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Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

A few years ago, I wrote an article called “5 Hydration Mistakes You May Not Even Know You’re Making”, emphasizing the overall significance of proper hydration for good health. Today, I’ll delve deeper into the importance of hydration, especially for runners, and share some awesome tips to maintain your water intake before, during, and after a run.

The Importance of Hydration for Runners

Hydration is vital for everyone, but it’s especially crucial for runners. Dehydration can significantly affect your performance, energy levels, and recovery. It can slow you down, make your runs feel harder, and lead to muscle cramps and fatigue. Ensuring you’re properly hydrated not only helps you run more efficiently but also aids your body in recovering faster post-run.Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

Understanding Your Hydration Needs

Hydration isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Factors such as climate, the intensity of your workout, your sweat rate, and the duration of your run can all affect how much fluid you need. Therefore, a good practice would be to monitor your body and adjust your water intake accordingly. For instance, during marathon training, I gradually increase my water intake for a whole week leading up to the race.

Signs of Dehydration

Understanding the signs of dehydration can help you stay ahead. Look out for symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, and decreased urine output. If you notice any of these signs, it might be time to increase your water intake.

Hydration During the Run

While pre-run hydration is essential, maintaining your hydration during the run is equally crucial. Consider using hydration packs for longer runs or plan routes that pass water fountains. And remember, drink when you’re thirsty and don’t wait till you’re dehydrated.Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

Post-Run Rehydration

Rehydrating after a run is just as important to replenish lost fluids and aid in recovery. Apart from drinking water, you can also consume foods with high water content such as fruits and vegetables to rehydrate.

Role of Electrolytes

When you sweat, you don’t just lose water; you lose electrolytes too. Electrolytes like sodium and potassium play a crucial role in maintaining fluid balance in your body. Include sports drinks or foods high in electrolytes like bananas in your hydration plan.Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

Alternatives to Water

Although water should be your go-to, don’t forget about other hydrating beverages. Sports drinks, fruit-infused water, and even certain teas can contribute to your hydration. For a fun twist, try adding fresh fruit like lemon, strawberries, or blueberries to your water, or herbs like mint or basil for an added flavor boost.

Practical Hydration Tips

To prevent hydration boredom, use different kinds of water bottles or cups. Setting hourly hydration goals can also help you stay on top of your water intake. For example, I might tell myself, “By 2pm, you need to finish 40oz of water.” This prevents me from having to down a large amount of water at the end of the day due to forgetfulness and helps me stay alert and conscious of my hydration goals.Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

Maintain a Hydration Journal

An effective and efficient way to ensure you’re drinking enough is to maintain a hydration journal. This can be as simple as marking ticks on a piece of paper or using a hydration tracker app. You can track your intake and better visualize how you’re doing on any given day. It’s a simple tool, but it can work wonders to increase your awareness of your fluid consumption.

Water – Quality Matters

While the focus is mainly on the quantity of water intake, the quality of water you consume is equally important. If possible, opt for filtered water as it’s free of contaminants. Consider investing in a good water purifier if you don’t have one already. Using reusable water bottles, especially those free from BPA, can also improve the quality of your water and, as a bonus, is a more environmentally-friendly option.Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

Balancing Hydration and Bathroom Breaks

Drinking large amounts of water could mean more frequent bathroom breaks. This can be particularly tricky on the race day. When I first started racing, I avoided drinking pre-race to dodge using port-o-potties. But soon, I realized they’re a necessary evil and learned that hydrating before a run makes me feel much better.

Proper Hydration for Different Weather Conditions

The weather can significantly impact your hydration needs. During hot and humid conditions, you sweat more and therefore need to consume more water. But even in cold weather, your body can lose a significant amount of water, even if you might not feel thirsty. Always be aware of the weather conditions and adjust your water intake accordingly.Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

Stay Hydrated Even On Rest Days

Your hydration efforts should not only focus on training days. Staying hydrated on rest days is also crucial. Rest days are when your body recovers, and proper hydration can speed up this process, helping your muscles recover faster, maintaining optimal body temperature, and ensuring the proper functioning of bodily processes.

Remember, it’s not about guzzling gallons of water at once, but about maintaining consistent hydration throughout the day. It’s about understanding the significance of proper hydration for runners, recognizing your body’s signals for dehydration, and incorporating practical strategies to meet your hydration needs. Always remember to listen to your body; it’s the best guide you have for understanding your hydration needs.Must Have Hydration Tips For Runners

For more hydration tips besure to try these from Allie @ VITA Train 4 Life  & Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes!

What are some other great posts for runners to check out?

Do you have any hydration tips or tricks? How much water do you drink before a race?


Friday 26th of May 2017

I always wonder if there's a big difference between hydrating enough and over-hydrating. Hopefully there is and there's a wide threshold of healthy hydration! I'm inspired by you!


Wednesday 24th of May 2017

I like your tips about setting hourly goals! Since I run in the morning, I can sometimes slack on my hydration later in the day, even though it's important all day long.

Janine Huldie

Wednesday 24th of May 2017

What a great list and I am truly all about adding fresh fruit to my water as much as possible here, too!!


Wednesday 24th of May 2017

Do you seriously drink 100 oz of water a day??? Is that what your body just needs or you just love water? OMG woman that is a lot!!


Wednesday 24th of May 2017

LOL only the day before a half or full. Otherwise I'm pretty normal. I actually LIKE water so it's like NBD lol