Running is one of the best ways to stay fit – physically and mentally. Find out why and how to stay hydrated while running.
For many people, running is not just about staying fit. It’s also a great joy to be free in the open road out in the fresh air taking in the beautiful surroundings. Many people take up running long distances as the best workout for their minds and soul. But you need to ensure that your body gets everything it needs so that you can have the best performance for a long-distance run. One of the best ways to ensure this is by having balanced nutrition with ample minerals and vitamins and drinking plenty of water.
It’s not a secret that it can be quite a challenge to stay hydrated while running. Inadequate hydration during a run can cause several physical discomfort and cramps.
This article will discuss how to help keep your body hydrated when you go out on the long runs.
Decide On A Running Plan That Suits You
First of all, you need to find out just how much running is right for you. For this, you need to balance whatever health-related issues you might have with your athletic goals. You should always consult your doctor whether running is right for your health conditions and discuss how much running should be included in your workout regimen. Once you are cleared to run by your doctor, you have to pick the right running plan that will enable you to keep your running performance at the optimum level.
Let Your Thirst Decide How Much To Drink
You have to keep in mind that every individual is different in the water their body requires. So, the amount of water you will need depends on your metabolic rate and your perspiration rate. Now there are no set rules about how much water or food a person needs. When you are set up your nutrition intake charts, there should be a few things that you need to consider. Gender, age, and physical size are the primary points of focus. Then other variables affect the needs of a person, setting him apart from others.
So it is important to listen to your body and consume water and food as per your physical requirements. To put it simply, drink when you feel thirsty. While you are running, you can wear a hydration pack; this way, instead of gulping down large quantities of water at the beginning or end of the run, you can just take small sips when you feel thirsty along your run.
Drink Alcohol And Caffeine In Moderation
Alcohol and caffeine act as diuretics and can cause dehydration. So if you are prepping for a long-distance run, you definitely need to limit alcohol and coffee intake days before the run. It is, however, not required for you to give them up totally. Some studies have shown that consuming alcohol or caffeine causes your body to eliminate more water. There is a misconception that any fluids can help you to be hydrated. The truth is that if you drink a refreshing cold beer in the middle of a hot summer day, your body will end up being more dehydrated. So beware of drinking too much alcohol or coffee on sweltering days.
Remember To Consume Adequate Electrolytes
The level of electrolytes you have in your body directly affects the status of your hydration. You may think that drinking water alone is enough to keep you hydrated. However, the truth is, once you start to sweat during running, not replenishing the electrolytes will result in dehydrating even sooner. If continued, this condition might lead to serious health issues. The best way to remedy this is by taking salt supplements or fluids rich in electrolytes while on a long-distance run. Salt and electrolyte supplements help maintain proper hydration. So by taking these supplements or electrolyte-rich drinks, you will be providing your body the energy it needs to ensure the best performance.
Start To Hydrate Early On
By drinking water early in the day, you are ensuring that your hydration levels are adequately maintained. Drinking water earlier in the day keeps your hydration level high throughout the day. So start by drinking water in small amounts as soon as you wake up. You can keep a small water bottle with you for convenience throughout the day so you can take sips constantly.
Don’t Drink Too Much Water.
If you are looking to run long-distance, especially for a race, you must not drink too much water before the start as it will significantly slow you down while you are running. You also run the risk of washing away crucial minerals and electrolytes required to keep your body working at optimal levels by overhydrating yourself.
Drink Water Before You Start Your Meal
Drinking water before you start to eat your meal will not only keep you hydrated it will also limit the amount of food you eat. This happens as you feel full or less hungry by drinking a glass of water before your meal. So you impulsively eat less. Overeating food will invariably sap your energy during the race and slow you down by making you sluggish.
Running long-distance or taking part in a race requires a lot of energy and practice. Drinking adequate water and staying properly hydrated is a crucial part of your preparation. So follow the steps mentioned above to ensure a happy and healthy run.