What Color is Your Pee? Heat and Hydration - Summer 2014

By Brittany Jackett, Marketing Director
Town Crier July 2014 

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Rising temperatures and sticky humidity can only mean one thing - summer is finally upon us. If you're like most of us, spending all day every day turning into a water-logged prune in the pool is just not an option.

So now that the warmer temperatures and sunshine we've spent the long winter wishing for are finally here, how do we keep cool and survive - especially when we are outside being active?

Whether you're heading outdoors for a run, a walk, a hike or boot camp, hydration is absolutely an essential key to not only performing well, but not falling victim to dehydration. Our bodies are composed of approximately 70% water - that's a lot! Our blood alone is 90% water, muscles over 70% and even that unwanted body fat is 10% water. The takeaway here is that our bodies need water to not only survive, but to thrive and perform.

Our hydration levels have a large impact, not only on athletic performance, but on the overall way we feel on a daily basis. When we feel tired and fatigued halfway through the workday or a dull headache creeps in, more often than not, these symptoms are due to dehydration. Keeping water available at all time - at your desk, in your car, on a run, at the gym - will decrease the likelihood for dehydrating substantially.

Although it isn't the most glamorous or pleasant topics, a key indicator for your level of hydration is your urine. Every time you head to the bathroom, especially if you plan to partake in some form of exercise, take a peek before you flush. If you're staring down at a bowl of dark yellow or even brownish urine - grab a big glass of water and get chugging. If you see light or pale yellow to clear colored urine, you're ready to get active!

To keep from getting to the point of dehydration and experiencing all or some of the unpleasant signs - fatigue, nausea and headache - be sure you are hydrating all day long. If guzzling down glass after glass of water isn't your thing, water additives such as nuun hydration can make your water flavorful, as well as full of powerful electrolytes. Electrolytes are important for the overall performance of muscles and nerve cells and if they become depleted or diluted your muscles and neurological systems become affected. Other options include REAL fruit juice, vegetable juice and herbal teas. Be sure to avoid things like coffee, soda, milk and, of course, alcohol. 

In terms of the nitty gritty regarding how much water or electrolyte replacement beverage you should be consuming, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:

Pre-Activity/Workout                         Consume approximately 8-16 ounces of water
Every Hour of Activity                       Consume approximately 16-32 ounces of water
Cool Down from Activity                   Consume another 16+ ounces of water
Daily Adequate Intake for Men         Approximately 3 Liters
Daily Adequate Intake for Women    Approximately 2.2 Liters

Now fill up that water bottle or glass next to you with ice-cold water and get sipping, and you'll be sure to enjoy a hot summer, filled with fun outdoor activities! 

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