running hydration

    Published: February 19, 2015

    Hydration Tips for Beginning Runners

    Professional and experienced runners make hydration look easy. They seem to have an almost instinctive awareness of when to hydrate and when to ease off on fluid intake, allowing them to maximize their body’s efficiency. Beginning runners, however, have to learn as they go.

    Why Hydrate?
    Proper hydration is vital for maximum physical performance. Dehydration causes blood volume to drop while forcing the heart to beat faster. The body’s ability to transfer heat is impaired, and it becomes more difficult to meet the energy requirements of aerobic activity.

    On the other hand, too much hydration prior to a run can have negative effects. Excessive hydration can lead to hyponatremia, or low levels of sodium in the bloodstream. A potentially dangerous condition, hyponatremia is commonly seen in marathon medical tents. Maintaining a proper balance is important.

    Hydrating Before Running
    As a general rule, consuming eight to sixteen ounces of water one or two hours before a run should keep you well hydrated, unless you’re running an extensive distance. If you forget to drink ahead of time, consuming four to eight ounces of fluid fifteen to thirty minutes before exercise will usually be sufficient.

    These are, of course, only approximations. You can’t go wrong with drinking when you feel thirsty, as long as you don’t overhydrate. Pay attention to your body’s needs. Many runners track their fluid intake in a running journal, so they can fine-tune how much they need to drink depending on the distance they plan to run.

    Consider the Season
    You’ll need more hydration on a hot summer run than you will on a cool fall day, so plan accordingly. Having water on hand during the summer helps you stay hydrated, and comes in handy for cooling off—you can always upend the bottle over your head.

    Cold is Better
    In 2008, a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reported runners who consumed an icy slush prior to exercising ran ten minutes longer than when they only had a cold drink. It seems the colder temperature tricks the body into thinking it’s not performing as hard.

    To keep your water chilled during a run, fill a bottle halfway with filtered water and freeze it. Shortly before your run, top it up with water. Choosing a Pelican H2GO bottle and using water from a home filtration system is more environmentally conscious than using plastic bottles, cheaper than buying bottled water, and better for your health.

    After the Run
    Be careful what you drink after your run. A single sugary sports drink can completely negate the calorie burn of a short run. Clean, filtered water is generally the better choice. Some runners recommend drinking enough water post-run to need to use the bathroom within an hour and a half, but again, listening to your body and drinking until you’re no longer thirsty is the best means of gauging post run hydration needs. For all your filter water and sports hydration needs, contact a Pelican Water specialist today at 877-842-1635 to find the system that fits your needs!