Hydration – A Guide For Runners

We all know that we should be drinking water regularly, but most of us probably aren’t getting enough. Just why is it so important?

Water helps us to…

  • Regulate body temperature
  • Remove waste from the body
  • Protect the joints from damage
  • Protect the eyes (with tears)
  • Conduct biochemical reactions in the body
  • Make chewing and swallowing possible (saliva)
  • Carry nutrients & oxygen around the body (blood)

We Are Water

So much of us is made up of water. An adult body is about 60% water; our blood is 90% water, our muscles are 75% water, bones are 25% water, and even our fat cells are 5% water!

We constantly lose water throughout the day by breathing, sweating and going to the toilet.

Avoid Dehydration

On an average day, we should be drinking between 1.5 and 2.5 litres (15-20 glasses) of water. Between 1 and 1.5 litres of this (8-12 glasses) should come from drinks; the rest is made up of liquids contained in the foods we eat. On a hot day, or during exercise, you need to drink more. Carrying a bottle around with you wherever you go is such an easy way to do this. Take small sips throughout the day and avoid dehydration!

You may be dehydrated if…

  • Your mouth feels dry
  • You are getting mild headaches
  • Your pee is dark yellow or brown
  • You are feeling tired/lethargic.

How do I make sure I am hydrated during my training?

Answer: You probably don’t need as much extra water as you think, as long as you are generally well hydrated. Have a drink of water before you go training and a glass afterwards, and you should be fine!

Drink more if you’re thirsty. If it’s a hot day, make sure you top up your fluid levels before you go out. If you’re running for more than a hour, you might need to take a small bottle of water with you.

Now that I’m training, should I drink sports drinks like Gatorade or Lucozade?

Answer: No. If you’re running for less than 90 minutes, you don’t really need sports drinks, and they contain a lot of sugar.

Elite athletes sometimes need them to replace the electrolytes and fuel that they lose during long distance races like marathons, but you almost certainly don’t.

So what we’re saying is – go and drink some water right now! If you’d like to know more, or you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to pop us a tweet.

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