Rather it is the warm heat on your skin and the salty, sweaty smell of your skin during a summer run or the cold, can’t-feel-your-fingers moment that a winter run brings…
Running has one common factor year around – you can easily get dehydrated.
While the risk of getting dehydrated is especially heightened during the summer, it is still possible during the winter if you don’t hydrate properly before and after your run.
Most of you might have experienced this at one point in your running career, probably early on when you were unsure of just how important hydration is and just how to do it…
Why should you stay hydrated?
Well, of course, there is the obvious reason of being healthy. Your body needs water to function, so you need to stay hydrated in order to continue running and just functioning properly.
But, specifically, dehydration can also negatively affect your running:
Water is a key factor in your blood, and your blood provides much-needed oxygen and sodium found in your blood to your heart, lungs, and muscles. However, dehydration means thicker blood and thicker blood means your body has to work harder to pump oxygen and sodium to your heart, lungs, and muscles…
Therefore, making it harder on your body to breathe and to run.
How to Stay Hydrated
- Get hydrated before you ever even start.
While running, you are exerting extra energy and sweating – so, your body will need an additional amount of water to replenish what is being lost.
If you know this in advance, you can start hydrating before your run to ensure you are well hydrated during and after your run.
In general, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s Position Stands, you should drink approximately 1 ounce of water per ever 10 pounds of body weight four hours prior to running.
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 15 ounces of water four hours prior to your run.
- Recognize what you are losing.
One major aspect of running that can lead to dehydration is sweating…
Through your sweat you lose:
Sodium, potassium, electrolytes, chloride, calcium, and magnesium.
However, a nootropic supplement and other tools can be used to help replace some of what was lost, such as electrolytes found in sports drinks.
- Carry a cold drink with you.
According to a study from 2008 published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, cyclists who drank cold drinks before and during their workout exercises for nearly 12 minutes longer than their counterparts who drank warm beverages.
Especially if going for a long run, it is important to bring water or another healthy beverage with you to keep yourself hydrated. Go for a cold beverage such as a slushy made of crushed ice or freeze your favorite sports drink.
- Don’t wait until your thirsty.
Did you know your body is actually thirsty before you realize that you are? By the time you actually notice that you are thirsty, you are more than likely already slightly dehydrated.
Instead of relying on your own instinct, set a reminder about every 15 minutes to take a sip of water.
- Be careful not to overhydrate.
Overhydrating can be just as detrimental as dehydrating…
So, while you are focused on staying hydrated, keep up with how much you are actually drinking.
During exercise, you do not need to excessively swallow. If you are going for a short run – longer than an hour – just swishing a sports drink around in your mouth is sometimes enough.
There is a line between being dehydrated, hydrated, and overhydrated.
Monitor your body and your liquid intake to ensure you are keeping your body safe during your run.