The Importance of Hydration While Exercising Outside
Somehow, the end of summertime always feels the hottest. If you live in a humid climate, you know it’s especially true. While the expectation might be to spend more time outside when the sun’s shining, it’s more than likely that we’re glued to our air conditioners. But, if you do decide to break free and enjoy some outdoor activities, here’s what you need to know about staying optimally hydrated.
How Weather Affects the Body
Our individual perceptions of “hot” are different, such as dry heat and humid heat. Both affect your body in a myriad of ways.
If you live in a humid climate, taking extra precautions could benefit you. Humidity is basically the percentage of water in the atmosphere, affecting the body’s perception of temperature. It also prevents your sweat from evaporating as quickly as it should, which is what keeps the body cool in the first place. This delays your body’s ability to cool down, intensifying feelings of fatigue.
If you’re experiencing a dry heat, dehydration could be affecting you without you feeling it. Since there’s less moisture in the air, it’s easier for your body to regulate its temperature via sweating. That sounds good, but as sweat evaporates quicker than in humid climates, your body loses more water. So, you might not realize that dehydration is setting in. This can lead to heat exhaustion or worse—heat stroke.
Hydrating for Outdoor Activities
The American College of Sports Medicine has a timeline of drinking fluids to ensure proper hydration while outside. It suggests that active individuals should:
- Drink 16-20 ounces of fluid two hours before outdoor activity
- Drink up to 12 ounces of fluid about every 15 minutes while outside
- Drink another 16 to 24 ounces after finishing outdoor activity
So, what kinds of fluids are best? Plain, purified water is always a safe bet. But in many cases when you’re active, electrolytes are the most efficient way to keep your body hydrated. Electrolytes are minerals, such as potassium and sodium, that carry an electric charge when in contact with water. In essence, they keep the body hydrated. But you lose them through sweat and urination, so replenishing them is key while enduring prolonged activity.
5 Smart Ways to Stay Cool & Hydrated for Outdoor Activity
- Do your weather homework – the good thing about heat is that it’s easily predictable. One Google search can tell you about the heat index for the week in your city. Take advantage of that information and plan your outdoor activity around cooler times of the day (mornings and evenings).
- Wear lightweight clothing – not only are they more comfortable, lightweight clothing can help ensure your sweat is being wicked off your body. That will create a more optimal environment for your body to regulate its temperature.
- Have fluids handy – like we discussed above, make sure you have both water and electrolytes at your disposal to keep your body working at optimal levels.
- Take more breaks than you think you need – your body likely becomes overtired before you realize it. Whether you’re running, cycling, or even just walking, take more breaks than you might be used to. That gives you a chance to check-in with your body and make any necessary changes.
- Scope out shade nearby – this is especially important if you become overheated. Before embarking on your outdoor expedition, make sure you know where you can grab some shade should you need it. It can be as simple as underneath a tree! Having reprieve from the sun can fight fatigue and keep you going longer.
Stay Cool with Primo Water
When it comes to hydrating, it’s important to choose the right kind of water for the job. Your tap water can often be riddled with contaminants that could negatively impact your health. And, single-use plastic bottles contribute to environmental pollution. So, where do you go from there?
Start with Primo Water. Our water undergoes a 5-step Reverse Osmosis (RO) purification process that eliminates harmful microorganisms, heavy metals, trace pharmaceuticals and more. What does that mean for you? Safer, better water with every sip. And besides, bulk water users drink up to 25% more water on average.
When it comes to keeping hydrated through the dead of summer, Primo keeps you cool in more ways than one.