Besides getting out of bed in the morning, running in the blazing summer sun can prove to be one of the most difficult tasks for a runner—difficult and potentially dangerous. Every day your body loses from one to four liters of water, much of it from activities as simple as breathing. Combine this with sweat loss during a run, and you've got one dehydrated athlete. To beat the summer heat in a healthy and safe way, follow these tips:
• Always carry a bottle of water. Drinking a lot of water five minutes before a run is not enough. To be hydrated, you need a constant intake of water. Always have a refillable bottle within reach, and hydrating will be easiest part of your workout schedule.
• Beware of sodas, alcohol and coffee. These three beverages are dehydrating. If you plan to indulge in any of these, make sure to double up on your water intake.
• Drink electrolytes before and after you run. When exercising, your body loses precious electrolytes, which it needs to retain liquids and stay hydrated. But some electrolyte-replenishing "sports" drinks are also full of sugar. Nunn hydration tablets are not. Each tablet dissolves in water and translates to 16 ounces of runner's liquid gold.
• Eat healthy carbs and proteins. Simple sugars, found in highly processed foods, are not a reliable source of energy. Foods like whole-wheat bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, and organic meats are much more sustainable choices.
• If you feel ill, STOP. As runners, we constantly tell ourselves not to stop. But sometimes, you just have to. If you start feeling nauseous, get goose bumps or feel dizzy, it's time to stop. During the summer heat, keep your route close to home just in case you need to walk back.