Staying hydrated is important for overall health and extra important if you’re a long-distance runner or endurance athlete. So here’s a guide to help you figure out how much water you should be drinking, how to stay hydrated while running and how to find the best hydration gear and supplements for your body.
What we should know is that every body type is different. Our needs, goals, health and preferences should be linked to our hydration plan. To test our sweat rate according to our body type and training is a good plan to support our runs, training sessions and races with the proper hydration.
Hydration for Runners
First, get to know your body and what affects how much water you need. Even if you’re not training for a race or running long distances, it’s a good idea to get to know how much water and fuel your body needs to feel your best. To know and follow what our body requires for proper hydration is crucial so we can use that knowledge to help fuel our training and fitness goals and energy level according to our body type.
1. Your Personal Body Type. You need to know how much water your body needs as a baseline (when you’re not running or sweating) to feel your best. Always have access to a water bottle nearby so it’s easy to drink as needed. To drink 2.5L of water per day is the basic recommendation.
2. Type of Activities and Climate. Once you know how much you need to drink every day, have access to enough water (or sports drinks) to replenish for any fluid lost while running. Things that will impact how much you need include, if you sweat a lot, if it’s a long run or workout, very humid or very dry, or very hot etc.
3. Take Notes and Adjust as Needed. Check in with yourself after a run, were you thirsty, did you feel dehydrated or fatigued, that may have been caused by dehydration. What color is your urine before & after running. Things like seasons changing and your training sessions will impact how much you need to drink. When the hot and humid weather arrives, it might take 10-14 days for our body to start getting used to it and know how much water and electrolytes our body requires.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Most runners just want to know how much water they need to drink. But every body type is different, so hydration should be personalized. According to the distance you’re running or the weather, it is best to listen to your body and drink when you’re thirsty. DRINK TO YOUR THIRST.
Factors That Affect Your Hydration
Your activity (distance and intensity)
Your fitness level
How much you sweat according to your body type
Weather, temperature, humidity
If your body is adjusted to the environment and weather
Your diet and hydration levels before and after the run
Health or medical issues
Hydration Tips For Runners
1. Start your runs well hydrated.
2. Hydrate during the longer runs by carrying a hydration pack or water bottle or have access to your hydration placed throughout the run where you can stop and drink as needed.
3. Use sports drinks or water with electrolytes tablets to help balance your hydration and fueling. Practice this during training so you know the ideal combo for long runs or races.
4. Drink to thirst after your run to rehydrate the body.
5. Create a hydration plan that will help you perform your best. You have to figure out while training, so you can adjust as needed.
6. Keep an eye on your urine color to help assess how your hydration plan is working. Use this information in combination with how you feel and your performance to see if you are hydrating enough. If you want to use this method, it’s important to know your body’s urine color on well hydrated days, before a run, after a run and any variations on extreme weather days.
How to Calculate Sweat Rate
If you want to figure out how much you’re sweating and how much you’re drinking you can calculate your sweat rate using the Sweat Rate Calculation Link.
Body Weight Pre Run – Body Weight Post Run + Fluid Intake – Urine Volume / Exercise Time In Hours
Sweat Rate Calculation: http://www.triharder.com/THM_SwRate.aspx
INDEX OF HYDRATION STATUS
% Body Weight Change= Body Weight - Post-Body Weight X 100 - Pre-Body Weight
Urine Color Can Be A Helpful Way To Determine Hydration Status.
A good option to test our hydration is to know our body’s urine color on:
Well hydrated days
Before a run,
After a run and on extreme weather days.
Electrolytes and Drinks
Using sports drinks or electrolytes tablets can be very efficient for most runners. If we don’t provide our body with the essential minerals and vitamins during sweaty runs, our body will crash. For runs under 60-75 minutes, when the weather is not too hot or humid, runners will not need water or trail runners just a few millilitres. Again, according to our body type, we have to find the electrolytes that our body will be happy with, can absorb and process the right healthy way.
Hydrate, Feel Good, Run, Run, Run!