A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO FITNESS: Hydration

A series, presented in partnership with getfit at MIT

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We’re into week four of the getfit at MIT program! And can you believe how gosh darn hot and humid it has been throughout the month of September? The topic of proper hydration is certainly a timely one. But even when it’s cold outside, active people need to pay special attention to hydration.

You’re probably aware that when you work out, you sweat. But do you know why?

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When you work out, your heart rate rises, causing a bump in your body temperature. That temperature increase causes your brain to send neurological signals to your sweat glands, telling them to get to work.

Your body produces sweat. The process of sweat evaporating off the skin removes heat from the skin, which in turn helps cool the rest of the body (remember, your skin is the body’s largest organ!)

The more your internal body temperature increases, the more you sweat. Your body needs to pull that fluid from somewhere – and some of it comes from the fluids surrounding your cells, which negatively effects cell function.

The increase in core body temperature comes more quickly and becomes more extreme on a very hot or humid day. Additionally, humidity stifles the sweat evaporation process, throwing a wrench into the wheels of your body’s central AC.

So the hotter and more humid it is outside, the more crucial it is to be well hydrated. Think of your body as a huge tank full of water. Ideally, you’d start each run with this tank as full as it can possibly be (i.e. ‘well-hydrated’) and replenish the tank as it empties (as you sweat).

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M HYDRATED?

It seems a little gross, but the easiest way to gauge whether you’re properly hydrated or not is when you’re in the bathroom…

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And don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start sipping! Try and sip water all day to maintain proper hydration. Need a new water bottle? Stop by your local Marathon Sports and check out our selection of HydroFlask, CamelBak, and Nathan bottles! [FIND A MARATHON SPORTS NEAR YOU]


RELATED CONTENT: [THE RIGHT FIT] [COMFORT IS KING] [INJURY GUIDE] [STRETCHING]