The Principles of Hydration

There is no mystery that hydration is most important to a runner’s daily training. Think of the daily consumption of water as an important part of the workout like stretching. Proper hydration increases energy while reducing heat related symptoms. Hydration is the key to a successful run, it is health to your flesh and strength to your bones.

Staying hydrated is a positive lean toward a great performance in training, more importantly, directing the path to the prevention of heat-related illnesses. Your day should start out first thing in the morning with 16 oz. of water. Most importantly drink a 16oz about an hour before your run. To make sure you’re hydrated before you start running, keep drinking small amounts of water around 6-8 oz. up to the start of the run.

In preparation for a long run or marathon it is important to start the hydration process a couple of days before. Drink half to a gallon of water each day up to the run. A great indicator of a well hydrated body is to see clear or pale urine. If your urine is dark color this will indicate the need to increase the water consumption. Avoid alcohol it dehydrates your body.

Dehydration or lake of proper fluid intake can lead to heat related illnesses. Signs or symptoms are headaches, lack of coordination, distortion, and cramping. Runners need to pay attention to what and how much they’re drinking before, during, and after exercise. This is an important practice that aids in the avoidance of heat exhaustion or stroke, which can lead to death.

The current intelligence on fluid consumption during your run is 4 to 6 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. More intense workouts such as speed work, the runner should drink 6 to 8 ounces every 20 minutes. During long runs ten-miles or more, some of the fluid intake should be a sports drink to replace sodium and electrolytes. The carbohydrates and electrolytes in the sports drinks also help you absorb the fluids faster.

“A Cool way” to measure your water intake by the sweat loss

To determine your sweat rate, which is a measurement of how much fluid a person needs to take in during a run. Weigh yourself before a run, and then again after the run. One pound of weight loss equals 1 pint of water loss. Calculation example: if you lose one-pound during an hour run, you would need one-pint to replace the fluid loss. The runner needs a small four-oz. every 15-minutes of running to keep up with the loss of fluid for an hour run. Remember that the runner needs to do this test on different times of the seasons allowing for moderate to extreme heat conditions for accurate measurement.

Drinking Principles

Principle 1: Staying Hydrated is most important to a runner’s daily routine. A gallon of water a day is what the doctor ordered. This is a great motto to use to measure the quantity of fluid intake. Of course you may not need a gallon a day, but a good rule of thumb is to sip water all day long and especially before and after a run. Get into obedience of drinking a measured amount of water every day. Principle 2: If your urine is dark yellow after your run, you need to keep rehydrating. It should be a light lemonade color or clear. Principle 3: Wisdom and understanding “obey your thirst” drink when your mouth is dry and when you feel the need to drink. Drink before runs and make sure you have access to fluids if running longer than 30 minutes.


Happy Drinking!

Oops I mean “Happy Running”


John Carlson
Coach RRCW

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