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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful. . . But this water is so delightful!

Okay, so this is gonna be short and sweet (and a little bit preachy)! Remember when I talked earlier about hydration because the weather here was so HOT (because I know you all memorize my posts by heart)? Well... that may have been a little misleading, because as the temperatures approach sub arctic here in the Midwest it turns out that if you are still working out, you still need to be drinking water!

Working at a running specialty store gives me a unique perspective. While I have seen outdoor running gear sales go up, I have seen a decline in sales of hydration packs and other bottles as well as drink mixes. What the heck you guys?!

Okay, okay. . . So the dangers aren't AS eminent, but hydration is important 365 days a year. And the way some people bundle up (okay, the way that I bundle up) the body can still reach temperatures where you are sweating and losing the H2O needed for cellular functions (blah blah blah. . . you can go back and read if you want to know more about that!)
So once Again, let me tell you that you need to start drinking BEFORE you feel thirsty, because by the time that thirst kicks in, you've already dropped below optimum levels of hydration. Seriously, if you want to know more about hydration in general you should go back and read my awesome (pats self on back) post from August. If you're just looking to improve your winter-time hydration, then read on my friends and follow these easy tips!
  • Problem: In the winter with regular hydration packs your water can freeze.
  • Solution 1: Buy a winter ready hydration pack. Companies like Camelbak, Nathan, and Backcountry (and I'm sure others) make hydration packs with special insulation to keep them from freezing in the cold temperatures.
  • Solution 2: Add some sort of electrolyte to your water. Think about when they put salt on the streets to melt the ice. . . .well salt = electrolyte (sort of), so an electrolyte in your drink will help keep it from freezing. Watered down Gatorade or a drink tablet (like Nathan Catalyst) can help you out.
  • Problem: You're not thirsty in the winter!
  • Solution 1: Suck it up! (Seriously. . .) You need the hydration. Do something nice for your body. And you know what you can do. . . Plan shorter loops where you swing back by your house and come inside for a drink. That will give you a chance to warm up a little bit too (just make sure you don't warm up too much and start sweating. . . you'll be extra cold when you head back outside)!
  • Solution 2: Drink something with electrolytes in it. (Hmm this sounds familiar) Really though, the salty part of the electrolyte mix in drink mixes makes you feel thirsty and promotes drinking.

So maybe that wasn't as short as I originally planned, but I just wanted to make sure I covered all the bases. You still need to be hydrated to perform your best, so PLEASE drink some water. . . and then go out and run!

Happy Running!