Winter Hydration Tips for Athletes
By Vishal Patel, Nuun Hydration Nutritionist
The New York City Marathon is usually a nice indication that fall is coming to an end, but as we shift gears into winter with athletes beginning their off-season programs it’s safe to say that many don’t stop training!
Should I hydrate less in the winter?
During the winter we hear a lot from our consumers that they tend to not drink as much water or Nuun as compared to summer months, and generally it’s due to the perception that we do not sweat as much when it’s colder. That theory may be true at times, however, many other factors come into play to determine how much fluid you need. For instance, winter air is cold and dry, that in turn will lead to an increase in thirst – a sign of dehydration.
Note: a mere 2% loss in body-water content has been noted to cause dehydration leading to a decrease in athletic performance.
But I feel like I sweat less in the winter!
Yes, in the winter it may seem as if you are not sweating as much. On top of dry air affecting your hydration status, the regulation of your internal body temperature (thermoregulation) has a tough time adjusting to the drastic changes.
The cold air triggers your body to try to reserve heat and maintain fluid balance by decreasing the release of heat (through sweat). But what we often forget is that runners tend to add layer upon layer of clothing to help keep the body warm. This increase of layers will cause your skin temperature to increase, which can lead to heat needing to be released (through sweat). So, in some instances we can actually sweat more due to winter layering and taking too drastic of an approach to stay warm.
Ways to balance the cold weather and your body temperature:
- Shed layers after a thorough warm-up
- Keep key areas covered and warm: your feet (this will be taken care of by the constant pounding), your ears (wear a hat or headband), and your hands (gloves!).
Hypothermia & Hydration
Hypothermia is a concern for athletes who partake in cold weather sports at high altitude. Mountain air is most difficult to breathe due to the very cold and very dry nature of air at altitude. But oftentimes the difficulty breathing is the result of a decrease in blood volume flowing freely through your heart and on to working muscles. Having proper fluid balance with electrolytes will help get blood to wear it needs to go, and help muscles function properly.
Air Humidity & Hydration
The last factor to take into account is the high levels of humidity in the mornings. The combination of cold, dry air, and more moisture in the air will increase the occurrence of dehydration. Knowing how much to drink is just as crucial as going into your workout adequately hydrated! The cardinal rule is to drink according to thirst, without exceeding 20 oz per hour. Also, it’s never a bad time to take a sweat test to determine your sweat loss.
Nuun’s Tips for Winter Hydration:
- Have a hydration plan – carry a belt or stash some bottles along your route.
- Be well hydrated prior to your activity – drink Nuun Active Hydration the night before/morning of your key workouts.
- Aim to drink 3-4 liters of water per day – drink Nuun All Day packed with all-natural vitamins and minerals!
- Be sure to include Nuun in your recovery regimen – have a glass of warm lemon tea post run. Bonus: caffeine has been known to enhance glycogen re-synthesis speeding up the recovery process
- As always pay attention to signs and symptoms of dehydration and inadequate fluid stores. Post-run headaches, muscle cramping, and fatigue are all signals that your body needs water and electrolytes!
Product Spotlight: Mizuno Breath Thermo
For the dedicated, running isn't just a warm-weather sport. That's why Mizuno developed Breath Thermo, a revolutionary technology that keeps you warm even when mother nature turns down the temperatures.
We started with a simple goal: create a lightweight fabric that could still keep runners warm. Breath Thermo is not a coating or treatment-it's a fiber that is knitted directly into all Breath Thermo products. That means it can't be washed off, and it doesn't lose its effectiveness over time. The fabric works by taking advantage of the water vapor you create as you run, walk, or play most any sport. Breath Thermo pulls this moisture away from your body to help keep you dry, and the special fibers in the fabric are activated by that moisture, literally generating heat that is directed back towards your body to keep you warm in just about any weather. And Breath Thermo is so lightweight and flexible, it's a pleasure to run in. So whatever the forecast says, with Breath Thermo, nothing will stand in the way of a great run.
Incredibly lightweight and resilient fabric. Converts moisture to heat to keep you warm. Breath Thermo is utilized in a variety of pieces including hats, gloves, pants, and base-layers.
It's December already! Join us this week!
Wed Dec 4- Free 2-5 mile group fun run/walk, Fleet Feet Sports, 5:45pm all paces welcome
Thur Dec 5- Free Quaker Steak & Lube 5 Mile Pub Run, Deming Way Middleton, 6:00pm, all paces welcome-social hour follows
Fri Dec 6- Event-Pinnacle Indoor Triathlon, Pinnacle Health-Executive Drive Fitchburg, first wave at 4:15pm
Sun Dec 8- Event-Dickens of a Run/Walk, E. Main Street Stoughton, 10:00am
Next week join us for our Wear Test Runs from the store Monday thru Thursday. You can wear products from vendors on your fun run to see how you like them!
It's going to be a great week!
The Yaktrax Pro will instantly give you better traction, confidence and safety on packed snow or ice. Walk, run, or work on slick surfaces with the same stability you're accustomed to on dry surfaces. Don't let the winter weather put a damper on your outdoor activities or athletic training with the Yaktrax Pro!
- SPIKELESS, ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN
- 360° OF TRACTION WITH PATENTED SKID LOCK COIL SYSTEM
- DURABLE NATURAL RUBBER BLEND FOR FLEXIBLE FIT
- ABRASION RESISTANT 1.4MM STEEL COILS
- REMOVABLE PERFORMANCE STRAP ENSURES FIT
- HEEL TAB ALLOWS FOR EASY INSTALLATION AND REMOVAL
We are excited to announce that we donated over $30,000 between non-profit races, fitness related events and silent auctions in the Madison area in 2013. We will be updating our website for 2014 soon, with forms for you to fill out when requesting a donation or event sponsorship.
