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I Am Sweaty. Hydration Tips.

I Am Sweaty Hydration Tips Lesli Hiller Run Tri Bike Magazine

I am sweaty and I’ve always been. I…..

  • Sweat a LOT for a small woman.
  • Been told I sweat like a man (I also eat like one, perhaps related?).
  • Sweat working out, working at my desk, sleeping (since I was a child, this runs in my family) and eating.

As you can see, I am sweaty!

Embracing The I Am Sweaty Thought Process

I used to be embarrassed when I sweat through clothes, it got to a point where I learned not to care (most of the time). My sweat glow is like a badge (literally in the armpit area it looks like a badge!). I actually don’t mind sweating, as it means my engine is running.  In addition to swimming, biking, and running, I ride horses, sometimes up to five a day – and I ride six days a week. Riding is a workout! I also start early. It’s not unusual to find me riding at 4am. Going from a run – for instance – to horses, it’s IMPERATIVE for me to change to a new bra. Leaving the sweaty one on is a bad move, even when it’s hot out, you’ll still get cold.

Post-run, pre-horse I try to get some sort of carb/protein and electrolyte into my body on the way to the barn. Even if I don’t feel like I need it, if I make sure I get it in, I feel SO much better later in the morning when I get to my job as an attorney. Then I eat and drink more to refuel my body. Hydration is so important both pre and post workouts. When you properly hydrate before (and during) a workout, the workout feels good. When you properly hydrate and fuel post workout you recover faster and continue to feel better.

I Learned The Hard Way About Sweat and Hydration

I consider myself a student of sweat and I’ve had half of a century to study. Passing out after races and ending up in the medical tent more than once has taught me that water is not enough. Having been the recipient of both solicited and unsolicited tips on hydration, an important takeaway is that electrolytes are key. I have also learned by trial and error, that a bottle of water in the morning before a long run is NOT enough. Getting food in before a long run and quickly after a hard workout (and depending on the workout, consistently during) is also very helpful in getting your body balance back (better than going to the hospital for the “magic IV bag.”)

I’ve Used Various Hydration Products. Use What You Like.

Any hard effort requires a well hydrated/oiled machine. My go to morning electrolyte is SOS Hydrate (Berry). I have also had success with Infinit, Liquid IV Hydration, Maurten, and beam elevate. It is important to hydrate a few days out from a long run – my go to for that type of hydrating is Pedialyte. I used to be a Riptide Rush Gatorade cut with water girl, but I am branching out – I still have the Riptide Rush in the fridge though – it is a favorite. Athletic Greens is a great way to get your greens in and hydrate at the same time, another great product I have I tried and try to keep in the hydration line-up! The point is, use what you like, but be sure you’re adding electrolytes and nutrition to your hydration regimen.

Have I Done A Sweat Test?

While I have considered doing a sweat test, I have never gotten around to it. I do weigh myself sometimes before and after a run to see how many pounds down I am, more than 2-3 pounds on a run that is an hour or more is a sign to me that I was not hydrated properly. There are some good articles out there on sweat rate, and you can get tested for a real measurement. I am a believer in the “clear pee test.” Some people say it should not be totally clear – but for a big effort my goal is usually “close to clear pee” pre-workout/race.

Hydrating Is A Strategic Addition To Your Training 

If you are an athlete and take it seriously, hydration has to become a strategic addition to your routine/life. Because I sweat so much and so often, I have learned to make hydration a priority. I feel all around better when I am on top of my hydration game. If I have a niggle or injury, I truly feel the more I hydrate, the more quickly I feel better. One last hydration tip, drinking water, or the same thing all the time can be boring, so mix it up. Sometimes you have to “motivate yourself to hydrate” so try new things, add lemon to your water, add salt, make your own electrolyte drinks with coconut water and salt; do what works for you. I hope this inspires you all to CHUG ON and remember to embrace your I am sweaty mantra.

Lesli Hiller Run Tri Bike Magazine
Lesli is a competitive equestrian, runner, triathlete, full time attorney, and mom to a horse and two dogs. She is the co-captain of the Runner’s Edge/Long Island Tri Club Women’s Racing Team and the Vice President of the Nassau County Police Department Running Club and co-race director of the Nassau County Police Officer Memorial 5k.