Running is a great form of exercise, but it causes you to sweat and lose water. You must ensure you have a hydration system since every major body system requires water to function properly. Dehydration is a dangerous problem, although even small levels of dehydration can cause issues. Even a 1% dehydration level can cause symptoms such as fatigue, loss of concentration, headaches, moodiness and nausea.
Before You Run
Regardless of the time you run, you should make sure you hydrate before you go out the door or hop on the treadmill and begin. Ideally, you should drink about sixteen ounces an hour before you run, and you can drink another four to eight ounces right before you run. If you run first thing in the morning, it will be more difficult to get all the fluids you need. However, still try to get at least 8 ounces in before you head out for your run. This is especially important if you are going out for a very long run or running in a hot and humid environment. Water works fine for pre-run hydration, even if you are going for a long run.
During Your Run
Hydration during a run is vitally important, especially if you are running for longer than an hour or it is extremely hot and humid. A sure way to know when you are dehydrated is by doing a very basic sweat test – if you are sweating a lot, and if you notice it dries salty. If you are experiencing these symptoms it is essential that you find a source of hydration immediately. The basic rule of thumb for drinking while you run is to drink as soon as thirst strikes; although four to six ounces every twenty minutes also works.
After Your Run
Hydration post-run is very important. Just as you need to refuel and eat a balanced meal with protein and carbohydrates, you must make sure you replace your lost water and electrolytes. The basic rule is to drink 20 to 24 ounces per pound lost due to sweat. You can discover how much sweat you lose by a very simple test. All you have to do is weigh yourself before you run and again after you run. The amount of weight you have lost in the process usually corresponds to the amount of fluid you lost. Typically one pound is around one pint of sweat. Hot days and long runs will always require more rehydration. The most effective way to replace the water that you have lost is by drinking fresh, filtered water – a great way to way to do this is by installing a water dispenser in your home.
When you run regularly, you want to ensure that you are getting enough hydration. One way to know that you are not dehydrated is to check your urine. You are ideally hydrated if your urine is a light yellow or clear colour. If it becomes darker, then you are dehydrated and need to drink more fluids.