Staying well-hydrated is always important, particularly in the summer months when the temperature rises and our perspiration (‘sweating’) increases. Every day, our bodies lose water naturally through the urine, intestines, skin, and lungs. When participating in physical activity, perspiration further increases this water loss; therefore, adequate hydration, or replacement of water in our bodies, is extremely important. In the summer the studio is very hot and humid so please remember to begin the class well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after the hot yoga session.
The general recommendation for eight 8 oz glasses of water per day converts to about 1.9 liters. This amount would be sufficient for most women, males need slightly more. But remember in the summer we sweat more so this number increases especially if you are practicing hot yoga.
For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. Sources of water also include foods, such fruits and vegetables which contain a high percentage of water.
Apple (100 g) = 84% water
Blueberry = 80% water
Melon = 89% water
Peach = 89% water
Sports drinks with electrolytes, may be useful for people doing high intensity, vigorous exercise in very hot weather, though they tend to be high in added sugars and calories. Therefore, when thinking about proper hydration this summer, water is an ideal choice, and if participating in prolonged activity (greater than 60 minutes), a sports drink is also a viable option.
As summer temperatures hit, here are a number of important tips:
- Monitor fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow, too smelly or cloudy.
- For short-duration (less than 60 minutes), low-to-moderate-intensity activity, water is a good choice to drink before, during and after exercise.
- Any time you exercise in extreme heat or for more than one hour, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6 percent to 8 percent carbohydrates. This prevents “hyponatremia” (low blood sodium), which dilutes your blood and could also lead to serious impairment and death.
- Begin exercise well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your exercise session.
- Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover. Although saying that hot yoga tends to cure a hangover pretty quick…
- Following strenuous exercise such as hot yoga, you need more protein to build muscle, carbohydrates to refuel muscle, electrolytes to replenish what’s lost in sweat, and fluids to help rehydrate the body. Low-fat chocolate milk is a perfect, natural replacement that fills those requirements.
- You can also replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt and potassium, such as soup and vegetable juices.
Enjoy your summer and please remember to bring a water bottle to your next hot yoga class and a hot yoga towel would be wise decision too to collect all that sweat. You can buy hot yoga towels in the studio.