In preparation for my third Peachtree 10k, today is one of my weekly long runs. It’s also the beginning of summer here in Georgia, which isn’t particularly a runner-friendly climate. This had me thinking about something wet and wild — hydration.
I often struggle with staying properly hydrated while exercising. I know this because I often inflict the following pains upon myself:
- I get cramps on my sides, which means I need to take deep breaths.
- I get stomach cramps, which means I ate to much or too recently.
- I get muscle cramps, which means I’m dehydrated.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
So, this led to me wonder how much should I drink before, during, and after exercising?
- Drink a glass of water 10-15 minutes before you start to exercise.
- Plan to drink fluids every 20-30 minutes during exercise.
- Drink 20-24 ounces for each pound lost during exercise to help replenish fluids.
I also found some other advice on how to stay hydrated to avoid cramps, as well as simply stay healthy.
- Remember caffeine and alcohol will make you expel water, so drink less the days prior to a long run.
- During the race, all your drinking should be done in the beginning. Stop at these early water breaks.
- Beware the Gatorade. It can often be too sugary and often doesn’t replace the need for proper amounts of water.
- Post race, look toward protein rather than sugar to help rebuild those muscles. Gatorade G-Series has a well-reviewed drink for this called Recover.