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Extended daylight, local 5K events, and the excuse to wear comfy shorts make the summer season special for runners. As I hit the pavement for a few afternoon jogs, I am quickly reminded the downside to midsummer running, humidity! For safety, letís review good hydration strategies.

Start Hydrated

Start under hydrated and start off at a disadvantage. Water should be a part of everyday- training or not. Make sipping on water a daily habit. So how much water should you be drinking daily? Hydration needs can be as individualized as calories needs. It depends on weight, activity and temperature. Obviously the longer you exercise and the hotter the climate the more water you will need. But, the average person should consume half their body weight in ounces. And, before every run drink 2-3 cups of fluid about 30 minutes before.

Stay Hydrated

If your run, workout, or hardcore yard work last over an hour you will need to hydrate in the midst. Develop a system that works best for you and stick with it. At minimum, drink a cup or (8 ounces) of fluid every 15-20 minutes. This can be done at once or sips along the way. Running over an hour, I advise electrolyte replacement. Look for low- sugar options to avoid unnecessary calories found in sports drinks. Try tablets that dissolve in water or electrolyte pills.

Finish Hydrated

Even the best hydration plan wonít fully replace all the electrolytes and fluid lost during a summer run. Post run hydration fills the gaps. Low-fat chocolate milk is natureís recovery drink. Itís a simple and effective way to refuel and rehydrate your body after a hard workout. It is packed with 9 key nutrients, including some other nutrients not typically found in sports drinks, like calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones and reduce the risk for stress fractures. It is also great tasting and affordable!

Dehydration is the most common nutritional cause of poor running performance and the most preventable. With a little forethought and preparation you can develop a hydration plan that will keep your whistle wet and running all summer.

Rebecca Turner, MS RD CSSD is a local nutrition expert and runner. Health is a choice. #ChooseHealthy Download her FREE App. Search Rebecca Turner Nutrition in your App Store.

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