Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Can't Drink Enough

This is not a post for me to complain about heat, humidity, or my extreme sweatiness. You know all about those lovely aspects of my life already.

This post is about drinking. Of the non-alcoholic variey. Of the I-just-sweat-out-half-my-body-weight-and-if-I-don’t-hydrate-soon-I-may-shrivel-up-and-die variety. Because I love raisins but I don't want to be one.

My workout last night was not an absolute disaster, so that was a pleasant change from my recent status quo. I did 4x800m and then 2x400m. Fun times. But every repeat I finished, I could feel fire under my skin. A trip to the bathroom and a glance in the mirror confirmed it - my face was a *unique* shade of bright red. Really cute.

And unnatural skin tones aside, I was sweaty. I had a couple sips of water during the workout, but probably less than a cup total. (Lovely picture, right? No we did not just go swimming in our clothes.) 

When I got home at 9:05 pm, my life was a blur of post-workout confusion. I need to shower. I need to eat. I need to drink!!! All at once – what to do? 

I chugged some water, then hopped in the shower before making dinner. And then I drank more water. And then I re-filled my water bottle and drank more while I ate. 

And then right before going to bed I drank even more! It seemed like no matter how much I drank I could not unthirstify myself! (Sidenote: there are plenty of legitimate literary terms for that action: “quench my thirst,” “slake my thirst,” “rehydrate,” “satisfy,” etc., but they’re all just too cliché for me. Thus: unthirstify. Done. Judge me accordingly.)

Ways to deal with the dehydration issue:

Before Workout:

Drink a lot of water. Not coffee. Not tea. Water!

During Workout:

Drink sips of water often. I’ve never been one to consume much of anything while working out. My philosophy is usually, Meh, I’ll drink when I’m done. But that doesn’t work when it’s high-90s and humid. 

I tend to just rinse my mouth out, but not actually swallow very much water. That swish of water feels refreshing, but doesn’t accomplish much in the hydration department. Also, one of the main symptoms of dehydration is fatigue! I feel tired enough in a workout thank-you-very-much…there’s no need to exacerbate that tiredness with dehydration!

After Workout:

Drink a lot of water. (Are you beginning to see a pattern here?) But really, I should drink an entire water bottle right after finishing the workout. And maybe a Gatorade if it’s after a long run.

I’m not a huge fan of energy drinks, but I recognize the importance of replenishing electrolytes. SpeedyKate swears by Vitaminwater Zero. I like Crystal Lite Pure Fitness Lemonade. My coach is all about the Nuun. I guess it’s just a matter of figuring out what works for you.

And hydration and nutrition go hand in hand. If you re-energize (food and water) properly after a workout, you will recover faster and feel better in your subsequent workouts!

For more information on the symptoms and treatment of dehydration, go here.