By Diana Robinson / Nutritionist & SHMA Black Belt.
Coming in to the summer months it’s important to watch your hydration levels while training, as naturally you will perspire quite a bit more! Hydration doesn’t mean drinking water though. When you sweat, essential electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and chloride are lost and simply drinking water will not replace them.
As these electrolytes are needed for normal muscle function and fluid balance, low levels may result in impaired heart regulation, reduced mental function, reduced skill and coordination, digestive upsets, decreased ability for physical exertion, tight muscles and cramping.
Lack of electrolytes may also lead intracellular muscle dehydration. This is where the muscles cannot remove metabolic waste and the acids (lactate and ammonia) can cause muscle fatigue.
Tips to avoid dehydration:
Coconut water is a great natural source of electrolytes and can be consumed straight or used in home made smoothies or ice blocks.
- If you are doing high intensity training an electrolyte powder is a good idea post workout.
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink, by then you will already be dehydrated.
- Train in the early or later part of the day during the summer months.