The Importance of Fluid and Electrolytes in this Extreme Heat!

by Tia Dewick in Nutrition

hydrated | water

Staying hydrated is an essential element of day-to-day life whether you’re training or having a relaxation day. In this heat wave that Britain has been having here are some top tips to ensure that you stay hydrated:

First of all, if you are a very active individual then in heat over 20 degrees you need to more carefully control your fluid intake. In an attempt to cool the body down to a healthy temperature, the body produces sweat in which the typical sweat rates for exercise over 20 degrees are 1-2 litres per hour depending on the intensity and type of training you are undertaking. If these fluids are not replaced, the body can become severely dehydrated which may cause nausea, heatstroke, highly concentrated urine and many more side effects. Therefore, you must ensure that you are replacing this fluid continuously throughout the day and especially during your exercise.

Furthermore, in these extreme heats our body excretes electrolytes (predominantly sodium and potassium), if these electrolytes are not replaced (these can be found in many sports drinks such as Lucozade) then the electrolyte balance within the body becomes distorted. This can result in fluid to be drawn out of our cells in an attempt to replace our blood volume loss (via sweat) which can also result in excess urine loss. Collectively, this causes the essential natural bodily functions to be slowed or even completely stopped in severe cases. As the body retains more fluid at cooler temperatures, ensure to have a nice and cold, refreshing drink in this heat.

Overall, you should be consuming a very minimum of 2-3L (or 8 pints) per day and ideally an additional litre for every hour of exercise that you undergo in this heat! Enjoy the sun whilst it lasts!