Don’t Be Fooled by Phantom Solutions
Chug some water. Down a Brisk. Sweat off those pounds.
These are all
misconceptions concerning exercising and heat that help lead to
dehydration, pain, and possibly death. “Hot weather can pose
serious problems to a body that’s already heating up during
summer exercise,” warns Susan Kalish, executive director of the
American Running Association. “Without adequate fluid intake,
you’re at risk for dehydration and heat-related illness such as
heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and in extreme cases,
you may think drowning your body with water or exercising until you
feel thirsty are typical practices, they are common mistakes that iron
men and women like yourself make every summer. Here are the facts on
your common misconceptions.
As long as I’m not thirsty, I’m fine.
In reality, when you feel your mouth start to dry up, the rest of your
body is a barren sand pit. Studies show that fluid levels change
quickly during exercise, which means using thirst as a gauge for
hydration is like relying on an “idiot” light on your
car’s gas gauge. By the time you feel thirsty, your body is
When I exercise, fat leaves my body in sweat form.
Actually, it really doesn’t. Sweat is a way for your body to
release heat and cool the body during activity. The weight lost during
exercise is water weight, and represents a proportional amount of water
that should be replaced. For every pound you lose during exercise, you
should drink at least 24 ounces of fluid. As little as a 2 percent
decrease in your body weight during exercise can impair your
Caffeine gives me more energy, so it helps me exercise.
Drinks with a large amount of caffeine are far worse for you than water
and sports drinks. Caffeine’s diuretic effect causes you to lose
fluids from your body, leading to further dehydration. Instead,
properly formulated sports drinks can help sustain your performance
during intense exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes. Sports drinks
also are absorbed into your bloodstream more quickly than water.
If I store water before exercise I’ll have enough during.
This idea is good if you like getting cramps and side stitches during
exercise. Unlike food, you can’t stock up on fluids for exercise
later in the day. You should drink at least six to eight glasses of
water per day to keep hydrated for daily activities. During exercise,
drink at least five to 10 ounces every 15 minutes. A good indicator of
hydration is clear urine throughout the day.
Address: American Running Association, 4405 East West Highway, Suite 405, Bethesda, MD 20814-4535; email@example.com, www.americanrunning.org.
— Andrew Tufts —