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Hazy, Hot, and Humid Summer Workouts / Practices:
How to Recover Fast

Video tips:  From Stew

Any person or team who exercises in the heat needs to hydrate during workouts to stay cool and avoid over-heating and even potential death from heat stroke.  Fatigue is part exertion and part body heat so your hydration plays a huge part in your athletic and tactical performance.  Dehydration can occur during excessively sweaty workouts no matter how well you hydrate prior to your workout.  But you also need to add electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium as well.)  Foods rich in many of these elements are essential to your recovery from significant water / electrolyte loss.  If you are not sweating profusely during your workouts the need for these salts are less and you will likely get the required salts from your regular diet.  However, if you are in an arid environment like the desert, you will dehydrate without sweating and all you will see will be salt stains and chapped lips as the air is evaporating the moisture right off your skin.

If you are doing multiple hours in the heat with long races, long days working outside, two or three a day practices preparing for Fall sports, you need to think of the meal in between your working hours as not only a post workout meal but also a PRE workout meal.  Adding more water, salts, protein, carbs, will help you feel better and have more energy for training or working.  Once the day is done, that is when it is even more essential to prepare for the following day of hot / humid environments.

(NOTE _ same applies to dry arid environments but you will not be able to wring the sweat out of your clothes – your sweat evaporates too quickly.  You will see salt stains on your clothes and that means you need water AND salts in your recovery meals.)

Personally, if I can wring out my shirt after a workout, I will add more of these “salts” into my post exercise diet.  Sure, you can add sports drinks but stay away from the extra sugar / electrolytes if you are not sweating.  Sports drinks with sodium, potassium, carbohydrates (sugar) are a safe bet for hydration during hard sweaty exercise.   BUT if you are not sweating profusely, there is little need for these sports drinks during exercise unless you are in a desert environment where you do not sweat as it evaporates immediately.  Bananas, kiwi, coconut juice and water are some of the best natural aids in re-hydrating and replacing electrolytes.  I have also used Lays Potato Chips when in a crunch and cannot get any real food / electrolytes.  Here are some more ideas for hydration:

  • After Workouts – If hot sweaty or covered in salt stains, you have a huge selection of post workout meals / drinks that will help you recover.  You need to consider protein and carb replacement first, but if you are still feeling sluggish from the workout it is likely lack of fluids and salts in your post workout meal. 

    • One of my favorite post exercise quick snacks is a can of chicken noodle soup (Campbells Noodle O’s) as it is loaded with potassium, sodium, carbs, protein as well.  In fact, it has about 3-4 times the potassium of a banana and about 5-6 times the potassium of Gatorade.  If you are not sweating much nor in arid environment, water will be enough to hydrate you.

  • Before workouts, Do not drink too much 1 hour prior to hard workouts if you are doing significant running as the bouncing will potentially cause cramping.  But I would rather deal with cramping than dehydration so think about your effort level when sweating profusely and what will work for your level of exertion in the heat.

  • During workouts, Sip water or carbohydrate / electrolyte mix every 10-15 minutes to maintain high intensity performance training. 

  • A ballpark equation for daily consumption of liquids for highly active person is: 

                                                   50-75% body weight in lbs = oz per day of H2O

Finding the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, fats, electrolytes and water all depends on your age, sex, weight, activity level, weather, and goals.  Every day you have a challenging workout with above average times / test scores and feel great afterwards, make a note of everything you did that day.  Very often it is the formula that works best for you and your fitness performance goals.

Good luck with your nutrition / performance fitness program and I hope you see improvement soon.  Workouts can be easily obtained at the Fitness Ebook Store.   Send me an email and I may post it up as an article next week. You can contact me at 

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at


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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

Free SEAL Training Videos from Phil Black

TRX Train Like the Pros


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format