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Zico Coconut Water

This coconut water contains five electrolytes, and nearly as much potassium as a small banana (900 mg to be exact). Plus it comes in some delicious flavors. The watermelon raspberry is my favorite for a little extra refreshment—but it also has a little extra sugar, so I limit it to after a really long ride or run.

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Gatorade Endurance Formula Thirst Quencher Powder

I recently received a packet of this as part of a promotion, and I am hooked. As the name suggests, it’s ideal for endurance training with 90 calories, 22g of carbs, and plenty of sodium and potassium to keep you going. Plus, it doesn’t mess with my stomach the way some sugary sports drinks do. Just mix it in your water bottle and hit the road.

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Pickle Juice

Recommended by my chiropractor, pickle juice contains both sodium and vinegar that replace electrolytes AND help with muscle cramping during long training sessions. It’s kind of an acquired taste, but the benefits are worth it.

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Watermelon

We have been obsessed with watermelon this summer. It’s cool, refreshing, and made up of 92% water—hence the name. It shouldn’t be an alternative to your liquids in the heat, but it makes a nice pre or post workout snack with hydrating benefits.

Finally, remember that if you aren’t used to outdoor training in extreme heat, use caution—and common sense. Try to limit your activity to early morning or evening hours, wear light, breathable clothing, and bring along your water or sports drink, to sip before, during, and after your workout. According to many studies, a good rule of thumb is 6 to 8oz of water for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise.

If you experience dizziness, a headache, muscle cramps, or heavy sweating get out of the heat immediately and cool off as quickly as possible. These can be signs of heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke—a serious condition! And, if the temperatures are in the 90s or above, stick to the air-conditioned gym. Remember, you are exercising to improve your body—not to put it in jeopardy.

----bonny