by Colin Aina
With the summer, the arrival of long days and a renewed sense of vigor surround us. We are apt to spend more time outside and are compelled to be healthier by doing so. Most of us like to go on hikes, ride the bike in lieu of the car, spend hours upon hours gardening and baking at the beach. More often than not, we do these things with a fair bit of detriment to our body's dietary and hydration needs. Here are some tips to optimize your body's performance and ensure that you won't be high and dry:
During long bouts of exercise or outdoor work, it's much more beneficial to eat regularly, about every 20 minutes. Your muscles will recover much better and faster than having that "post-workout" protein shake afterward. Yes, this is contrary to what the supplement companies have been telling us about how crucial it is to eat within 40 minutes of exercise for optimal glycogen restoration (for more details on this subject, lookup articles by Alan Aragon).
In more extreme and strenuous cases, the human body loses 1 to 2 liters of sweat per hour...that's 1-2 Nalgene bottles. This is highly prevalent in higher humidity and when in direct sunlight for extended periods. Just like the Sprite commercial says, "Obey your thirst"..let your thirst be a determiner of your need to rehydrate yourself. Just like eating, it's more beneficial to sip throughout your endeavor instead of waiting until you feel faint and have to chug an entire liter. Use your urine as an indicator of your hydration level, the darker it is, the more dehydrated you are and lighter indicates good hydration. Unfortunately, iced coffee, beer and caipirinhas won't help. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics and will leach out your body's electrolytes.
Get your electrolytes
Pretty much everyone knows this is important, but many don't know what the electrolytes are....sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, hydrogen phosphate and hydrogen carbonate. If you eat a well-balanced and proper diet, you are getting these nutrients. SO, when the temperature rises..don't eat crap!