If you’re a runner, there’s nothing quite like going out for a long run on a beautiful hot summer day. But when you’re in that almost zen-like run, it can be easy to get so caught up that you don’t even realize you’re dehydrated.
The initial signs of dehydration often include tiredness, increased thirst, decreased urine output, dizziness, unusual hunger, headache, confusion or muscle cramps. To prevent dehydration, stay prepared with these five tips.
Hydrate Straight Out of Bed
From regular gym-goers to professional athletes, one thing that everyone should have on their nightstand is a glass of water. When that alarm clock goes off, drink at least one 8 oz. glass of water. After seven to nine hours of sleep, replenish your body with water and food so your energy can last the day and throughout your run.
Hydrate Pre- and Post-Run
One to two hours before and after your run, it’s essential to drink up to 20 oz. of water. Also, make sure that you’re regularly staying hydrated on the days you aren’t running. Summertime brings with it summer parties where many people increase their alcohol consumption. Since alcohol can be dehydrating, try to abstain a day or two before your scheduled endurance runs.
Take a Break Mid-Run
Oftentimes, you start out sufficiently hydrated, but halfway through your run, your energy plummets. To go the distance, try carrying one to two small 4-8 oz. bottles of water with you. If you’d rather not hold anything, look into investing in a portable hydration pack.
Consider Your Electrolytes
Drinking too much water can sometimes work against you. Drinking more water than your body needs can lead to a condition called hypernatremia. Your body needs a balance of electrolytes like sodium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium in order for the water to be utilized properly. Make sure you’re drinking your electrolytes! Coconut water is a fantastic source of natural electrolytes that’s simultaneously hydrating.
Did you know that fruit is an excellent pre-run snack? As a simple carbohydrate, fruit provides instant energy to get you through your workout without weighing you down. Fruits like apples, watermelon, pineapple and strawberries also hold a lot of water, which can add to your hydration routine.
Whether today’s your long run, short run or even your day off, staying consistent with your hydration and nutrition is an everyday priority. But when the temperature goes up, so does the amount of water and electrolytes you need to drink!
Lisa Payne is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, and travel. She stems from a background in television, playwriting, and personal training. Always on the go, follow her on social media or check out her website at lisapaynefitness.com.