By: Director of Sports Nutrition Ryan Turner, RD, CSSD

As we know, it’s been HOT in New York City. If you’re workout out outdoors, or even commuting around the city in the heat, you’ll need to prioritize your hydration even more than usual to avoid dehydration.

Quick tips from Ryan Turner (@foodisfuelnyc) to implement today:

⏱Drink water early and often

💧Plan for 80-100 oz per day

🏃‍♀️ Drink at least 16 oz of water after sweating activity and eat food for electrolytes

⚡️ Activity over 60 min may need electrolyte based drinks

Need to keep it simple? Just do the above and no need to read beyond here.

Hydration is important for regulating body temperature, digestion, lubricating joints, preventing infections, delivering nutrients to cells to maintain energy, and keep organs functioning properly. Water, seltzer, tea, diet drinks, even coffee (skip the added sugar), and fruits/veg/soups, etc all add to hydration. Dehydration is when you lose more fluid from your body than what you take in from beverages or water containing foods. Simply, your body won’t have enough fluid to work properly (so much happens in the medium of water!).

If dehydrated you may feel:

🥵Extreme thirsty/dry mouth

⬇️Urinating and sweating less than usual

🟤Dark-colored urine

🌵Dry skin

🥱Feeling tired

😵‍💫Headache/dizziness

😓Lack of strength/performance

In this case though – let’s focus more on the general active individual who much of the time may find themselves not dehydrated, just hydrating less than optimally. Mild dehydration is generally defined as losing roughly 2% of one’s body weight in water. For instance, if someone weighs 180 pounds, and they lose 2%, that is 3.6 pounds in water weight and indicates the start of dehydration. This can happen from someone refusing or simply forgetting to drink water or eat hydrating foods through the day. This mild dehydration status can affect performance and your cognitive abilities – think multitasking at work or taking direction from a coach while focusing on your performance. This can mean the difference between good work and great work! If athletes and very active individuals are competing or training for over an hour, in hot temperatures, they will likely need to take extra steps to maintain hydration. It’s possible to lose 6-10% of their weight through sweat! This is when electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, magnesium) should be replaced. Water should switch to sports drinks and even salty snacks should be eaten at this point.

Feeling less hungry in the heat? Just finished a workout and a recovery meal or even a shake seems like a challenge to take down? It’s normal and something we can expect when living in climates with more variable temperatures and weather.

For some people with “calorie deficit” on their mind, they may welcome this. For others this can be frustrating and possibly detrimental… let me tell you why.

Fueling for performance, muscle maintenance, hypertrophy, or overall health, may take quite a bit of effort for some individuals without the challenge of heat. We already seem many individuals under-fueling. So understanding what’s happening or at least what to expect at times when it can become more challenging is important.

Here’s whats happening:
When your body is adapting to warmer temperatures, your Hypothalamus, the part of the brain just behind the eyes, is working to regulate all processes involved in temperature regulation. That part of your brain also plays a part in hunger regulation and overall homeostasis. Eating and digestion is a process that produces heat (see: thermic effect of food), so the body because less focused on production and acceptance of “hunger hormones” like ghrelin. Hence, you feel less hungry and food becomes less desirable. You may become more interested in food that are cooler or more hydrating. Your hunger will regulate and return though you can support yourself and maintain your goals by doing these five things.

1.) Expect and allow for reduced intake initially. Be cautious of this, however, if you’re already at a low body weight.
2.) Expect a shift in desire for cooler food and beverages.
3.) Ensure protein intake is maintained. Keep shakes and easy drinking sources available.
4.) Gradually increase exposure (time and intensity of work in) warmer temperatures to help your body regulate
5.) Decrease activity time and intensity, initially, during gradual heat exposure.

Interested in learning more about Tone House Nutrition services? Schedule a complimentary call with Ryan here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.