Hydration & Summer Running
We all know it’s important to hydrate before heading out for a run, especially with the summer time heat. But did you know that you can lose up to 2 liters of water per hour of exercise? Staying hydrated before and after a run are key to having a summer filled with solid running and easy recovery.
You say it’s important to hydrate. What are the effects of being dehydrated?
Dehydration can make you feel “out of it”. It can also cause you to feel dizzy, give you headaches, and cause your muscles to cramp up. Running on a cramped muscle can lead to strains or injury and not being properly hydrated can lengthen the time needed to recover between runs/workouts. Overall, being dehydrated is poor for your body.
What can I do before my run to avoid dehydration?
The answer is simple – make sure you’re drinking water before you head out. And as you’ll see below, adding electrolytes to your water will help you retain the water better.
But don’t be fooled! Just because you chugged a glass of water before you ran out the door, doesn’t mean you’ll be hydrated for your run. Drinking a lot of water right before you leave your house will only lead to a sloshy stomach. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour after you drink your water to feel the benefits.
I drank a lot of water before I went for my run. But, what can I do to feel the best I can during the run?
Try to avoid running in the heat and always avoid running during the hottest point in the day. Although it’s tough to get your body moving well in the early morning or after a long day of work, we recommend running in the early hours or the day or in the late evening for optimal performance.
Focus on effort, not on pace. This is particularly important to keep in mind during summer training. Hitting a pace can feel more difficult than usual when it’s hot. The core body temperature will naturally be higher because it’s hotter outside. So as your temperature increases during exercise, you’ll feel pretty bad. It’s important to focus on giving a good effort over requiring your body to hit a specific pace. If you’re putting your body through more stress than you’re already asking from it, it can take longer to recover.
What can I do to rehydrate after my run?
It’s recommended to drink 25oz of fluid water per hour post run. The best way to retain that water is to include some healthy salty snacks in to your post run fuel. We also recommend including this type of healthy salt intake into your regular diet. A couple examples we love to include in our post run fuel routine are:
- Peanut butter and banana sandwiches
- Pita bread or crackers and hummus
- Trail mix with different nuts and fruits
It will also be helpful to include electrolytes in your drink. As we mentioned above, electrolytes will help retain water as well. There are many electrolyte mixes to choose from. The important things you’ll want from these mixes are: sodium, chloride, magnesium, and (a limited amount of) sugar. Bonus if you’re mix has potassium and zinc!
Your body will eventually adjust to the heat, but it will need some time to do so. It’s important to take the right steps before and after running for a smoother transition.
Here’s to a safe summer of hydrated running!