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Water reigns supreme

Drink water before, during, after exercise
With local events such as the Todd Beamer Independence Day Run and the MAC Dash in the near future, in addition to marathons, half marathons and other Central Oregon races, locals are hitting the streets for exercise now that the weather is beginning to warm.
   With the warm weather, coupled with walking, running or biking, individuals need to stay hydrated.
   "A quick measure of your hydration status is the color of urine," said Dr. Suzy El-Attar, of the Madras Medical Group. "Abundant, pale yellow urine is your goal before, during and after exercise. A low volume of dark urine is a sign of dehydration."
   In Jefferson County, water is tasteful and reigns supreme as the ultimate hydrating liquid to replenish after exercise, although sports drinks can offer benefits after lengthy workouts.
   "I would never steer anyone to pop or beer for hydrating after exercise," said Carolyn Harvey, who is the Healthy Community Program coordinator for Jefferson County. "There comes a point where things like Gatorade can be beneficial, but water is essential for the body."
   Dehydration can happen quickly. The body is made of 50-60 percent of water and in just one hour of exercise, your body could lose a liter of water or more to help dissipate the heat that's being produced.
   "Hydration should begin two hours before exercise with water," El-Attar explained. "If you have exercised for more than 60 minutes, have a hard workout or sweat excessively, you may want to use a sports drink or electrolyte/carb. supplement."
   Most medical professionals, including Harvey, suggest eight glasses of water per day.
   "If most people would commit to drinking eight glasses of water every day, they would notice a great improvement in their overall health and energy levels."
   The main idea is to drink water before, during and after exercise. Harvey says if you're thirsty, then you are probably already getting dehydrated.