3 Ways to Stay Hydrated on a Run

Posted on Feb 14, 2018 under Running Tips | No Comment

Whether you’re looking for a new way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise or you’ve made a fresh commitment to becoming more active, trail running is a rewarding and fun activity. However, you can’t run at your peak level without proper hydration, regardless of your fitness level. Here are some methods to getting the best run and staying hydrated on your longer runs.

Follow the General Rule

staying hydrated on a run

Image via Flickr by verrier.claude

Everyone is different when it comes to running and hydration, but if you follow this general guideline for hydration, you will be able to optimize your performance. About two hours before you hop on the trail:

  • Drink between 17 to 20 ounces of water to get you ready for the first leg of your run. You should also weigh yourself, which comes in handy later.
  • Once you’re in the midst of your run, try to drink 5 to 10 ounces of water every 15 minutes to sustain your hydration level.
  • After finishing the run, recover with 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound you lose.
  • Runs that are 30 to 45 minutes may not require hydrating while running, but temperatures and your own tolerance will play a factor.
  • Remember that you should always tweak these amounts to your body and fitness level.

Carry the Proper Amount of Water

Before leaving home, review the trail map and determine the length and time it will take to complete. By calculating your run ahead of time, you can determine how much water you’ll need and the best way to carry it. Here are some tips to help you:

  • If you’re going for a run that’s an hour or less, a single water bottle should do the trick. Most of these only weigh about a pound, carry 20 ounces of water, and are easy to handle thanks to an ergonomic design and a strap handle.
  • For runs that last one to two hours, a water belt that carries multiple water bottles works great. It allows hands-free running and holds anywhere from 40 to 60 ounces of water.
  • For runs lasting three or more hours, a hydration pack, known commonly as a Camelbak, can carry 50 to 70 ounces of water. Worn on your back, it provides ergonomic design and comfort and allows hands-free running.

The Risks of Improper Hydration

Without proper hydration, you can suffer from many health risks. Immediate signs of dehydration include dizziness, confusion, nausea, dry mouth, and lethargy. You may also want to replenish electrolytes with a tablet in your water. Otherwise, you could suffer from exertional hyponatremia. Caused by a lack of sodium when hydrating, this condition can cause seizures and even respiratory failure.

By knowing some of the symptoms of dehydration or overhydration, you can change your hydration regiment while you’re trail running. Even if you don’t feel ill, drinking the right amount of water is ideal for performance improvement.

Even if you’re a trained runner, hydration isn’t something to gamble on. Always keep water on hand for your health, fitness, and performance.


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