Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How to Survive Hot Weather

Health Tips by Cathy

Summer is coming full blast this week here in Idaho, so what can you do to survive going from 50 degree days to 90+? Of course we do all the common sense things, like wearing hats and long sleeves, drinking water, etc., but I want to talk about electrolytes and how important it is to pay attention to them. If you just pour the water down when you are hot but don’t replace your electrolytes, you can cause all kinds of problems.

Twice in the last year Russ and I have experienced this first hand as we watched a long distance race where one of the runners got into electrolyte debt. They begin to weave and stagger, often falling down within a few seconds. This is because even though their brains are willing their muscles to run, their muscles don’t have the minerals they need to fire up. Wikipedia says, “Without sufficient levels of these key electrolytes, muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions may occur.”[i]

This happens to all of us on a less dramatic scale when we are out in the heat, but don’t replace the electrolytes which may be lost through increased respiration and sweating.

What can you do to replace electrolytes? The most common electrolytes we can replace are calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium (salt). You can drink some milk or eat yogurt or cheese for calcium; magnesium is a little trickier coming in spinach, pumpkin seeds, and broccoli; grab a banana or watermelon slice for potassium; and of course ¼ tsp. of salt can be added to any drink to increase the sodium.

Most doctors and trainers warn against using some of the more popular sports energy drinks because of the high levels of sugar. Dentists especially are death on teen athletes’ overuse of these drinks. So skip the Gatorade and Powerade, prepare your own electrolyte drink, or pack some electrolyte rich foods and have fun in the sun!

[i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolyte

Want to join our healthy recipe swap and health tip group? http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=109547&id=1363028296&op=1&subj=27353035185&view=all&aid=-1&oid=27353035185&comments=#/group.php?gid=27353035185&ref=ts
For more information about AIM’s low sugar electrolyte drink, follow this link:http://www.greenbarleyjuice.com/products.htm#Peak_Endurance_Powder

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