by Carissa Galloway, RDN
We don’t know each other yet, but I’m Carissa, and I’m your race announcer for the IMT Des Moines Marathon race weekend and a Registered Dietitian.
I’m also a runner and NOT a morning person. It’s ironic. Someone whose job and hobby require early mornings actually loathes them.
Why does this matter? It means that I’m running in hotter temperatures many times, especially in the summer, than I should since I pressed the ‘snooze’ button. As a dietitian, I know that if I’m running in higher temperatures, I must pay special attention to hydration related to safety and performance. What does this mean for you? If you’re an early bird or a ‘sun high in the sky’ jogger, I have tips for you to stay nutrition smart for summer running.
- Always. Be. Hydrated. Even a 2% dehydration can negatively affect your performance, so make daily hydration a priority even before running. Divide your weight in half and aim for that many ounces of fluids a day BEFORE you count in your fluid needs from exercise. For example, someone weighing 150 pounds should aim for 75 ounces of fluids a day BEFORE adding in fluid needs for exercise.
- When you head out to run, make sure you take hydration with you. Or ensure that your route has water available. If you plan to run a loop course, leave hydration out somewhere you can access it every few miles. You can also wear a hydration backpack which is the simplest way to always have hydration with you.
- If you’re exercising over 60 minutes, then make sure your hydration also includes electrolytes. This will start to replace those lost during exercise, especially if you’re sweating excessively. Why does this matter? When you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes. Those electrolytes lost include potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
- If you start to feel dizzy or disoriented on a run, then SLOW DOWN! As the temperature rises, you need to decrease your pace, especially on long runs. Don’t worry about the slow down. Your body adapts to the heat and long distance that will help you succeed in October.
- You may find yourself craving salt after a long run, and I recommend you honor those cravings. That’s your body telling you it needs more sodium, so reach for crackers and cheese, pickles, salted popcorn, or something to help satisfy your body’s needs.
After a long run, you may crave something refreshing, and to me, nothing is better in the summer than a refreshing smoothie! Smoothies can also be a way to boost your intake of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that will help your recovery. This recipe packs the carbohydrates and fluids your body needs for recovery. Each 8-ounce serving of pomegranate juice has as much potassium as your average banana. Plus, the chia seeds contain Omega-3’s which I’m always telling runners to get more of for recovery and their anti-inflammatory benefits.
Beet ’em, Bust ’em Smoothie recipe. from POM Wonderful. Click here