Hydration for Runners

Marathon Hamburg 2006Did you hear what happened at the London Marathon this weekend? Someone passed away three miles from the finish line due to cardiac arrest, and another runner had difficulty with hyponatremia–a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is too low.

With the weather getting sunnier, it’s important to keep hydration top of mind. You don’t want to face all the challenges stemming from lack of H20 and electrolytes in the body from working out. Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Carry a water bottle with you at all times. You should aim for 60 ounces of water every day. I have friends that try to reach 70 ounces and noticed a big change in energy when they did this. It’s tough to do, but you can try.

I personally don’t like the taste of water. I find it bland and force myself to drink it. I’ve had better luck adding in fresh, cut up fruit and vegetables to water, such as sliced lemons, raspberries and cut up cucumbers. You can purchase water bottles in which you can infuse fruits and veggies for a more creative flavor profile.

2. For coffee and soda drinkers: For each cup of coffee and can of soda, drink eight ounces of water to even it out.

3. Try to drink a glass of water before each meal. This will help you feel full AND get you better hydrated.

4. Drink a glass of water with each meal to help with digestion. Try to stay away from ordering anything but water at restaurants–and this helps save money, too.

5. Watch your urine. You should strive for a light yellow color. This is especially important after you work out. You might notice a dark color and should immediately begin replenishing the liquid lost.

Staying hydrated will help you with energy, maintaining weight and your ability to run as hard as possible.