Hydration for physical activity in a heat wave

During a heat wave, the physiological demands on the body are greater and the following symptoms can appear in the event of dehydration: more difficult circulation of the blood (swelling of the extremities), more rapid heartbeat, an increase in body temperature, headache, muscular cramps, dizziness and the risk of heat stroke.

Here are the golden rules for optimizing your hydration and preventing problems.

Before the effort

Try to drink enough the night before and particularly, on the day itself. Easy tip: your urine should be pale yellow.

During the effort

Hydric (fluid) requirements vary greatly from one person to another, but also as a function of the type and duration of the effort. It is recommended that you drink according to your thirst, but to anticipate about seven to 10 ml of liquid/kg of body weight per hour of effort. In practical terms, try to drink about 3-4 mouthfuls of cool water every 20 minutes.

For physical activity that lasts less than 90 minutes, water is fine. For sustained and prolonged effort, add a pinch of salt to your water bottle to maintain electrolytic balance. You could also use a homemade or commercial sports beverage if you want to add a dose of fuel (carbohydrates).

After the effort

To get a good handle on your rehydration requirements, you can check how much weight you lost during the effort (~1 kg=1 litre). For a refreshing recovery drink, consider a smoothie with fruit, yogurt, milk or a plant-based drink. The well-known chocolate milk (or a flavoured soy drink) remains popular, as it’s tasty, economical, nutritional and practical.

If you’ve noticed white rings on your clothing or a salt deposit on your skin, include foods rich in sodium in your recovery meal or snack.

If you need some help in optimizing your food intake, don’t hesitate to contact me through the Clinique Mouvement Optimal: 819 425-8889.

Have a great summer!


By the same author: Baskets of organic produce: getting the most from the contents (Click the image below)


Ariane Lavigne38 Posts

Titulaire d'un baccalauréat en nutrition de l'Université de Montréal, Ariane est nutritionniste depuis 2008. Voulant approfondir ses connaissances sur la performance athlétique, elle a obtenu un diplôme de spécialisation en nutrition sportive avec le Comité International Olympique (CIO). Elle est aujourd'hui nutritionniste du sport chez Vivaï et à la Clinique Mouvement Optimal de Mont-Tremblant. Toujours en quête de dépassement, elle combine sa profession à sa grande passion : le snowboard alpin. Elle connaît la réalité des sports élites, ayant été elle-même une athlète membre de l'Équipe Nationale de Snowboard et Olympienne des Jeux Olympiques de Sotchi en 2014. Ariane has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from the University of Montreal and has been a nutritionist since 2008. Wanting to expand her knowledge of athletic performance, she obtained a diploma specialized in sports nutrition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). She serves at Clinique Mouvement Optimal de Mont-Tremblant as well as Vivaï as sports nutritionist. Always in search of personal and professional advancement, she combines her profession with her greatest passion: alpine snowboarding. She understands the realities of elite sports, having been a member of the Canadian National Snowboard Team who participated in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

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