During warm-weather months, fitness enthusiasts often take their exercise routines to the great outdoors. The spike in summer temperatures can make those tough workouts even more challenging.
As you gear up for your summer workout routine, take care of your body with these tips from sports dietitian and marathon runner Natalie Rizzo.
1. Replenish What You Lose in Sweat
After a strenuous sweat session in the summer heat, you need to replenish what’s lost if you want to rebuild and refuel muscles.
“Water is great for straight hydration, but your body needs more after a tough workout, and proper recovery can make a difference in how well you can perform during your next one,” Rizzo said. “A tall glass of chocolate milk is one of my favorite ways to recover post-workout. It may not be the first thing you think to reach for after a long run, but the nutrients in low-fat chocolate milk are ideal for post-exercise recovery to ensure you get the most out of your fitness routine, and it tastes great.”
Rizzo’s recommendation not only aligns with many elite athletes’ go-to recovery drink, it’s also backed by science. Research shows drinking milk after exercise could restore and maintain hydration better than other popular post-exercise beverages, including typical sports drinks, according to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Plus, in addition to naturally occurring electrolytes, chocolate milk has a 3-to-1 carb-to-protein ratio proven to refuel muscles quickly.
2. Be Mindful of High Temperatures
High temperatures don’t have to get in the way of your workout plan, but it’s important to consider the heat index and time of day when exercising outside. Temperatures typically peak during the middle of the day, so aim to work out in the morning or evening. Also consider wearing a hat and staying in the shade as much as possible to keep cool.
The high temperature causes your body to sweat more, leading to increased loss of important nutrients through the sweat. Learn your sweat rate by weighing yourself with minimal clothing before and after one hour of sweaty exercise. One pound of sweat loss equals 16 ounces of fluid loss. This can guide your fluid intake during your recovery and your next workout.
3. Shield Yourself from the Sun’s Rays
Just because your fitness routine includes strenuous laps in a pool or a run through shady trails doesn’t mean you are protected from the sun. Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to your body before exercising outdoors, paying special attention to your face, neck and ears. If you’re going back out for another round of laps in the pool or around the track, reapply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before getting back to work.
While summer weather provides many opportunities for fresh air and fitness, it’s important to combat the heat and recover effectively so you can continue to crush it all season long. Find more information on recovery and hydration at builtwithchocolatemilk.com.