Nutrition

How To Fuel Your Workout When It’s Really Hot

Hands up if you’re enjoying the heat that the UK has been granted as of late? Of course, it would be nice if we had a portable air con unit. 

The good news is that gyms are well equipped with air con! We’ve spent a lot more time thinking about how we can recover as quickly as possible so that we have an excuse to get back into the air-conditioned gym.  

And if there’s one thing that helps recovery, it’s fuel! If we don’t fuel our bodies correctly and still push hard for an intense workout, we won’t have enough energy to recover efficiently.  

And the longer we take to recover, the harder it’ll be to push for a good workout at our next session. Hence, we need to fuel our bodies well so that we can ace each workout.  

The heat outside the gym led us to thinking about how we should be fuelling our workouts when it’s really hot. We’re passing on our knowledge so that you can keep cool and fuelled for your next workout. 

 

Stay hydrated

Hydration is at the top of our list of methods to retain our energy and fuel well when it’s hot outside. Aside from potentially being vital to the functioning of our bodies, suffering from dehydration will make you feel tired and fatigued, and who wants to smash out a stellar gym or cardio session when they’re feeling sluggish?  

Sure, exercise generally makes us feel better, but we should listen to our bodies and rehydrate if it’s warm and you realise that you haven’t had a lot to drink. 

If you’re not a fan of plain tap water, flavour it with slices of cucumber, berries or citrus fruit. How’s that for fancy agua? But if you’re in the market for a hot drink, remember that tea and coffee also count towards your fluid intake, as well as the water contained within food.  

Although we should normally aim for 6-8 glasses of fluid a day, this recommendation increases in line with the rising temperature. There’s no need to drink an excessive amount of water, just aim for an extra glass at each meal to compensate for fluid lost from the heat of the day.  

 

Top up your electrolytes

It’s no surprise that the hot weather brings pools of sweat that seems to gather everywhere imaginable. The back of your knee? Yup, we know exactly what you’re going through. 

But with the loss of sweat also comes the loss of electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals that play a role in the functioning of our muscles, so we need to replace our lost electrolytes ASAP! 

Unfortunately, the heat makes us lose electrolytes at a faster pace than normal. This is why it’s a good idea to replenish those electrolytes with either an electrolyte gel or sachet added to your water. 

 

Eat little and often

When it’s a scorching hot day, many of us don’t feel like eating a heavy meal. If that’s you, keep in mind that it’s important to continue eating as this is what fuels our recovery and provides enough energy for our exercise.  

Eating snack sized portions every few hours will provide you with enough energy without making you feel too full. Choose lighter snacks, like a protein smoothie with frozen fruit that will not only fuel your gym session, but will also contribute to your fluid intake.  

You could also try an antipasto platter approach, preparing a selection of foods and picking from your selection over the course of an hour or two.  

 

Sleep

Yes, we know it’s still stiflingly hot at night, we would expect the temperatures to drop too! But sleep is just as important to fuel our workouts when it’s hot as when it’s freezing.  

Here are some of our tips that help us to sleep at night when it’s too hot for our British liking: 

  • Lose the duvet (it’s a given in these temperatures!). If you prefer the weight of a duvet when you sleep, try a sheet or have the duvet covered over your shoulders and keep it free from your feet.  
  • Get the fans out of storage! An obvious one but still worth the mention. 
  • Place a damp cloth over the fan. Definitely a good choice when you intend to sit in front of the fan for a while as you’ll reap the maximum benefit.  
  • Cool your socks down pre-bedtime by placing a pair in the fridge for an hour or two. Wear them to bed or while you wind down at night and your cold socks will help to lower your body temperature.  

 

Take home message

Despite the hot weather, it’s still important to keep our energy levels up pre-workout. This doesn’t just apply to the hour or two before we step foot inside the gym. No, it also includes the day or two beforehand, particularly if the weather warms up and stays hot.  

Keep our top tips in mind over the next few days as the weather stays hot and you won’t be lacking energy for your next gym session.  

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Shannah Hatch

Shannah Hatch

Writer and expert


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