It’s officially my third summer in Houston, needless to say, I’ve learned a LOT about hydration. I grew up swimming competitively and while I always carried a water bottle to the pool, I never had a grasp on just how important drinking it was to performance. When you’re swimming, you don’t realize how much water you need to take in because you don’t see it pouring off your body like you do in other sports. Plus, in those days, I consumed just as much Diet Coke as H20 anyway, yikes.
Now that I’m in my late 20s, I’ve traded the pool for the streets and hot yoga studio. The combination of running and heated vinyasa yoga equals a ton of sweat, especially in the summer. It also gives me a great gage for exactly how hydrated I need to be to have a good workout or yoga practice. My marathon training has started to wind up just as the humidity levels are peaking, and I’m remembering just how tough running through this swamp I lovingly call home can be. Without proper hydration, I don’t think I could train at all. Plus the side effects of dehydration aren’t worth it…who wants headaches all day? Not me.
So, in the spirit of being healthy, happy, and hydrated this summer in Houston, I give you my favorite hydration tips!
Carry your bottle! Bring a water bottle with you everywhere. If you don’t have water, you can’t stay hydrated. For me, my pretty pink bottle goes wherever I go. Bonus? Carrying your own bottle is better for the environment and it’ll save you a few bucks.
Find a supplement that works for you. On hard training days (or for me, days when I double up on yoga and running), plain ‘ole H20 doesn’t cut it. Houston’s humidity has me sweating outside before I even start a workout, so I need to work extra hard to replenish my electrolytes. Nuun is my go-to for all my additional hydration needs. My favorite flavors? Watermelon and pink lemonade!
Plan your running routes around water. If you’re like me and aren’t a fan of carrying your water while running, planning your routes around water is key. Joining a running group that provides hydration stops is an easy way. On solo runs, hit trails like Rice University, Hermann Park, Buffalo Bayou and Memorial Park that have fountains every 2 miles or so. In a pinch, carry a few bucks or a credit card for the convenience store.
Lay off the booze. I enjoy a cold beer on a hot day just as much as the next girl, but when I’m training in the summer I just can’t handle the dehydration that comes with it. When enjoying adult libations, always balance your alcoholic beverages with water. Not only will staying hydrated benefit your training, it’ll also curb the hangover the next day.
Listen to your body. Your body knows if it’s hydrated…so let it do the talking. The pee test is a no-brainer on hot, humid training runs. If you’re looking at dark yellow, get sipping.
Whether this is your first summer training in Houston or your 50th, staying hydrated is the most important part of your training! If you have hydration tips that you’d like to share with me, Tweet me at @LindsayLM!