The Guide to Male Lifestyle in Las Vegas

Hydrate Your Cardio

June 3, 2013

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The sundial at Sunset Park.

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Hydrate well while running those trails!

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Enjoy our lovely scenic views more by drinking plenty of water.

This past weekend Las Vegas temperatures hit triple digits for only the second time this year. The long cool streak we enjoyed is at an end, and it’s time for a friendly reminder of where we actually live: a desert. With rising heat comes a rising chance of dehydration resulting even from going about your normal activities. It’s time to remember to drink an amount of water daily appropriate to your surroundings.

How Do I Know I’m Dehydrated?

Dehydration is one of the sneakiest of ailments. Upon becoming dehydrated, you’ll show no symptoms immediately. But because we live in a desert, dehydration symptoms can cause you to crash twice as fast than if you live in any other environment. You’ll gradually lose fine motor skills and may find yourself tripping more often. Less alert, you may often find yourself asking others to repeat themselves. You may develop a headache and chapped lips. With prolonged dehydration, you may even start to contract a mild summer cold.

So What Do I Do?

Naturally the way to avoid dehydration is to increase your drinking of water; most sources recommend doubling your natural intake above what is required for individuals living in naturally humid regions: 64 ounces or half a gallon per day. Those of us living in dry regions must double our daily amount to 128 ounces, or a full gallon.

However, this general rule of thumb does not apply to someone who engages in strenuous outdoor activity, such as jogging, bicycling, rowing a canoe on one of our many gorgeous manmade lakes, or any other forms of cardio engaged outdoors. If you’re a man attempting to take care of yourself, make sure you don’t dehydrate in the process by working to prevent this throughout the day.

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Make Hydration a Daily Routine

The process must start when you arise in the morning. The ugly truth is you’ve just spent seven to eight hours in bed, sleeping in a desert environment, dehydrating all night long. Your first urine in the morning will likely be dark; this is an indicator that you’re dehydrated. Drink an 8-ounce bottled water immediately, and another if you plan to drink coffee. Caffeinated drinks and sodas will dehydrate you even more; avoid them if possible. But, if you absolutely require a cup of coffee or two to get going in the morning, then drink another bottle of water alongside it.

To drink 128 ounces, you must consume no less than sixteen 8-ounce bottles of water or eight 16-ounce bottles. Every. Single. Day. Any less, and you run the risk of dehydration, and performing at sub-optimum levels. The best practice is to keep a bottle of water in hand all day long. Sipping won’t do, as small amounts of water fail to lubricate the walls of the stomach lining and enter the bloodstream. Your blood continues to thicken, and dehydration sets in despite your efforts. Instead, chug a third of a 16-ounce bottled water at a time, or 4-6 ounces, to ensure that the water actually hydrates you.

Compensate for Brisk Activity Like Cardio

Working out dehydrates a desert dweller even faster. If you’re anything like me, then it’s hard to drink water while jogging, sprinting or churning on the elliptical without causing stomach cramps. Even drinking the recommended 128 ounces of water during the rest of the day can still cause you to become dehydrated. This is because you must drink an additional amount to compensate for exercise, depending on your body weight. The calculations required are too complex to spell out here, especially when dozens of online calculators are available to assist you in this. One of the more accurate programs I’ve seen is located here. Simply enter your body weight in pounds and choose “Extreme Heat – Arid or Desert Conditions” in the Environmental Conditions selector.

Likely, a man who exercises will be told by the above linked calculator to drink even more than 128 ounces. For example, I am a 190 pound man who exercises more than 60 minutes a day. But when I select that amount of time on the linked calculator, my recommendation is to drink 138.5 ounces of water. That’s more than nine bottled waters, per day.

However, a man who wants to exercise and improve himself must maintain himself in optimal condition at all times. Air conditioning cannot be counted as a hydrating factor either; therefore it doesn’t matter whether you exercise indoors or outside. Men of Las Vegas, don’t trifle with this. Drink what the calculator recommends. If you allow yourself to become dehydrated, it’s already too late to avoid the dangers. And those of us who exercise daily are at even greater risks.

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