Running and Hydration

Jul 26

 

 

I took a few sections about hydration out of an old Runners World article on hydration. It is very informative and I ask that you not only read it, but understand the importance of hydration and the role it plays in better racing and recovery.

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RUNNERS KNOW it’s important to stay hydrated to run their best, especially in the summer. “Being more than two percent dehydrated in warm environments causes a decline in performance,” says Robert W. Kenefick, Ph.D., a physiologist with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. To keep fluids handy, you probably stash a water bottle in a gym bag or leave sports drink in your car. But to really improve performance, you need to be more than a casual sipper. A number of recent studies offer runners smarter ways to stay hydrated while also giving their running a boost. Here’s how you can apply some of these strategies to your own hydration plan and run your best all summer long.

PRE-HYDRATE TO RUN FAST
WHY In a study in the April 2010 Journal of Athletic Training, runners who started a 12-K race dehydrated on an 80-degree day finished about two and a half minutes slower compared to when they ran it hydrated. Dehydration causes your blood volume to drop, which lowers your body’s ability to transfer heat and forces your heart to beat faster, making it difficult for your body to meet aerobic demands.
DRINK UP Drink eight to 16 ounces one to two hours before a run. Sports drinks and water are good choices, says running coach Cassie Dimmick, R.D.

Didn’t plan ahead? Fifteen to 30 minutes before going out, drink at least four to eight ounces of fluid.
GO COLD FOR LONGER RUNS
WHY In a study published in 2008 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, cyclists who drank cold beverages before and during their workout exercised nearly 12 minutes longer than those who drank warm beverages. And in a study published this year, runners who had an ice slushy ran about 10 minutes longer than when they had a cold drink. In both cases, the drink that was colder lowered body temperature and perceived effort, allowing participants to exercise longer.
DRINK UP Before going for a hot run, have a slushy made with crushed ice and your favorite sports drink. To keep drinks chilled while you run, fill a bottle halfway, freeze it, and top it off with fluid before starting.

What’ll You Have?

ONE HOUR OR LESS (note- this is the length and approx. total time of most practices)
Three to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. Water is usually fine. For a tough run over 30 minutes, consider a sports drink to give you a kick of energy at the end.

POST RUN
Replace fluids, drinking enough so you have to use the bathroom within 60 to 90 minutes postrun. Usually eight to 24 ounces is fine, but it varies based on running conditions. A sports drink like Gatorade is much better then water after a race.

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