With summer approaching, staying hydrated is critical for runners, for their performance as well as to prevent heart related illness. Dehydration, a common problem in athletes, have been proven to lead to fatigue, headaches and decreased coordination. Carrying a water bottle in your bag, having fruit juice stocked in your car might be the simple ways by which you can stay hydrated. But to improve your performance, you need to be more than a casual sipper, and pay more attention to what you drink pre, during and post your run. Here are some more ways you can stay hydrated
In case of long distance running, from the few days leading to the run, it is essential to keep your body is well hydrated. Consuming plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids are ways to keeps you hydrated and ensures your blood volume does not drop. You know you're well-hydrated if you void large volumes of pale urine at least six times a day. Alcoholic drinks are a strict no, not only because they dehydrate you but it also prevents you from getting good night’s sleep, and running with a hangover, is definitely not a good idea. An hour before you run, try to drink about 16 ounces of water or other non-caffeinated fluid. To make sure you're hydrated before you start run, you can drink another 4 to 8 ounces right before you start.
During the Run
Thumb rule to drinking while running, is to consume 4 to 6 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes during your runs. But research has proven that drinking when you are thirsty prevents under-hydrating and over-hydrating. Your longer workouts, will have to contain energy drinks/sports drinks along with water. This helps in replacing you lost sodium and minerals.
Post Run hydration:
After finishing your run successfully, amidst all the celebrations, don’t forget to rehydrate your body with fluids, be it water or sports drinks. For every pound you lose, drink 20 to 24 fl oz. of water. Check your urine color after your run, and if is dark yellow, you need to keep rehydrating until it is in light lemonade yellow in color.
Despite the thumb rule that exist, to intake the right amount of fluids, it is important to know your sweat rate levels. Weigh yourself nude before a timed training run, and then again after. One pound of weight loss equals 1 pint of water loss. Calculate your sweat rate and use this to determine your fluid needs during a run or race. Enjoy your summer runner by staying well hydrated!