It can’t be stated enough, when it comes to running, hydration is extremely important. Add in the heat and humidity during the summer months and the importance skyrockets even more!
So how do you ensure that your body retains the right amount of hydration during a run? Here are a few tips we have learned along the way!
Hydrate early. When you have a long run on the training schedule, make sure you are hydrating well before the run. It doesn’t hurt to drink an extra glass or two of water on the days leading up to your run. If the forecast looks to be particularly hot or humid, you may want to add in an electrolyte drink such as Nuun or Gatorade as well. And don’t forget to drink some more water an hour or so prior to the run itself!
Always carry a water bottle. The last thing that you want as a runner is to be miles from home without hydration. Even if your route includes water fountains, it is extremely wise to have a source of hydration with you. There are various options including backpacks (like the Orange Mud HydraQuiver), belts or handhelds. Find one that works well for you and bring it along, no matter what the distance!
Don’t forget about electrolytes. On those humid days, you need to make sure that you replenish your sodium as well. If you have been sweating a lot, it helps to add an electrolyte drink to your hydration. Whether you add electrolyte tablets to your water bottles or bring along a sports drink, it helps give your body the extra hydration it needs.
Watch your urine. While it’s not exactly fun, your urine does tell you a lot about your hydration! Leading up to your run, take a look at the color of your urine. If you are well hydrated, it will be light yellow. If it is dark, then you are not hydrated enough.
Know the symptoms. Dehydration symptoms can come on quickly, so be sure you know what to look out for. Dizziness, dry skin, nausea and a headache are very common. If you feel any of these symptoms, stop, find shade and call someone immediately. Also be aware of over-hydration (or hyponatremia). Symptoms can be similar to those for dehydration.
The amount of hydration needed really does depend on each individual. As you train, you will begin to learn how much you need during any given training run. However, it can change depending on the temperature, etc.
Looking for ideas on what to drink? runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus offers some great options!
Throughout these blog posts, we will cover all aspects of training from our own personal experience. Please note that we are not medical doctors, personal trainers, registered dietitians or in any way qualified to give individualized recommendations. If you have something you would like us to address, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!