Heat, Humidity, and Hydration – going beyond water

Your body’s primary mechanism of cooling during activity is sweating. As the temperature and humidity rise, so does the rate at which you sweat. In your sweat, not only are you losing fluids, but also valuable electrolytes (minerals important in maintaining your body’s internal fluid balance). The addition of electrolytes to your fuel/hydration plan could be the difference between a 4-star day and a ride in the SAG wagon. Electrolytes are found in various forms including liquid (sports drinks), gel/chew, and pill form. The pill form is the most concentrated form. Electrolyte supplementation should be considered if you are a heavy or salty sweater, and/or when the conditions are such that even the lightest perspiring athlete is sweating, rather than simply glowing.