By Chris Barrett
Bone & Joint Institute Clinical Dietitian
Why is hydration so important as temperatures begin to rise over the summer?
Exercise may feel more difficult because it takes an athlete about two weeks to become acclimated to a hot and humid environment. As little as 2 percent dehydration can interfere with athletic performance.
Here are some benefits of hydration:
- Lubrication of joints.
- Assist the body control temperature via sweating.
- Moistens tissues in eyes, nose, mouth.
- The transportation of (nutrients, oxygen and waste products) blood and throughout cells.
How to assess possible dehydration (two or more of the below are present):
- In the morning significant loss of bodyweight (about 1 percent).
- Darkening urine first thing in the morning or reduced frequency.
- Dry mouth or craving of fluids.
Athletes who participate in “two-a-days” or have less than 24 hours between practices should weigh themselves before and after the practice to assess fluid loss. For each pound lost, the athlete should consume 16.9 ounces (an average water bottle) to 20 ounces of fluid. It is also important to include 1/16th tsp. of sodium per 20 ounces of water (if the athlete is healthy and has no co-morbidities).
How to rehydrate after practice:
- Consume a protein/carbohydrate-based recovery drink or smoothie.
- Try a liquid meal such as a soup to help rehydrate.
- Include watery fruits and vegetables such as zucchini, tomatoes, apples and watermelon after a training session.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookie
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup almond flour or almond meal or 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. Ground Ginger
- 2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a food processor to grind 2 cups of oats to chop fine. Pour in a bowl with the remaining 1 cup of unground oats. Whisk in the almond flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the sweet potatoes, maple syrup, olive oil, pure vanilla extract and raisins.
2. Combine the oat mixture with the sweet potato mixture. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup or scoop, drop batter onto baking sheet. Flatten with a spatula to form a cookie shape. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
Serves: 13 cookies
Serving Size: 1 cookie
Calories: 240 calories
Total Fat: 9.7 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.4 grams
Monounsaturated Fat: 6.4 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4 grams
Total Protein: 4 grams
Total Carbohydrates: 35 grams
Fiber: 3.7 grams
Sodium: 99 milligrams
Calcium: 38 milligrams
Potassium: 246 milligrams
Recipe courtesy of Run Fast Eat Slow
Chris Barrett is a clinical dietician at the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute.
Join the Bone & Joint Institute for a cooking demonstration with meals (including a Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookie) that will increase an athlete’s performance and safety while training over the summer. The classes are July 10, 17 , 24 and 3 from 6 to 9 pm. To learn how to register, call 1.855.HHC.HERE.