Staying hydrated is an essential part of any long-distance running routine. Proper hydration on lengthy runs can help improve athletic performance, promote physical and mental health, and reduce the risk of injury. With the right tips and strategies, you can ensure that you stay properly hydrated when running long distances. Read on for our guide to staying hydrated on long runs.
What Happens When You Don’t Stay Hydrated?
When running, it’s important to stay hydrated to prevent dehydration and the potential health-related risks associated with it. Dehydration happens when your body loses more water than it takes in. This can lead to fatigue, dizziness, cramps, and other physical issues. In severe cases of dehydration, it can lead to heat stroke or organ failure.
How Much Water Should You Take on Long Runs?
The amount of water you should drink on a long run depends on several factors, including your individual sweat rate, the weather conditions, and the length and intensity of your run. However, a good general rule of thumb is to drink 15-20 ounces of water per hour of running.
If you are running in hot or humid weather, you may need to drink more water than this. You can also monitor your sweat rate by weighing yourself before and after your run. If you have lost more than 2% of your body weight in water, you will need to drink more fluids to rehydrate.
Types of Hydration Options for Running
In addition to water, there are other types of hydration options available to runners such as sports drinks, energy gels and bars, electrolyte supplements, and more. Sports drinks like Gatorade are formulated with electrolytes to help replenish vital minerals lost during exercise, such as sodium and potassium. Energy gels and bars contain a combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes that can provide a quick energy boost during a long run. Electrolyte supplements are powders or tablets that are specially formulated with the essential minerals needed for proper hydration while running.
Tips for Staying Hydrated on Long Runs
Here are some tips for staying properly hydrated on your long runs:
1. Start hydrating early: Make sure to drink plenty of fluids several hours before the run starts, so your body starts the run already well hydrated.
2. Drink more than you think: It’s easy to underestimate how much water you need while running, so make sure to drink more than you think is necessary during your runs.
3. Know your environment: Pay attention to your environment while running, such as the temperature and humidity levels, so you know how much extra water you need in order to prevent dehydration or heat stroke.
4. Carry a water bottle: It’s important to carry a water bottle or hydration pack while running so that you have easy access to fluids whenever needed. This will also help motivate you to drink more since you always have it available at the ready!
5. Monitor intake: Monitor how much you’re drinking by timing yourself or using a hydration tracker device such as a GPS watch or smartwatch with built-in tracking capabilities.
6. Have fun: Don’t forget that running is supposed to be fun! If drinking lots of water becomes tedious, mix it up by drinking different flavored sports drinks or adding some electrolyte supplements into your water bottle for extra flavor!
7. Check urine color: To ensure proper hydration levels during longer runs, check your urine color regularly throughout the duration of the run; if it’s light yellow, then you’re properly hydrated!
Staying properly hydrated while running is essential in order to achieve optimal performance while reducing potential health risks associated with dehydration, such as fatigue and dizziness. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your body is well hydrated before, during, and after every long run!