’m always so thirsty. Then, I fill up my water bottle (1 litre): water and fruit and I usually drink it out in 4-5 hours and have a refill, which usually lasts through the night. Running hydration is separate and different. Most running days before a run, I would do rink 8 ozs of an electrolyte supplement and replenish with water and a shake when I get back. Usually, for a short workout run, I don’t run with fluid but hydrate when I get back from be running with water and sometimes a protien shake. If it’s a longer run, I would usually get water from targeted water fountains in the areas I’m running. I’m considering getting a hydration vest, which will allow me to run with my own fluid. I have friends who have it and they swear it’s a game changer. This summer heat has me convinced I won’t regret the investment. LoL that’s right, it’s expensive but worth it.

So there you have it – my humble attempt at staying hydrated this summer. Don’t hesitate to share any ideas you have on your hydration method. We can swap sap tips LoL. I’ll be glad you did and we’ll be better hydrated together.😃

@ Pinterest

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