Healthy Hunter: Fuel Up Smartly After Your Exercise

Summer finally has arrived here in Alabama where we live and I don’t mind the heat or humidity a single bit, even when it can get brutal (by our standards) in July or August.

My wife doesn’t like to walk or jog in the middle of the day, as I do, so I’m usually on the asphalt alone between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Yes, I know it’s hot. Probably isn’t the best time to go. But that’s the time that (a) I enjoy going and (b) I’m not a morning or evening person.

Water is vital for a strong, healthy body and mind. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Water is vital for a strong, healthy body and mind. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Mornings? Sorry, but I’m not a rise-and-shine exerciser. Heck, sometimes I even think twice about getting up at 4 a.m. or so to go hunting or fishing. And I love hunting and fishing more than jogging. So to think twice about those darn sure means I won’t be up pounding asphalt at dawn.

And nighttime? Well, I don’t enjoy getting wound up and then trying to relax to go to sleep. So, the middle of the day it is for me.

Which leads us to eating and drinking. Man, I pound the water from about May through September. I have a 32-ounce Powerade bottle that I refill repeatedly. A few cups of coffee in the morning and then water through the day. The bottle’s right beside me while I’m working and when it runs out, I fill it up.

Our bodies are comprised primarily of water, about 60 percent or so, and it’s the fuel for just about everything: cell growth and maintenance, blood production and maintenance, muscle repair and good mental function. If you’ve ever worked your tookus off in the yard during summer and not had water for several hours, you know how crappy you feel. And the next day, too.

Exercising is the same. If we’re not staying hydrated then our bodies aren’t going to perform as well. Water also helps regulate our bodies in hot or cold temperatures.We grew up hearing “drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day” but it’s really on you to decide how much you need and when. I’d rather be on the side of having more, and peeing more, than not enough water. I’ve done that and dehydration isn’t fun.

So, if you’re exercising, shooting 3D tournaments or working in the deer camp food plots, hauling ladder stands, hanging out with the family, playing golf or working in the yard, or working outdoors, drink your water. Even in winter, too. Your body doesn’t stop needing water just because the temperature plunges.

Another great thing to do is fuel up with juices you can make at home. I know, these aren’t meat ‘n taters. I love a hunk of bloody grilled venison and buttery taters, too. But these post-run fueling juices in Runner’s World are healthy and tasty. Don’t blanch at the Tomato-Basil or Beet-Ginger, either. Give ’em a try. Just think of some of them as deconstructed V-8 … as you refuel after a good jog on the way to feeling better during hunting season.

— Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

NOTE: Consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.