Hydration for Runners

A 1985 study by Armstrong, Costill, and Fink rather bluntly proves the effects of dehydration on running. Aside from the more obvious symptoms of mild dehydration such as headache and light-headedness, dry mouth, extreme thirst and confusion, the study showed that runners slowed nearly 80 seconds during a 5k and lost 2 minutes and 40 seconds over a 10k due to dehydration. These effects are increased rapidly when running in hot environments.

Every day, an increasing number of us enter the world of marathon running, fresh faced and enthusiastic, all set to run our way to a healthier lifestyle whilst rocking the latest fashionable look in athletic wear and gear. Yet, whether amateur or budding professional, many of us remain woefully unaware of the right methods of hydration during a run.

running-manOur bodies mostly consist of water that fuels vital functions to keep us alive and is essential in maintaining stamina and increasing mileage. Proper hydration prevents the body from being fatigued and helps in faster recovery.

Drinking before, during and after your run keeps the body optimally hydrated. Dehydration causes excessive thirst and this often leads to runners gulping down large quantities of water at water stations or at the end of the run. Unfortunately, this is counterproductive as well as excessive intake of water leads to a condition known hyponatremia, the symptoms of which include disorientation, headache, muscle weakness and nausea and vomiting.

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The best way to stay hydrated is to drink when your body needs it. Listen to your body and monitor it. Sports drinks can be used in place of plain water as they provide the added benefit of electrolytes. The international marathon medical directors association has suggested that during a marathon runners drink about 400-800 ml of fluid per hour. Consider investing in a hydration pack or belt that will enable you to have a regular intake of fluid and greatly reduces the risk of both dehydration and excessive fluid intake. Water isn’t the only source of hydration and milk and fruit juices are also good in small quantities. Fruits are a great source of water and nutrients as well and help with a faster recovery after a run.

Remember that proper hydration empowers you to be a healthy runner who can increase their mileage with the right blood flow and nutrients. Run your best by being aware of your water intake. With every sip, you will be a step closer to healthy runner who achieves their goals.

This article is brought to you by All participants of GHR Ooty will be offered a 30% discount on the Adventure Worx Hydralight Run – coupon codes will be sent to registered runners via email – stay tuned!


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