Hydration 101

23 07 2013

While proper hydration is important year-round, it’s especially important in the summer. And it’s not just hydrating right before or during your run that matters most, but hydrating all day, every day. Well-hydrated muscles are high in fluid content, and water removes lactic acid from exercising muscles, which can be an advantage to well-hydrated athletes. Water also helps maintain proper body temperature, since it’s the primary component in sweat.

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Day-to-Day Hydration

It’s recommended to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. For example, if you are 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water per day. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to make it easier to get in enough fluids.

 Pre-run hydration

An hour or so before a run, particularly a longer run, drink about 15-20 ounces of water.  Don’t drink within an hour of your run so you can void excess liquids and prevent any restroom stops along the way. If you want, you can drink another 4-6 ounces of water right before your run just to top off your fluids.

During Your Run

It’s recommended to drink 4-6 ounces of water every 20 minutes on your run. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink something; this is usually too late to attempt to replenish your fluids. Train your body to drink on a schedule rather than at the sign of thirst. Handheld water bottles and water belts are a great way to keep your fluids on you during your run.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals in your body fluids that carry electrical charges. Some of the most important ones in your body are sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfate. Electrolytes are important in that nerve cells and muscles use them to carry electrical impulses and to regulate body fluids. In addition to refueling your fluids on your run, you should considering replenishing your electrolytes as they’re lost in sweat.

The easiest way to replace electrolytes is through an electrolyte drink. There are numerous sports drinks that contain electrolytes, but our personal favorite is an electrolyte tab called Nuun. Unlike most sports drinks, Nuun doesn’t contain any sugar, calories or other additives that your body doesn’t necessarily need.

Have any other hydration questions? Swing by the store and ask anyone on staff!


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