Proper Hydration for Long Distance Runs

Hi everyone!

I apologize for not posting, my professor did not want me updating the blog until he graded an assignment I used this site for. In any case, I would like to tell you a story:

As a Public Relations student nearing the end of her last semester of college, projects begin to pile up, readings need to be completed, and it feels like there is never enough time in a day. How do you remedy this? Why, with copious amounts of caffeine! Coffee, energy drinks, even energy supplements. Anything to keep you awake and moving.

Well, when it came time for my weekend run (if you all remember, this is the weekly longer distance run), I got 12 minutes in and had to stop. I was gritting my teeth and close to tears.

While in immense pain, I thought this would be a good topic to cover. Proper hydration before running.

When your body is going through this intense workout, especially for those beginners out there, it needs plenty of fluids to use to cool itself down while keeping your organs functioning. When you are lacking proper hydration, disaster strikes and you can end up hurting yourself more than helping!

Pain from lack of hydration is usually felt in the lower back and can stretch to the lower stomach. This area is where your kidneys are, and if they’re hurting, you NEED TO STOP. I took a break from running for two days after the incident just so I could drink enough water.

Which leads to the question, what is enough water?

Yes, there is such a thing as OVER hydrating, but let’s be serious here: You have to drink GALLONS (more than 2) a DAY to over hydrate. Or…you know…be my mother and drink water and Gatorade at EVERY STOP during the half marathon (we’ll get to this later, but for now just know you shouldn’t do that).

I personally drink 4 glasses of water a day (but my water glass is HUGE, so in actuality I drink about 8 a day). This is the recommended amount  by…well every health professional out there.

Before you run, the ENTIRE DAY BEFORE you run, you should drink 8 glasses in order to give your body the hydration it needs for the run the next day. After your run, drink more water the rest of the day to replenish what you lost.

I know, if you don’t drink a lot of water, that this seems like a lot. But let’s look at this from a health perspective: water has countless benefits, our bodies are mostly water, plus if you substitute a glass of water for a soda you can drop 5 pounds in about 3 weeks (this is if you cut soda out completely, INCLUDING diet soda, which actually makes you crave sugar and sweet things more than it subsides it).

So the point is, properly hydrate before a run. Keep your caffeine consumption to about one cup of coffee in the morning. If you need more, try the V8 Energy drinks*, or MIO energy drinks*. But make sure you drink lots of water afterwards.

*No, these companies are not compensating me for mentioning them. I actually use their products and am suggesting them to you from personal experience.

 

Have a Magical run, and stay safe!
~Kati

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