Hydration For Runners

Hey everyone! I just got back from a 15 mile run this morning and during that run I was jumping into every sprinkler I could find to keep myself cool. Don’t worry that’s normal, especially if you grew up running. Anyways, it’s long runs like these that make me really appreciate public water fountains wherever I can find them, especially when the temperature rises during the run.

If I hadn’t found 2 public water fountains and a few sprinklers, that run would have been a lot more difficult to do. In a situation where there is no water located anywhere on your route, the only thing you can rely on to keep you cool is natural shade. While natural shade is always a great find, it is a poor thing to completely rely on. Shade will not always be there either. I have ran on many trails and roads that have ZERO shade. Those runs are brutal.

So here is a way to stay cool on your runs , improve performance, and avoid disaster: STAY HYDRATED. Actually, I cannot stress how important it is to drink enough water, especially if you exercise.

Story Time: A friend of mine went bowling one night and intended to play only one game. Unfortunately, he was very dehydrated and on one of his first attempts to bowl, he passed out. The impact of the fall broke his jaw and shattered three of his teeth. I’m sorry that happened to him, but the clinical cause of fainting was determined to be dehydration. A broken jaw and three shattered teeth. Nobody deserves that, drink water and avoid the repercussions of dehydration.

There are so many things that can go wrong if you don’t drink enough water that you could write a book, so I won’t name everything. Only why it’s important to stay hydrated as a runner.

blue tumbler on floor
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How Much Water Should A Runner/Jogger Drink A Day?

The answer is actually very simple. Stay to the general rule of 8 glasses of water a day and you should be fine. After a run however, you should drink as much water that you find necessary. For me that is 3-4 glasses. I also have a bottle of Gatorade or some type of sports drink to replace electrolytes and sugars. If your urine is yellow at any point, that is a good indication to drink more water.

Keep it simple. There are probably some super calculated formulas for water intake out there, but just follow the formula I just told you and you will be fine. I have been a competitive high performance runner for a number of years now and I have never had any issues.

Drinking Water During Runs

I typically only stop if I really feel the need to drink water. But I’m normally hydrated enough that I don’t have any issues. Public Parks often have one or two water fountains that you could use. They’re life savers when you really do need water!

You could also bring a water bottle for short runs, although I have never done that before. You would just have to be comfortable with carrying a water bottle that weighs a few pounds.

Backpacks that are made for hiking and marathons are also a great option. I have one, I use it for hiking but it is a very useful! It is not heavy and you could definitely run with it! Take sips when you need to.


Moral of the story, drink water. You want to be sweating after exerting any type of effort. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down. If you can’t sweat, you are dehydrated and you need to drink more water.

Eating enough food and refueling after a workout is also very important, but I’ll cover that in another article!

Thank you for reading my article and I hope this was informative! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments, I’ll answer them to the best of my ability!

Happy Running!

-Matt

 

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