Beryl Krinsky, M.B.A., M.S., R.D.
In last month’s From the Nutritionist article, we talked about the importance of hydration to improve workplace performance. Well guess what? Hydration is also important during physical activity. The summer months bring with them the opportunity to vary your workouts and spend time outdoors. But, as the weather heats up, it becomes increasingly important to properly hydrate. Dehydration can occur easily and may result in reduced athletic performance, dizziness, or weakness.1 Hydration can be achieved through consuming both liquids and food which provides more options to keep your body hydrated. Here are some tips on how to drink and eat right to keep your body hydrated and ready for a great workout!
Plan your drinks and find the right drink for you.
Drink 8 to 16 ounces of fluid 1 – 2 hours before working out. Beverages with no added sugar like V8 V-Fusion® Peach Mango (containing 28 g of carbohydrate per serving) and V8 V-Fusion®+ Energy Orange Pineapple (containing 13 g of carbohydrate per serving) and water are good choices. If you didn’t plan ahead, there is still time to hydrate! 15 - 30 minutes before exercise, drink at least 4 - 8 ounces of fluid.2 New habits are challenging enough to incorporate into everyday life, so find what works for you. If you want to avoid extra calories during short workouts, choose water or a diet beverage like Diet V8 Splash® Berry Blend. Another great beverage option that provides hydration, vegetable nutrition and potassium is Low Sodium V8® 100% vegetable juice which can be enjoyed both before and after exercise.
Sip a bit.
Whether you choose to sip on this or gulp on that, the goal is the same. Hydrate prior to exercise, maintain fluid balance during exercise and replenish any losses after exercise. Many factors impact fluid and electrolyte needs like exercise duration and intensity, environment, age and body mass. So when you are planning an activity, pair it with an individualized hydration plan. The American College of Sports Medicine Exercise and Fluid Replacement Position Stand paper recommends to:
- Select a beverage with a desired flavor and temperature to improve acceptability and encourage consumption
- Consume beverages or snacks with small amounts of sodium to help trigger thirst and help with fluid retention
- Consume beverages that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates to replace those lost via sweat and when exercising at high intensity and for long durations.3
So grab a delicious, chilled 8oz slim can of V8 V-Fusion® Strawberry Banana to sip throughout your workout or down it afterwards to quench your thirst. V8 V-Fusion® is 100% juice, with no added sugar it is a refreshing addition to your exercise routine and provides fruit and veggie servings along the way. Keep in mind, for workouts lasting more than an hour, you should drink 3 – 6 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes.2
I’ll have water with that!
Do you only drink fluids when you eat meals? Or, do you drink throughout the day? Anyway you pour it, keep track of your daily fluid intake to ensure you are getting enough. One way to track intake (food and water) and activity is to use a web-based tool like the MyPlate SuperTracker. Evenly distributing your fluid intake throughout the day promotes fluid absorption, improves hydration and helps prevent fatigue better than drinking 24 ounces or more all at once.4
Drink enough, and not too much.
While unlikely, it is possible to over consume liquids. There are simple ways to measure your hydration status to ensure you are doing the right thing. You can measure water lost through sweat easily, weigh yourself before your workout and then after your workout. A rough estimate is for every pound lost, you will need to consume 3 cups (8 fluid ounces each) of fluid. You can also determine if you are well hydrated by the color and frequency of your urine. Urination should happen every 1 – 2 hours and for a total of 6 – 8 times in a day and be pale yellow in color. Darker colored urine may be a sign of dehydration.5
Foods can hydrate, too.
Fruits and vegetables like celery, lettuce, tomatoes and melons have high water content and can help boost fluid reserves. Broth based soups are also a great food source for hydration.4 Campbell's® Healthy Request® soups like Italian-Style Wedding or Classic Chicken Noodle are great options that are not only heart healthy but also under 130 calories so they won’t weigh you down. For an on the go option, try Campbell's® Healthy Request® Soup on the Go like Chicken with Mini Noodles or Classic Tomato.
The “right” food drives benefits.
In addition to hydration, the foods you choose and the amounts you consume can impact your fitness results. Your body needs carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluid to fuel it for exercise. Regardless of your physical fitness goals, eating healthfully can help delay fatigue, provide strength and endurance for exercise, and help your body to recover faster following exercise. Prior to exercise it is recommended to eat a snack roughly 2 hours before to give your body a boost in blood glucose and to top off your muscle glycogen stores. Well balanced snacks like a serving of nuts and crackers, carrots and hummus or a small peanut butter and jelly sandwich are good options that provide between 50 – 75 grams of carbohydrate per serving. Following exercise, you should fuel up with fluids, electrolytes, carbohydrate and protein. A snack like fruit with yogurt is a great way to obtain what you need. For your post exercise snack, aim for roughly 15 grams of protein and no more than 50 grams of carbohydrate.6 Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to read about some of the many benefits eating right for exercise can provide.
Please check out our product profiler for more product ideas that will fit your hydration and food needs. Happy exercising!
Beryl Krinsky, M.B.A., M.S., R.D.
Beryl Krinsky has a strong background in Nutrition, Food Science and Marketing and has been in the Food Industry for 11 years. Beryl is a Registered Dietitian, has a M.S. in Food Science and a M.B.A. in Food Marketing. Her work has ranged from teaching farmers how to cultivate healthy crops, to developing new products that are sold in major retail channels, to educating consumers about the health benefits of eating well, and managing various aspects of Brand financials. Her passion is to bring nutritious and delicious food to all consumers. Beryl is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to http://www.campbellnutrition.com/, and to provide education for anyone who is interested in learning about hydration for exercise.