Hydrating for Summer Disc Golf
Water. It’s one of the most important elements for all living things. Up to 60 percent of the human adult body is made of water. It’s essential for biochemical reactions, supplying nutrients throughout the body and removing waste, and maintaining blood circulation and body temperature. It aids in digestion, prevents constipation, cushions joints, stabilizes the heartbeat, and protects vital organs and tissues.
How Much Water Do You Need?
According to doctors, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for daily water intake. The amount of water you should drink daily depends on your body, your health conditions, your medications, and other factors. Certain conditions like thyroid disease or kidney, liver, or heart problems make it possible for some people to have too much water, while some antidepressants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) make people retain water.
There is no standard for how much plain water adults and children should drink daily, though there are general recommendations for both women and men. Here’s one rule of thumb: women should drink approximately 2.7 liters of water each day while men should average 3.7 liters of total water. You can also divide your body weight in pounds by two and drink that number of ounces each day. Regardless, drinking water should be a part of your daily routine, not something you have to go out of your way to do.
How to Stay Hydrated
The key to staying safe and healthy this summer is staying hydrated. And the key to staying hydrated? Follow these 8 easy tips:
1. Drink water—and plenty of it!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, daily fluid intake recommendations vary by age, sex, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Start by drinking a cup of water each morning when you wake up or a glass before bed. Have another glass with every meal. Drink one or two cups after working out. To ward off dehydration, drink fluids gradually throughout the day.
2. Know the signs of dehydration.
Does your skin feel dry, irritated, inflamed, itchy, or sensitive? That’s a sign of dehydration. Experiencing a headache or feeling dizzy or fatigued? These are signs, too. Muscle cramps, rapid breathing, fainting, and not urinating (or having very dark yellow urine) are others. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, the simple solution is to get out of the heat and drink plenty of liquids. There are small over-the-counter options like Pedialyte and Hydralyte that balance out electrolytes and sodium with dehydration as well. If your dehydration is severe, call 911.
3. Check your urine.
A good measurement of hydration is the color of your urine. Pale urine, similar to the color of straw, indicates proper hydration while darker urine is a sign that you need more water. A dark yellow or amber color means you may have mild to severe dehydration. Of course, other medications and health conditions could affect this. If you’re concerned about the color of your urine, consult with your health provider.
4. Avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and/or caffeine.
Tricky fact—some liquids work against hydration! Drinks like coffee, sugary sodas, beer, wine and hard liquor, lemonade, sweet tea, energy drinks, smoothies, and flavored milk are all culprits. They are loaded with sugar, sodium, and other ingredients that remove water from your tissues. Consider swapping some of these out daily or rehydrating with more water for each dehydrating drink you consume.
5. Cool down.
Proper hydration isn’t just about drinking water—it’s about regulating your body temperature, too. During summer, when the risk for heat stroke is at its highest, wear light, loose-fitting clothing in light colors; schedule strenuous sports and physical activities during cooler times of the day; protect yourself from the sun with hats and other shade accessories; take drink breaks often; and mist yourself with a spray bottle if you become overheated.
6. Eat foods with high water content.
Did you know that approximately 80 percent of our water intake comes from drinking water? The other 20 percent comes from food. All whole fruits and vegetables contain some water, but snack on these for maximum benefit: cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, broccoli, and grapefruit. They all contain 90 percent water or higher.
7. Replenish when you sweat.
Playing Disc Golf? It’s essential to drink water throughout the round. Your sweat rate, the humidity, and how long you’ve exercised are all factors to consider. Proper hydration means getting enough water before, during, and after you play. The American Council on Exercise recommends these guidelines before, during, and after a workout:
• Drink 17-20 oz. two to three hours before you head out to play.
• Drink 8 oz. 20-30 minutes before you play.
• Drink 7-10 oz. every 10-20 minutes during the round.
• Drink 8 oz. no more than 30 minutes after you finish.
8. Infuse with flavor.
Not a frequent water drinker? Try sprucing up your water by adding a few simple ingredients. Limes, lemons, mint, oranges, berries, cucumbers, and other fruits improve the taste without artificial sweeteners or preservatives. This can help you drink more water than you usually do, too. You can also give coconut water a try. This mineral-rich liquid is packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium, so it replenishes lost fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot climates quickly.
Stay safe, cool, and hydrated this summer.