I am an avid runner and frequently participate in marathons.
I’ve learned the hydration is vital.
When I don’t drink enough water, my performance suffers. Insufficient hydration puts the body at risk of serious health problems. Water supplies energy to the body’s cells and cushions the joints. It removes waste and regulates body temperature. By drinking plenty of water, I minimize the chance of injury and cramping and speed up my recovery time. Whether the outdoor conditions are hot and humid or cloudy and chilly, I know that I still need to hydrate. The body generates twenty times more heat during a run, no matter the weather. While sweat helps to cool the body, it also results in the loss of water and electrolytes, such as sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Sacrificing more than two to three percent of body weight through fluid can lead to dehydration. Fatigue, headache, cramps and increased heart rate are signs of dehydration. I weigh myself before and after a run to determine how much fluid I’ve lost. I know that this fluid needs to be replaced. I make sure to drink water before, during and after my run. I start drinking extra amounts of water two to four hours before heading out on a long run. I don’t bother with sports drinks. I usually stick with plain water and sometimes add electrolyte tablets. I am conscientious about hydrating for 24 hours after the run, and I snack on healthy, water-based foods such as strawberries, watermelon and oranges. I take the time to warm up before the run, properly stretch and cool down afterward.