It’s Tip Tuesday! Tonight’s tip is all about WATER. The name of the game is hydration. The folks at Road Runners Club of America want you to know that water delivers nutrients to working muscles and assists in temperature regulation. We all know that it’s important, but how can we be sure were consuming enough?
Symptoms of dehydration are dizziness, lethargy, nausea, dry mouth/lips, cramps, runners trots, and decreased performance. Here’s the secret to avoiding all of that: you must be hydrated on a DAILY BASIS to achieve optimal hydration for training. This means managing your water intake is essential ALL DAY, EVERY DAY if you want to be able to achieve the goals of each and every workout. In my house, we affectionately refer to this as “pre-hydrating.” Don’t wait for thirst to be your cue to drink! By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already behind the 8-ball. Staying ahead of the game can make or break a good training session…or a race. The good news, according to Harvard, is that all liquid drinks containing water (like COFFEE- hurrah!!!) contribute to your overall hydration, as do water-containing foods, like fresh fruits and veggies.
Aside from maintaining proper hydration consistently throughout your day, here are some helpful guidelines that you can use or tweak to make work for you during harder effort workouts (i.e. long runs, speed intervals, etc.):
1-2 hours before workout: 10-16 oz
During workout: 4-8 oz every 20-30 minutes if going over 60 minutes
After exercise: 24+ oz of water or other liquid to replace glycogen stores and electrolytes lost during workout
Some cool gear to take your hydration with you on the run are handheld bottles, belts, and hydration vests. Which one is best for you is a matter of personal preference and trial and error is the only way to find out works. Me? I don’t enjoy being weighed down by anything, so I like to adequately pre-hydrate and for any run longer than an hour or so, I make sure I’ll be passing somewhere that has liquids (my house or a friend’s, my car, water fountains, etc.). Happy hydrating!
Got any tips, products or cool gear that help your hydration game? Share them in the comments!