Thank you for your continued support of Fleet Feet Sports Madison, which allows us to sponsor so many of these local initiatives!
Wed Nov 27- No Group Fun Run
Wed Nov 27- Packet pickup for Fleet Feet Sports Madison teams for Berbee Derby at the store 10:00am-7:00pm
Thur Nov 28- Happy Thanksgiving. Our store will be closed, but we will see many of you at the Berbee Derby!
Thur Nov 28- Event-Berbee Derby, CDW Research Park, Fitchburg, 9:00am
Thur Nov 28- No Thursday Night Pub Run- (Next Thursday we will be at Quaker Steak & Lube Middleton)
Fri Nov 29- Black Friday at Fleet Feet!! Our store hours will be 10:00am-7:00pm for some great deals!
Sat Nov 30- Small Business Saturday--We hope you shop small on this day!
It's going to be a great week!
What is the difference?
Technical apparel wicks away moisture and keeps you cool in hot weather and dry in cold weather.
Cotton Shirts vs. Technical Fabric T-Shirts/Long Sleeved Shirts/Tanks
Cotton shirts collect moisture and sweat resulting in a heavy/wet material. This combination causes you to become cold in lower temperatures and quick to tire in warmer temperatures. Chaffing of your skin is an undesirable side effect of wearing cotton during fitness activity.
Mesh Shorts vs. Running Specific Shorts
Cotton underwear/boxers will become wet and heavy when combined with moisture and may lead to chaffing. Running shorts are lined with a brief or compression short made of technical fabric designed to dry quickly and pull moisture away from your skin. Technical running underwear is also available if you are partial to an added layer of protection.
Cotton Shorts vs. Compression Tights/Shorts/Capris
Most people experience thigh chaffing when running/walking in cotton shorts. Compression shorts (which can be worn by themselves or under loosly fit shorts) provide the protection needed between thighs to avoid uncomfortable chaffing. Men and women alike experience this. Body Glide is a lubricated product that will protect any (and we mean ANY) part of the body that may experience chaffing.
Sweatshirt vs. Technical Jacket
Layering technical fabrics will ultimately keep you warm in extreme conditions. When air is trapped between wicking fabric layers the moisture is able to evaporate while the material protects you from the elements. A sweatshirt may keep you warm while it is dry, but just like a cotton shirt, it does not wick moisture from your skin. Technical jackets provide warmth, breathability, reflective elements and are coated in DWR to keep you dry in the case of rain, wind, and snow.
To learn more about the technical products and offerings visit Fleet Feet Sports Madison!
Holiday Gift Guide from the Fleet Feet Sports Madison Team
You probably have runners on your gift lists for the holidays. Use this handy gift guide from some of our team to make sure you get just the right gift. Come in to discuss your holiday list with our team who use all these products!
Karen F. -- Addaday Roller -full size or junior version
I love how the full size Addaday Roller can be used on many different muscles. It has a steel inner rod, so it's firm and allows you to even massage your own back. I particularly like how it makes your calves feel so much better, minimizing the stress of tight muscles on your plantar fascia and just reducing pain in general. It only takes a couple of minutes and life is much better! Feel free to come in to the store and we can show you how to use it to stay injury-free.
The Addaday Junior Roller is an excellent idea for a stocking stuffer! It's especially helpful if you have someone to help you! It's great for collar area, the shoulders, the upper & lower back, and the large leg muscles. Come check it out!
Megan D. --CW-X Compression Stabiliyx Tight
Known to many of our customers as the "Magic Pants," these bottoms provide optimal support for the core and knees by the use of compression webbing. The compression fit holds the tendons and muscles surrounding your lower body, which makes for fresh feeling legs for any distance. The rainbow stitching makes them very cute while the reflective elements keep you safe during night time activities, as well. They are available in both ¾ and full length versions.
Chuck S. -- Wind Briefs
A good run in the winter starts with what you put on first (including your attitude). Wind briefs give guys protection and comfort so you can concentrate on more important things like having a good run, no matter what the weather throws at you!
Taylor -- Yaktrax!
Even though he has a love/hate relationship with them. They do provide some great traction on your runs in the snowy Wisconsin winters!
Craft PXC Storm Jacket, which Jessica often sports at the store and on runs. It is made with Craft's Flex Fleece fabric with strategically placed elastic windproof chest panels for cold weather protection. The Storm Jacket is designed for winter running, walking, snowshoeing, or skiing. In addition, it has two zippered front pockets for storage and reflective details for safety.
Curtis H. --
Be safe and seen with a headlamp this winter. You can see where you are going and be visible to the cars on the streets. The Petzl Tikka is lightweight and comfortable.
Matt R. -- Agreeing with Curtis on running in the dark safely, Matt recommends the Amphipod Xinglet. This reflective vest is also great for summer running in the early morning or late nights because it is lightweight and easily packable. The vest is available with a pocket.
For more gift ideas, visit the store! Do not forget that Black Friday is a great day to visit the whole team and ask their advice about winter running and gifts for friends and family.
Another fall week ahead. Hope to see you!
Wed Nov 20- Free 2-5 mile group fun run, Fleet Feet Sports, 5:45pm All paces are welcome
Wed Nov 20- Training Program Party at Fleet Feet Sports- All are welcome to attend! RSVP via Schedule Now
Thur Nov 21- Free Free House 5 Mile Pub Run, Parmenter & Elmwood Ave, Middleton, 6:00pm Social hour follows-all paces welcome
Please note: Next Wednesday group run and Thursday Pub run are cancelled due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
It's going to be a great week!
Fleet Feet Berbee Derby Team Packet Pick Up