How to Stay Hydrated: Tips From Ochsner's Eat Fit NOLA


Runners are constantly hearing about the importance of staying hydrated. Even people who don't work out need to be mindful of it, especially as the temperatures rise during the summertime. But is it as simple as just drinking water all day? Move Ya Brass spoke with Lauren Hulin, Registered Dietitian with Ochsner's Eat Fit NOLA, to find out.

Move Ya Brass: What's the number one thing runners should be doing to stay hydrated?

Lauren Hulin: A runner should never go into a run dehydrated. It is important to drink fluids throughout the day. Runners should also be aware of their electrolyte levels. If the athlete sweats a lot, they can potentially have low stores of electrolytes in their body. They should ensure their diets have sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium in it. If the runner is not able to get adequate electrolytes through their diets, supplementing is key. The NUUN tablets are really great — it is just electrolytes that can be added to your water. ICONIC is another product that has a lot of electrolytes in it plus protein, which would be great post workout.

MYB: What about leading up to a race?

Hulin: As I mentioned earlier, it's very important to never go into the race dehydrated. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the amount of ounces of fluid you should be drinking a day is a simple formula: your body weight in pounds divided by two equals the amount of ounces of fluids [you should be drinking a] day. Water should be the majority of fluid ounces. Make sure you are getting enough water and electrolytes prior to a race.

MYB: What are the signs of dehydration?

Hulin: There are various ways to tell if you are dehydrated. Signs of dehydration can include being thirsty, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, cotton mouth, dry skin, tired/lack of energy, color and amount of time you are urinating — you want to aim for “light hay” colored urine and urinating every 2-3 hours or less. If your pee is the color of apple juice or darker, or even smelly, [it is a] big sign you are dehydrated.

MYB: What's the biggest misconception about hydration?

Hulin: A misconception is that water is enough to rehydrate you after a long run. To be clear, sometimes water is enough to rehydrate after a run, but after a long run in hot weather, you will need to replenish your electrolytes as well. There is no way to “preload” your electrolytes before a run. What your body does not need, you will pee it out. It is best to replenish after your run.

MYB: Are there any foods that aid in hydration?

Hulin: Foods with sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium will help with replenishing electrolytes. Turkey, cottage cheese with fruit, V8 and turkey pho with vegetables are all good options to eat that will aid in hydration.

MYB: Any tips for injury prevention?

Hulin: To prevent injury, make sure you are warming up, stretching after and listening to your body. If something does not feel right — it probably isn’t. From a food perspective, ensuring your diet is full of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains and fluids.

MYB: Does your advice differ for non-athletes?

Hulin: This advice can be used for everyone. As the temperature gets hotter and you are doing activities outside, it is important to be aware of the signs of dehydration and how to combat it.

MYB: How is hydration affected by alcohol?

Hulin: Alcohol can dehydrate you. My recommendation would be to pair your alcohol with water, soda water — LaCroix, bubly — or Kombucha that can offset the dehydration effects of alcohol. More important though, make sure you are not excessively drinking alcohol and drink a glass of water in between your alcoholic beverages.

MYB: Final advice for athletes when it comes to hydration?

Hulin: Know the warning signs of dehydration and make sure you never go into a run or intense workout dehydrated. Drink throughout the workout/run. If you feel yourself becoming very tired and lightheaded, take a break, listen to your body and refuel with proper nutrition.

- Lori Wilson

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Keep Your New Year's Resolutions With These Fun, Free Workouts


Saving money and getting in shape are two of the most common New Year's resolutions. They're also two of the most commonly broken ones.

Changing up your workouts can keep you interested in fitness, while free workouts can help save you money while doing so. My favorite ways to do both include sprinting, running stairs and jumping rope, all of which can also come in handy if you just want to be a stronger, faster runner.

In addition to being free (except for the purchase of an inexpensive jump rope), these cardio routines can also be done anywhere. Which is perfect if you're traveling for the holidays and want to stay on your fitness path or want a head start on your resolutions. And since many fitness trainers and websites post free workouts on social media, such as Men's Health Top Trainer Gideon Akande and aSweatLife (a site I contribute to), you can incorporate body weight exercises into your new routines as well.


Jumping Rope

Muscle & Fitness says, "Anyone that competes in a sport that involves coordination, footwork, quickness, hand speed, agility, rhythm, and even power – whether competitively or recreationally – will definitely benefit from training with a jump rope." It's essentially a full body, calorie burning workout. And it's fun!

There are several workouts online you can follow, that include just jumping intervals or alternating jumping with body weight exercises. Tips on form and skill can be found in videos at Punk Rope, who holds jump rope classes on the East Coast. I have also enjoyed workouts from Huffington Post and Men's Fitness, which I've done at a nearby track or park.

Jumping rope can take a few tries to get into a rhythm, but once you do, it is an effective and entertaining deviation from your normal workout routine.


Speed Work/Sprints

I like sprints because the short, fast bursts make me feel athletic, whereas I often just feel like I'm plodding along during long distances. While sprints can done as individual workouts, like I enjoy, speed work can be incorporated into longer runs, for those looking to improve their racing pace. Whichever way you're doing it, the benefits of speed work, as told to Runner's World by exercise physiologist Marius Maianu, include weight loss, strength building, faster feet, increased stamina, running stronger and longer, and prolonged enjoyment of running.

