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Summer's Done 13.1

In-Person Race Aug. 24th OR Virtual Race Aug. 17th - 24th Cary, NC 27513 US Directions

SAFETY - Hydration

If you want to make sure you keep performing your best this summer you need to make sure you are hydrating properly for both the weather and your activity level. 

Signs You Need More Water

Obviously, thirst is a great indication that you need to drink more water or becoming lethargic and fuzzy-headed or experiencing nausea, muscle cramps, and headaches too. Other signs include reduced urine output (and urine that is dark yellow in color). 


Even a little dehydration can be a problem, so don't ignore those early signs. Mild dehydration reduces your ability to think clearly and your physical coordination and can lead to even greater heat related issues that can cause serious injury or death. 


If you need an easy guide to make sure you're hydrating properly check this graphic out. Alternatively, you can go to Home Depot and get a paint swatch for warm summer colors to hang in the bathroom. 


You can gauge your hydration level by the color of your urine. If you're well hydrated, it should be pale. Also, naturally, you'll be urinating more frequently.


General Hydration Guidelines

It is generally recommended that the average person consume at least eight 8-ounce servings of water each day (approx. 2 liters a day). The more time you spend outdoors and the more active you are, the more water you need to replenish lost fluids, especially when exercising in hot or humid weather conditions as your body tends to sweat more.


Also, it's not just the water you're drinking that keeps you hydrated — about 20% of your water intake comes from the foods you eat. The remaining 80% comes from beverages, including water, coffee, tea, milk, and anything else liquid.


These are more specific daily guidelines for adults:

  • Men: 16 cups total (about 13 cups from water and beverages)

  • Women: 11 cups total (about 9 cups from water and beverages)

  • Pregnant Women: 13 cups total (about 10 cups from water and beverages)

Daily guidelines for children depend on factors like age and sex:

  • Children 1–3 years: 5.5 cups total (about 4 cups of total beverages)

  • Children 4–8 years: 7 cups total (about 5 cups as total beverages)

  • Boys 9–13 years: 10 cups total (about 8 cups as total beverages)

  • Boys 14–18 years: 14 cups total (about 11 cups as total beverages)

  • Girls 9–13 years: 9 cups total (about 7 cups as total beverages)

  • Girls 14–18 years: 10 cups total (about 8 cups as total beverages)

Hydration in Hot Weather

Start hydrating right away!


Before Exercise: It's easier to keep your fluid balance if you start well-hydrated, so drink water before you exercise, work, or spend time outside when it's hot. It's best to drink 2 - 3 cups of water or sports drink 1 - 3 hours before your activity begins. Consuming an additional 1 cup 10 - 20 minutes prior to the training session is also good practice.


During Exercise: Then continue to hydrate during your workout or work day. You might need 1 cup of water or more every 15 - 20 minutes or so if you're working or exercising in extreme temperatures. If possible, given your sporting activity, take regular 'sips' throughout the activity. For longer training sessions (more than 1 hour or while in hot weather) consider adding a sports drink as part of your hydration. The sodium and potassium content will permit you to maintain a proper electrolyte balance.


After Exercise: Drink water after you've finished work or an exercise session. Drink 2 - 4 cups within 1 hour, post exercise. You should aim to 'push' fluid intake even if you don't feel thirsty. Given that you will eliminate some fluid through urination, you’ll want to drink more than what you've lost.


BUT DON'T OVER DO IT! Drinking large amounts of water all at once can lead to ​hyponatremia or water toxicity. This can also affect long-distance runners during races who push too many fluids without also replacing electrolytes, such as sodium.

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