Water is the most important component of our bodies, comprising about 60% of our weight. Consequently, it is essential to make up for water loss during and after a run. Hydration must be every runner's priority before, during and after every run! When you're running, dehydration is your worst enemy. It will decrease performance, reduce your speed and cause muscle and tendon pain.
Did you know?
A subtle degree of dehydration – a loss of only 1% of your body weight in water – reduces physical and muscular performance by 10%.
During training or competitive running, it is essential to stay hydrated in order to avoid injuries, tendinitis, cramps, fatigue, hypothermia, digestion problems and reduced performance.
Water should be every runner's best friend.
Drink enough water every day
Adults lose about 2.5 litres of water per day. Consequently, your goal should be to offset these losses in order to balance fluid intake. You normally ingest about one litre of water during your three daily meals. You need to drink water to get the other litre and a half.
These needs will increase in hot, dry running conditions, especially when you do physical activity.
When you're running, never wait to drink until you're thirsty
Thirst is not a good indicator of hydration since you don't get thirsty until it's too late. You will only get thirsty when you've already lost at least 1% of your body weight to dehydration. It is therefore important to drink more water than your body is asking you for.
Did you know? A loss of just 2% of your body weight in water will decrease your performance by 20%!!!
Drink enough to stay hydrated
To keep your body close to its normal temperature, your body uses an effective cooling system: perspiration. On average, we sweat off between 0.5 and 1 litre of water per hour. This can increase to 3 litres of water per hour for an experienced runner. It is therefore important to make up for the water we sweat off in order to avoid dehydration.
Drink regularly to stay hydrated
Drink before, during and after exercise.
- Before your run, hydrate to prepare for the water you will lose while exercising;
- During your run, compensate for the water you lose when you sweat;
- After your run, continue to hydrate in order to make up for inevitable water loss and to avoid low water levels, which can be the source of muscle pain.
To stay well hydrated during your run, drink at least 100 to 150 ml (1 to 2 sips) every 10 to 15 minutes. To help prevent stomach problems, your drink should be cool but not too cold (about 15°C).
Recognise the signs of dehydration
The first signs of dehydration include:
- Increased heart rate;
- Decreased blood pressure; and
- Lower performance.
Moderate dehydration will be marked by fatigue and weariness.
Symptoms of severe dehydration include intense thirst, heavy legs, shortness of breath, muscle and tendon pain, and sprains, amongst other factors.
Severe dehydration changes the overall conditions in your body and sometimes requires urgent medical care.
If one of these symptoms appears, it is already too late to react, since your body cannot absorb water fast enough to quickly make up for dehydration.
Therefore, don't forget to drink regularly to STAY HYDRATED
This information was provided by our partner, Aptonia.
Marie F. , an Aptonia nutritionist