It’s getting hot out there, folks! With glorious summer days comes more outdoor fun. The prettier the weather, the more apt we are to go outside and play hard!
With all the fun and games of swimming, running, mountain biking, hiking, and outdoor activities, we need to hydrate! And by hydrating I do not mean simply drinking a glass of water before and after your workout. There are more factors to address for optimal performance and overall health and safety.
In the hot summer months our bodies attempt to maintain a core temperature of around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit causing increased water loss. Sweating assists in maintaining this core temperature.
If we add strenuous exercise to warm summer days, we are going to sweat even more, losing anywhere between 300mL to over 2 liters of sweat per hour depending on the exercise intensity, duration, heat acclimatization, humidity, etc.
Sweat not only contains water, but also sodium, chloride, and smaller amounts of other electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It is important to rehydrate with water that also contains some salt (sodium chloride) — especially if you sweat a lot or tend to have very salty sweat. Although the salt content of sweat varies from one person to the next, it is estimated that on average about 1g of sodium is lost per liter of sweat. That is a lot! If you have really salty sweat — for example, you have salt crystals on your skin — you are likely on the higher end of sodium loss.
Electrolytes (micronutrients) lost in sweat:
Sodium: 460–1840 mg/L
Chloride: 710–2840 mg/L
Potassium: 160–390 mg/L
Magnesium: 0–35 mg/L
Calcium: 0–120 mg/L
Whether you have been riding at Galbraith or swimming in Lake Whatcom, ensuring adequate fluid and electrolyte intake is essential. Check out my easy tips to stay properly hydrated below and try my refreshing watermelon electrolyte popsicle recipe.
1) Drink plenty of water throughout the day to replace water losses.
2) Add a pinch of Redmond’s Real Sea Salt to add sodium (and additional electrolytes) to water before, during, and after exercise. Consider using electrolyte replacement packets, especially if you participate in strenuous exercise that lasts more than 2 hours.
3) Drink cold beverages to help reduce core temperature.
4) Avoid drinking alcohol immediately after exercise. Alcohol has a diuretic effect which stimulates increased fluid loss via urine. Save your post-ride beer until a little later.
5) Enjoy potassium rich fruit like melons or bananas, or sip on potassium-rich coconut water throughout the day. Don't forget to add a pinch of salt to coconut water too!
WATERMELON ELECTROLYTE POPSICLES
Each popsicle provides about 100mg of sodium and 100mg of potassium, with small amounts of magnesium, calcium, and a jolt of vitamin C. This recipe makes 5 popsicles.
4 cups diced watermelon (making ~ 2 ½ cups watermelon juice)
3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon Redmond’s Real Sea Salt
2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen peptides (optional)
Add the diced watermelon to a blender and blend. Check to see how much liquid is in the container. It should be close to 2 ½ cups of watermelon juice. Then add in the lime juice to your liking, as well as the sugar, salt, and collagen peptides. The peptides are optional but the added protein keeps your blood sugar more stable. Blend until well combined and transfer into 5 popsicle molds.
If there is any remaining juice, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it. You can easily throw these into a smoothie or blend them with some milk for a super satisfying and icy watermelon milkshake.