Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hydration 101 – Tips To Stay Hydrated and Healthy On Your Run

When you run, regardless of the outside temperature, you sweat. When you sweat, you lose water from your body. Loss of water causes your cells to shrink and slow down. Your blood volume decreases. Everything has to work harder to achieve the same result. You, in turn feel exhausted. You may also begin to feel emotional, irritable, hungry, and lethargic. The cure? Drink more water. Here are a few tips to stay healthy and hydrated on your run.

English: A "sports" cap for bottles ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#1. Make sure you’re well hydrated before you head out for your run.

It’s difficult to catch up and if you begin your run at a hydration deficit, you may struggle. Instead, begin your day well hydrated. Of course you don’t want to hit the pavement, or treadmill, trail or track, with a sloshy stomach. So try to drink 8-16 ounces of water about two hours before your run.

#2. Schedule Your Sips

If you’re going to be running for more than thirty minutes bring water with you. Try to take a sip of water every ten to fifteen minutes. If you need to set a reminder on your watch, then do it. Staying hydrated is important to your health, performance, and safety.

#3. Carry It with You

Try carrying a water bottle in your hand and drink an ounce every time you sip. There are also fuel hydration belts and backpacks you can try. There is no one right way to carry your water. Find what is most comfortable for you.

Richard Seymour of the New England Patriots.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#4. Cold Water During Warm Months

When it’s warm outside, cold water helps keep you cool. Try freezing your water bottle. Make sure to take it out a few minutes before you head outside so it can begin thawing. Each sip will help you stay both hydrated and cool.

The longer you’re going to run, the more often you need to drink.

#5. Post-Run Hydration

When you get home from your run, drink another eight to sixteen ounces of water. During the hot months or if you live in a dry climate you may want to take an electrolyte replacement. Most sports drinks have electrolytes in them. Or you can take an electrolyte supplement. Make sure you drink enough to make you urinate within an hour to two hours after your run.

Staying hydrated is important. If your mouth, tongue or lips feel dry, you’ve pushed it too far. It may take a lot to catch up. Side stitches and muscle cramps are also signs of dehydration. Consider tracking your hydration in your running journal to determine the right amount and frequency for your body.

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