Runners are fully aware of the essential role that proper hydration plays, especially during summer. Failing to provide the right level of hydration can affect one’s performance. Experts emphasize that when an individual is dehydrated by as little as 2% of the body weight, performance is impaired. A loss of more than 5% of the body weight, on the other hand, can decrease one’s ability to work by about 30%. To ensure proper hydration, it is best to always bring one of the best water bottles for running.
Keep your water bottle in your gym bag. Better yet, if you can find a water bottle that comes with belt bag, like the URPOWER Running Belt Multifunctional Zipper Pockets Water Resistant Waist Bag. If you have one of this, you are sure that you can hydrate frequently as it comes with two 6 ounces BPA-free water bottles. You should be sipping smartly even when you are running. But don’t just be a casual drinker. Several studies provide guidelines on how to stay hydrated to keep you at your best when running.
Here are some essential hydration tips that you can also apply whenever you need to engage in high-endurance workouts like running.
Pre-hydrate before you hit the road
Remember that when dehydration sets in, your blood will thicken. Remember that the body is 75% water, that even a huge percentage of your blood is water (around 80%). Most of the body functions rely on your fluid intake. If you fail to hydrate well, your body will suffer. As your blood volume drops, your body’s ability to transfer heat is lowered. This causes the heart to beat faster, which, in turn, makes it quite difficult for the body to meet aerobic demands. Later, your performance will be affected and, probably, even your health.
Hydration starts a couple of hours before you need to hit the road, however. If you plan to participate in a more intense running event, like a long run or a competition, hydration coupled with a good nutrition plan should begin even days before the activity, though.
To be at your best while running, experts recommend hydrating a couple of hours before you hit the road. This gives enough time for your body to process the fluids and go to the washroom to flush out any toxins before you hit the road. It is recommended that you take about 16 to 24 ounces of water two to three hours before you run.
What if you did not drink a couple of hour before that. You can still drink at least four to eight ounces of fluid (water, sports drink, and other beverages) 15 to 30 minutes before you head out.
For high-endurance training or workouts, go cold
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking fluids that are cooler than the surrounding temperature. Studies show that cold water and other cold drinks rehydrate faster as they pass through the stomach quicker. When you are doing high-intensity workouts, you want to replace lost fluids quickly. Drinking cold water and other cold beverages will help you do that.
A flavored drink is likewise preferred as this not only tastes better, it will also encourage constant fluid replacement. To add flavor to your bottle of water, you can squeeze lemon juice or a pinch o flavoring to it.
It is also a smart thing to store your drinks in handy water bottles as they will allow you to access your drink without distracting your workout. There are just so many water bottles that come in various designs and features. If you are undecided which bottle to buy or just don’t have any idea which could be one of the best waters bottles for running, just head over to Amazon, and you’ll find several brands with reviews from previous buyers.
Before you head out for a hot run, have some of your favorite sports drinks with crushed ice. You can also freeze a half-filled bottle and just top it off with water or any other fluid before you head out. If you are heading out through a loop, you can place a cooler with some bottles filled with your favorite drinks that you can access once you reach that loop.
Regulate your drinking intervals
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health indicates that drinking to thirst and drinking ad libitum (planned drinking) resulted in similar physiologic and perceptual results. As such, the researches recommend drinking ad libitum to allow athletes to focus on training and competition instead of being distracted by the need to evaluate his or her sensations of thirst.
As hydration requirements vary from person to person, it is best that you can note how often and how much you drink during your first runs so that in your succeeding runs you can determine what will work best for you. In general, hydrating every 15-20 minutes is the best thing that you can do. You can set a timer or watch to snooze once it’s time for you to hydrate. Don’t wait to feel thirsty as, by that time, you might actually be already dehydrated.
But you don’t have to drink more than what your body can actually handle. Instead of boosting your energy, overhydration may actually cause a serious condition known as hyponatremia. This happens when your sodium levels become so low because of the excess water that your body holds. Greater than 135 mmol/L (135 mEq/L) of sodium level in the body falls into this category. Acute hyponatremia requires hospitalization and may cause seizures, and coma.
For an hour or less of scheduled run, you may just need to drink six ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes. For a more intensive run, however, you may want to drink a sports drink.
Drink as you end your run
You still need to hydrate after running. Your water requirement will vary, as indicated earlier. Generally, about 8-24 ounces of fluids will be enough.
Remember to hydrate before, during, and after a workout to stay fit and perform your best any time you need to exercise or do intense workouts like running. Don’t forget to bring one of the best water bottles for running to be your constant reminder to get hydrated.