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Rachel Johnson: Stay hydrated when active

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When the weather is warm and activities move outdoors, drinking the right amount of fluid is important. The amount and type of fluid that should be consumed is different for each person and varies with the type of activity being performed.

Adequate total fluid intake, including that from food sources, has been estimated as 11.5 cups per day for most women and 15.5 cups per day for most men. This includes about 20% of daily total fluid from food sources. When adjusting for this, the recommendation is about 9.5 cups fluid/day for women, and 11.5 cups/day for men. The best way to check hydration status is to monitor urine color. Urine that is pale yellow indicates good hydration. Dark, amber urine can indicate dehydration. It’s important to remember the body can only absorb 16 ounces of fluid per hour under normal circumstances, so try to spread intake over the entire day.

Excessive fluid loss, common during high heat & humidity as well as physical activity, can make it difficult to take in enough oral fluids to prevent dehydration. Days spent outside being active can increase dehydration risk. Signs of dehydration to watch for include excessive thirst, flushing skin, fatigue, quickened breathing/pulse.

Left untreated, dehydration can cause major health problems like dizziness, increased weakness, and labored breathing. Be sure to closely monitor signs of dehydration and try to replace fluids during activity, keeping in mind that needs will be greater when any of the above conditions are met.

Sport drinks are commonly marketed towards active people and children, especially when participating in athletic activities. But, are they necessary? Sports drinks can have benefits when engaging in moderate to high intensity exercise for an hour or longer. Sports drinks contain electrolytes including sodium and potassium, which help the body retain hydration and replace electrolytes that are lost in sweat.

Commercial sports drinks and coconut water contain electrolytes and can be sipped during strenuous activity to help replenish stores. One of the better ways to prevent dehydration during activity is to have a snack prior to activity, that includes carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium. Boosting stores prior to activity will help prevent dehydration and continuing to replace both electrolytes and fluid during activity.

It is important to mention that too much fluid can also cause problems. Overhydration is less common than dehydration, but some individuals may drink too much fluid and become overhydrated.

Symptoms of overhydration are like those of dehydration. When participating in long stretches of physical activity or being in a very hot environment for long periods of time, be sure to replenish sodium and electrolytes as well as fluid. This can help to prevent overhydration and dehydration at the same time.

If you would like more information about nutrition and healthy eating, please call the Gundersen Nutrition Clinic at (608) 775-3447 or go to

Everything bagel egg bake

Makes 8 servings

  • 4 Everything bagels, cubed
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices low-sodium bacon, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x11” pan. Add the cubed bagels, shredded cheese and diced uncooked bacon. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the bagels, cheese and bacon. Stir so everything is coated with the egg. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until eggs are set. Remove and serve.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 330 calories, 11 g fat, 19 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 510 mg sodium

Crab stuffed salmon

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 lb. salmon
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat, drained
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for topping
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle salmon with salt & pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a 9x13” baking dish. Place salmon in the dish on top of the melted butter.

Combine the lump crabmeat with beaten egg, breadcrumbs, mayo, parsley, Dijon, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Add in the rest of the melted butter. Stir until everything is moistened and the mixture starts to come together, almost like a crab cake. Scoop crabmeat mixture on top of the salmon. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until crab meat is golden and salmon is cooked thoroughly. Remove it from oven and sprinkle with extra fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 330 calories, 19 g fat, 33 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 530 mg sodium

Sources: Gordon, B. (2019, November 06). How much water do you need. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from

Ellis, R. (2020, December 08). Hydrate right. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from


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