Many people underestimate the importance of hydration in general and also during exercising and running.
Water regulates our body temperature, removes waste, helps brings energy to our cells, and cushions our joints. Keeping hydrated for a runner is very important because not only does it do those things it can also improve recovery, minimise injury and cramping, and maximize performance if done adequately.
While running you do not want to drink too much at once as it may cause you to get a stitch, you should have a few good long drinks of water every 15-20 minutes on a long run. After a run you should always drink water, post exercise fluids get all your fluid levels back up to normal which can help with recovery. For every pound lost while running, drink 450ml –
When running we generate 20 times more heat than when we are at rest. We avoid overheating due to sweating which cools our body. But sweating leads to loss of water and electrolytes which is why we need to stay hydrated during running so we can restore all of these things.
Being dehydrated can affect your performance because we may get tired a lot quicker than usual, we may get headaches very quickly, get cramps and also have an increased heart rate.
Here are a few tips for keeping hydrated;
- Sip from a water bottle during the day.
- Eat fruit. Fruit is a great source of water, as well as electrolytes and fibre!
- Thirst is not the best indicator for hydration status. Instead, make sure your urine is clear to light yellow. If it is dark, drink up.
- Rehydrate before drinking alcohol. Alcohol can be dehydrating and lead to inadequate storage of carbohydrates in your muscles, leading to poor performance and increased risk for injury.
- Always make sure you stay hydrated at all times; it is more important than you think.