One of the key components of a comfortable and effective run is proper hydration. If you keep your body well hydrated, you will have more energy, achieve better results and improve your recovery time. So, here are a few ways to ensure proper hydration before, during and after your runs that will make you a better athlete.
If you’re having plans to do some long runs (more than 8 or 10 miles), it’s very important to pre-hydrate. Boost your water consumption a few days before your long run, but avoid any alcohol consumption. Not only does it leave you dehydrated but alcohol also affects performance and your sleep which can result in less satisfying runs and times. A good way to know whether you’re properly hydrated is to pay attention to your urine. If it’s the color of lemonade (pale yellow), that means you’re good to go. An hour before you start your long run, have about 16 ounces/one liter of water or any other non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drink. You can have another few ounces of fluid right before you start running to ensure a well-hydrated start.
Hydration during your run
Every runner is different, but a general rule of thumb is that you should take in 4 to 6 ounces of water every 20 minutes (depending on how much you sweat). Runners who are really picking up the pace and running under 8 minutes a mile should boost their water consumption and drink around 6 to 8 ounces of water per 20 minutes. People who take long runs lasting more than 90 minutes might benefit from sports drinks. They can help replenish the body with sodium and electrolytes and give the body some carbs as fuel. If you don’t have access to fresh water on your route, make sure to carry water with you. A practical running water bottle will provide you with plenty of fluid while being minimally disruptive to your movement. Many models have a very comfortable grip, but you can also get a bottle belt that will keep your hands free and your water near.
Plan your route around water
Water weighs a lot, which means you’ll definitely feel your water supply, especially during your longer runs. So, if you want to avoid dragging extra weight when you run, plan a good running route. You can take a trail that leads by a water fountain where you can rehydrate or refill your smaller bottle. Another way to stay hydrated without carrying too much water is to run laps around your car which will serve as a water station. Each lap you can stop at your vehicle, refill your bottle and even grab a little snack.
Set a reminder
If you often zone out while you run, make sure to set a timer that will remind you of your water break. Set it to 20 minutes and you’ll stay properly hydrated and refueled without having to think about it.
After you finish your race or practice run, don’t forget to continue with good hydration. If you forget to drink when you come home, you can get hit with dehydration symptoms even hours after your run. One great way to replenish all the water you’ve lost is to weigh yourself before and after the run. Every pound you lose requires 20 to 24 ounces of water!
Proper hydration before, during and after your run will ensure you feel healthy and strong and can give your maximum on the track. So, as long as you keep note of your water consumption, you can let the runner’s high carry your feet and enjoy your run without any worries.