These workouts can, but don't necessarily have to be done on a track. The distance markers and straightaways vs turns are often utilized, but you can also go to a park, on a hiking trail or around your neighborhood and gauge distance using landmarks, like the lampposts at Audubon Park.

Just don't forget to warm up and work on proper form. Then, check out Runner's World 's tips on speed training or try the sprints I enjoy, given to me by my track runner/coach father, that I wrote about for aSweatLife.



One of my favorite things about when I lived in Los Angeles was its proximity to the mountains. I could just walk down the street and get in a strenuous hill workout, resulting in relatively quick weight loss and a feeling of overall fitness. I've mostly lived in flat cities since then, but I've found that adding stair workouts to my runs, or more accurately, walks, is a great way to replace strenuous hills.

Shape magazine says, "Stair workouts not only kick your butt, they also firm it like nothing else." And running coach/marathoner Brad Hudson told Runner's World, "There's nothing better for developing speed and muscle power," than running uphill.

If you don't have access to hills at home or on the road, look for stairs at a local high school or college stadium, a park or anywhere that has a set of stairs you can freely run/walk up and down. If you're in New Orleans, Crescent Park has two sets of stairs that are perfect to climb and the straightaway in between them can be used to cool down with a walk, jog or body weight exercises.

Check out Runner's World's tips on hill running, as well as Shape and Prevention for more workout ideas. 

Have you incorporated any of these workouts into your fitness routine? Interested in trying them out? Head over to Move Ya Brass's Instagram and tell us your thoughts on these or other free workouts to keep you on your fitness path. 

- Lori Wilson

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What to Know About Running and Nutrition

  Photo credit: Tomas Orihuela

Photo credit: Tomas Orihuela

Knowing what to eat before, during and after a run is a tricky thing, so we reached out to Move Ya Brass Krewe member and Registered Dietician Lisa Littrell for advice.

Lisa serves as the current Health and Nutrition Coordinator at Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Head Start Program. She's also a lifelong athlete who found running in 2015. She ran her first 5K that year at The Crescent City Fall Classic and continued training so she could participate in this year's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and an ultra 50K at the Croom Fools Run in Florida.  

Here's what she told us about fueling as a runner.

Before a Run

"I would advise [eating] something that's low in fiber," Lisa said. "If it's a long run [anything longer than 90 minutes], you should have a little bit of protein in there also. Toast with peanut butter or an egg in a tortilla, [or] fruit and yogurt. Something also that is low in fiber and that you have already experimented with prior to a race, because everybody's stomach reacts differently to things. So, it takes a little bit of trial and error."

For a shorter run, like a 5K, she suggested something small, like a piece of toast or a banana at least 30 minutes before.

During a Run

"If you're going beyond 90 minutes you definitely need to have nutrition during the run and be paying close attention to your electrolytes," Lisa stated.

Due to her stomach sensitivity issues, Lisa skips products from popular brands like Gatorade and NUUN, preferring instead Hüma gels because they contain more natural ingredients. She's also been experimenting with chewable salt tabs and products from Tailwind because they have a low FODMAP mix, which makes it easier to digest.

Actual food is an option as well, as she pointed out, "People will put peanut butter sandwiches in their packs or a boiled potato with salt, because that's your potassium and salt and your carbohydrates."

After a Run

Lisa advised eating something 15 to 30 minutes post run. "It doesn't have to be a full meal, but you should definitely have a little bit of carbohydrates and a little bit of protein directly after because of the hormonal effect. If you wait longer, you'll probably end up over eating later on because of the hormone reaction to a run … And then, you know, have your big meal later on, but there should definitely be some rehydration and refueling immediately after."

Forget About Carb Loading

Runners often hear about this, but, per Lisa, a consistently healthy diet is a better option. "I think that more important than what happens the day before a race is your routine," she said. "So as long as you're having a healthy diet on a day-to-day basis and you're hydrated on a regular basis then carb loading doesn't really affect your run. Because things like hydration and nutrition are based off of multiple days, not just the day before."

As for what to incorporate into your daily diet, Lisa detailed that thee meals plus snacks, or six small meals should do it. Before breakfast, keep it small and low in fiber, but after, switch to high fiber with protein.

"Yogurt and chia seeds, or oatmeal and a banana, or oatmeal and an egg, or something like that," she recommended. "In general, lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and complex carbohydrates for your meals which are high fiber carbohydrates, but like I said, if it's right before a run, if it's a snack to fuel your run, it has to be low carbohydrate because it's easier to digest and absorb."

Skip the Cheat Meals as Well

"My issue with cheat meals is people tend to go overboard on that day because they're waiting all week for this particular day," she explained.

Instead, Lisa prefers to stick to the 80/20 rule: healthy choices 80 percent of the time and choices based off of desire and craving 20 percent of the time.

"I think in terms of calorie content and mental health, it's better to just have a moderate diet every day of the week rather than have something restrictive six days of the week and then a cheat day on Sunday or something like that. But, I do definitely think post run you should eat whatever your heart desires," she laughed. "Because you worked hard."

As for Lisa's post run desire? A burger and fries.

- Lori Wilson

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