3 New Rules for Staying Hydrated

By: Karen Asp  |  Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Now that the heat of summer has arrived, staying hydrated is even more important, especially if you’re exercising outdoors. Women should get about 11 cups of water per day, men 15 cups—about 20% of that comes from food, the rest you'll need to drink. Here are 3 new sipping “rules” to follow when working out.
Chill Before You Sweat
If you’re looking to set a new record in that 10K or sprint triathlon, slurp an ice slurry, essentially an unflavored snow cone, 45 minutes before your event. When runners did this prior to a 10K in 82-degree weather, they ran 15 seconds faster on average, per a study from the International Journal of Sports Medicine. “The ice slurry increased body heat storage capacity, which allowed runners to push harder,” says Jason Kai Wei Lee, Ph.D., study principal investigator from the Defence Medical & Environmental Research Institute, DFO Laboratories, in Singapore.
Say Cheers With Beer
Good news if you’re planning to hit up a brewpub post-hike. In one study, men who rehydrated after a treadmill run with beer (22 ounces, 4.5 percent alcohol by volume), followed by unlimited water, were just as hydrated as men who drank the same amount of liquid but only water. “Drinking beer, as long as it’s in moderation, doesn’t impair hydration or hinder your recovery,” says Manuel J. Castillo, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and professor of medical physiology at the University of Granada. Beer, after all, is 95 percent water. So go ahead and order a beer to quench your thirst. Just make sure to ask for water as well.
Fuel Up With Salt
A little extra salt before your next workout may actually help keep dehydration at bay, according to a study from the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise -Metabolism. When male cyclists ate chicken noodle soup (with almost 1,400 mg of sodium) 45 minutes before exercising in the heat, they drank—and retained— more -water during their ride than cyclists who pre-fueled with water alone. “Sodium may help encourage you to drink more,” says Kelly Pritchett, Ph.D., R.D., assistant professor in nutrition and exercise science at Central Washington University, especially if you’re exercising for more than an hour or at a high intensity in the summer heat. A handful of pretzels or a cup of tomato juice or sports drink with sodium are all sufficient.