HEALTH & WELLNESS: Hydrate — Replenish the body


Maintaining proper hydration is important for overall health, but it is of particular concern when being active outdoors during warmer weather.

Sufficient water intake was a thought to be 8-ounce glasses per day, but that rule of thumb has since shifted to half of one’s body weight in ounces, according to United Lifestyles in Greenville. Therefore, an adult woman weighing 144 pounds would want to drink 72 ounces of water per day. This suggestion is based on normal daily activity, exclusive of more intense activity.

Renee DeFrang, a dietitian, diabetes instructor and certified personal trainer at United Lifestyles offers professional suggestions to remain active through the warmer weather without risk of dehydration.

In addition to drinking water, DeFrang said many people also rely on sports drinks with the thought they are better for hydration. Diluting sports drinks with water allows for hydration with the addition of electrolytes lost through sweat without substantial caloric intake.

Greenville resident, Ben VanHoose, carries his Amphipod water bottle while competing in a summertime race.

“It is sodium and potassium that you want to replace,” DeFrang said. “If whatever fluid you’re using contains those items, that will help. That is really what you’re looking for.”

It is also important to be properly hydrated before beginning any activity of significant exertion. DeFrang suggests drinking two to three cups of water before participating in physical activity.

The following are things to watch for when you’re physically active, especially during warmer weather:

• Dizziness
• Headache
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Confusion
• Muscle cramps

Greenville ultra runner Ben VanHoose is no stranger to the necessity of properly fueling for physical activity in all kinds of weather conditions. VanHoose, 31, has completed several grueling foot races over long distances in the heat and humidity of swampy Florida and mosquito-riddled Michigan summers.

He started as a soccer player in high school but lost interest in the sport afterward and decided to take up running. He has since been dedicated to the sport. VanHoose admired the runners at the Boston Marathon when he watched his parents compete in the legendary race. It was that event that sparked his interest in distance running and became his goal. In 2008, he crossed the famed finish line and realized he wanted to test his physical limits and run farther.

Pushing the body to run high mileage requires more hydration than the average person. VanHoose first started wearing a Nathan hydration belt, designed to hold multiple water bottles. He also tried wearing a race vest equipped with a bladder and straw system, but found both devices cumbersome.

“I was annoyed having something on my back,” VanHoose said. “Now I just go with handheld bottles.”

Today, VanHoose uses an Amphipod, which has a strap around a water bottle that allows it to be carried in one hand without slipping. Due to the distances that he runs, VanHoose often adds a Perpetuem tablet by Hammer

Nutrition to his water for necessary electrolytes lost through sweat. He said he toyed with different forms of nutrition and hydration, but found the basics work best.

Like other area residents, VanHoose recognizes the gem within our local trail system.

“That’s the nice thing we have with the trail here in town,” VanHoose said. “Every one or two miles there is a water fountain.”

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