Hydration Tips for Runners – How Much is Enough?
If you are a runner or if you exercise on a regular basis, you may need more water than the average person. Follow these hydration tips to make sure you stay hydrated and perform your best.
Did you know our bodies are made up of up to sixty percent water? Water is an essential nutrient and it is easy to underestimate how important it is. We lose water every day–not just through sweating and urinating, but also through breathing and talking. If you have a job that requires you to speak to people or present in meetings for several hours each day, you may need a little more water during the weekdays than on the weekends. But, how much is enough?
There are a few recommendations about water consumption, such as; drink half of your body weight in ounces, or drink eight glasses of water a day. However, these methods aren’t based in research and can leave you with mild symptoms of dehydration.
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water. The color of your urine is a good visual gauge of your hydration levels. Look for urine that is not cloudy, dark in color, or that has a strong odor. You may notice that you are slightly dehydrated first thing in the morning, so follow these recommendations.
- The night before a long training run or race day, drink a 16 ounce glass of water with electrolytes (like Ultima Replenisher) before bed.
- Leave a 16-24 ounce glass of water on your nightstand every night. Drink half of the water if you wake up in the night. Finish it off as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Water can affect how easily we remove toxins (think urination and defecation) and our mental and physical performance. Feeling sluggish in the middle of your workday? Reach for a glass of water before a cup of coffee. Drinking water helps to improve brain function as well as digestion and the elimination of toxins. Dehydration can present in a variety of ways, such as hunger, a headache, decreased urination, fatigue, and sugar cravings.
Struggling to drink plain water? Follow these simple hydration tips:
- Drink sparkling water or club soda
- Infuse fresh or frozen fruit with your water
- Rim your glass with a wedge of lemon or lime
- Try different electrolytes flavors
It’s ok to have a variety of glasses, tumblers, and water bottles for every activity or meal, especially if it helps you drink more water. The important thing is to always bring water with you wherever you go–and drink it!
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