Have you noticed the weather seems to be hotter than it used to be? In some places in Arizona, Nevada and California, temperatures can get to be well over 110 degrees, while even places known for their cold winters have seen 90 degree plus summer days. When playing sports outdoors this summer, from tennis to basketball and then some, it’s important to stay hydrated so you don’t fall over and need to be rushed to the hospital.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
First of all, drink plenty of water when it’s hot outside. Water is your body’s best friend in times like these. The more, the better– really. When you play sports outdoors you sweat a lot, so your body loses water. Therefore, it needs to be replenished. Drink water before, during and after the times you exert yourself outdoors in hot temperatures. Any chance you get to rest under the shade of an awning or tree, out of the hot sun, do so.
If and when you’re outdoors and sweating for more than an hour, besides water you might want to drink sports drinks like Gatorade which give you electrolytes and carbs. Why do this? Sports drinks help prevent what’s known as “hyponatremia,” aka low blood sodium. After your sports session, besides Gatorade, a good way to get more fluid and sodium into your system would be to eat soup or drink vegetable juice.
Add more fruits and veggies to your daily diet because they supply your system with water as well as potassium. A lot athletes eat bananas regularly.
What are some drinks to avoid if and when you plan to be out on the court in the hot sun? Alcohol, tea, coffee, juice and milk.
The more energy you expend in the heat, the more protein your body should have. Dried fruit and nut mixes, along with that staple– water– are good to take in after you’ve been in the heat a while.
Finally, a good way to test to see if you need to drink more water is this: check your urine. If the color is dark yellow, it smells strongly, or it’s cloudy, then you need to drink more water daily throughout the day. Ideally, urine should be pale yellow.