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Hydration 101- Drink up!

Water. It’s the source of life and the most abundant substance in the human body. Water is essential to every bodily function known to man. Water is inside of our cells, outside of our cells and in between our cells. Our bodies can survive weeks without food, but only a few days without water- or, if you are in a hot environment- it may only last hours without water.

It amazes me to see people exercising- outdoor and indoors- without consuming water or an electrolyte drink. Exercising or even working in this heat and extreme humidity without hydrating along the way is just not a smart decision.

Every physical reaction in your body depends on proper hydration. Water is essential for:

*regulating heart beat & blood flow (a reduction in water causes blood to thicken)

*temperature regulation

*joint lubrication

*delivery of nutrients to cells

*muscle function

*waste disposal

*responsible for actions involved in energy production and fat metabolism

Thirst is a very poor indicator of hydration. Thirst is not usually perceived until 1-2% of body weight is lost. At this point, mental clarity and focus may have dropped and exercise performance will have decreased.

As a general rule of thumb, you should drink 2-3oz liquid every 15-20min during exercise. I hear some people complain that drinking water makes them cramp up or feel sloshy in their belly. I recommend start drinking water now. If you train your body to use fluids during low mileage/ short workouts, then your body will learn to efficiently use the fluids as you continue to increase the length of time of your workouts.

You can’t forget to water a plant and then drown it with water to make up for it. The same is true for your body. TOO MUCH WATER can be as serious of an issue as too little water. When your body has to much water in relation to sodium content, it is in a state of hyponatremia. The best way to avoid hyponatremia is to not drink too much water all at once. Instead, strive for a more balanced and regular fluid intake of water and electrolytes. It’s also wise to consult with a nutritionist or licensed dietician to help you calculate your true fluid needs.

Fit TRI Run has convenient options for hydrating “on the run”. There are hand-held bottles (some with insulation to keep your drink cool in the heat) as well as belt-type hydration devices. Not sure what you want? Then build your own! This week, we are expecting a large shipment of plain belts, pouches, water bottles, etc so that you can build your own hydration device.

We also have smart electrolyte options- consume the nutrients you need without the excess sugars. For exercise efforts over an hour or for those of you who work outdoors, consider incorporating electrolyte replacement drinks into your hydration plan.

It’s easy to stay healthy and hydrated this summer– just be proactive. Visit us at FIT TRI RUN. We know our products and are here for your convenience.

Love your body. Drink responsibly!

Kim