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Running and Hydration

Are you a runner that is constantly getting dehydrated and you need advice on how to tackle the problem? Dehydration while running is normal – especially if it’s hot and you are running at a fast pace. You need to stay on top of your body hydration to ensure that you take in fluids as they are leaving your body.

Why is hydration important?

Dehydration can lead to several negative effects that result in poor health, which drastically decreases your chances of meeting running goals. Negative body effects include headaches, muscle cramping, nausea and decreased coordination. You need to drink water immediately when these common dehydration signs are evident. The human body needs water – after all, your body is 60% water.

How much should you drink?

While running you need to drink around 4-6 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. However, that might change based on how intensely you are running and your body type. Larger bodies running at a faster pace will require more water and vice-versa.

Typically when you are really thirsty it’s too late, because your body would have undergone negative dehydration effects. You need to drink before this stage so make drinking while running a habit. Have a sports bottle nearby or stop for a quick drink.

What you can drink

Pure water is not the only fluid you can drink while running. Here are a few alternatives to help you meet the fluid intake goals:

  • Flavored water: don’t like the taste of plain water? Then flavored water is a good alternative that might even come with electrolytes. There are a lot of flavors to choose from so you can mix it up.
  • Sports drinks: drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade provide electrolytes in significant doses, which helps with replacing lost minerals in your body. It’s one of the best forms of fluid for runners that need energy to keep going for hours.
  • Coconut water: this fluid contains micronutrient electrolytes and carbs, which helps with recovery. Naturally occurring sugar is also included, which means you’ll get an energy boost.

Avoid carbonated drinks since the gas bloats your stomach, which is not ideal when running.