Seasons change, and so do your nutritional habits, diet, and body. For example, in the winter, you need to eat a little bit more fat to help keep you warm. And in the summer, you may eat less and need to drink more water. However, the summer days are hot, and if you don’t adjust your drinking and eating routine, you will be tired, and your training will suffer. And when your training suffers each day, your performance will take a dip.
Check out these essential dietary adjustments and tips you should make during summer.
1. Hydrate Before Your Workout
The summertime produces a little bit more strain on our body because of the heat. But the heat is not so bad. Your body just needs to be prepared for it. So, ensuring you’re well hydrated before your practice, training, and workout will not create a deficit in your energy and recovery post-workout.
Make sure you drink at least two to three glasses of water a few hours before your workout or even a Gatorade to have electrolytes.
2. Hydrate After Your Workout
If you’re putting in training time and practice in the summer heat, again, it will impact your energy more than anything else. So it’s essential post-workout within the first minutes to rehydrate to stop the loss of electrolytes. Potassium and sodium are two main electrolytes that are used by muscles and the nervous system during training. And it is these electrolytes that are depleted when you sweat. The more you sweat, the more is lost, and you become at a greater risk of fatigue, weakness, injury, and possible heat stroke.
It’s essential after and even during training, by taking a break, to hydrate if you’re sweating to prevent overheating. An electrolyte replacement drink like Gatorade is one of the quickest drinks to replace electrolytes during and after a workout.
3. Avoid Energy Drinks
One thing you need to understand about energy drinks is that they dehydrate you. And being dehydrated running around in the summer sun dehydrates you even more. So, it is a double whammy that can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion occurs because mainly water, potassium, and sodium are depleted. By replacing them, you can prevent heat exhaustion from happening and advancing further into heat stroke.
Avoid caffeine, energy drinks, diuretics, etc., because they will dehydrate you before your training. You may feel that pump and trying hard to get that extra step to increase your performance, but energy drinks are actually detrimental.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion are loss of coordination, vomiting, blurred vision, confusion, mental fatigue, slowness, and staggering. These are primary signs it is beginning. If you feel any of these symptoms, stop, find shade, drink water or an electrolyte replacement drink is best, and call it a day.
Symptoms of heat stroke are convulsions and blackouts. Heat strokes are more prevalent than you think. High school and professional athletes are prone to them. Annually, one in every three high school athletes die of heat stroke. And in the past five years, 11 football players have experienced heat stroke death. In addition, thousands of high school students are treated yearly for symptoms of heat stroke. And statistically, once an individual suffers heat stroke, they are more likely to have another.
High Water Content Foods
Water is one way, but not the only way to stay hydrated or hydrate yourself. To help you with your hydration, besides water, you can eat certain foods that are high in water content. For example, ensure you eat fruits and vegetables with high water content for lunch and dinner. This will help prevent fatigue and exhaustion and boost energy and recovery for the next training session. Then, you can use water and electrolyte drinks for your training sessions for quick replacement.
Vegetables High in Water Content
- Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach, carrots, pickles, squash, broccoli, potatoes, corn, and beans.
Fruits High in Water Content
- Cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, apples, grapes, oranges, pineapple, pears, bananas, avocados, and mangos.
Here are fruits and vegetables high in electrolytes.
Potassium Hydrating Foods
- White and sweet potatoes, white and black beans, Brussel sprouts, bananas, broccoli beets, cantaloupe, avocado, spinach, and strawberries.
Magnesium Hydrating Foods
- Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, black beans, lima beans, quinoa, whole grains, spinach, kiwi, avocado, raspberries, and blackberries.
Calcium Hydrating Foods
- Milk, kale, spinach, collard greens, apricots, oranges, berries, pineapples, kiwi, avocado, and yogurt.
Natural Sodium Hydrating Foods
- Celery, spinach, carrots, beets, apples, mangos, avocados, and milk.
Another great way to rehydrate and stay hydrated is to drink smoothies. You can combine many fruits in a smoothie for a post-workout electrolyte drink. For example, mix banana, strawberry, pineapple, mango, and avocado. It is an excellent electrolyte post-training drink. It is better than Gatorade because you will get all the electrolytes plus other essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.