Easy Ways To Stay Hydrated During Training
I went to visit a friend over the weekend who lives in Tucson, AZ. Because I’m training for a marathon in April, I set aside time each day to run. Despite being adequately trained for the mileage I had a difficult time maintaining my training because of the change in climate and all the travel. The reason for this was simple enough, but it’s a common occurrence for runners: dehydration.
It’s no secret that water intake plays an important role in any workout, but I notice it most when I’m running. When I was a beginning runner I didn’t know how to spot the not-so-clear signs:
—Increased heart rate
—Decrease in sweat output
—Increased body temperature
—Lack of energy
Now that I’m a little more experienced, I can usually tell as soon as a run starts whether or not I’ve had enough liquids that day. Below are a few tips I’ve learned to help you stay hydrated while you’re training for an event.
Let’s start with the most obvious…
Drink water. Duh. It’s helpful to carry a bottle of water around with you and try to refill it a couple times throughout the day. Another thing I try to do is drink at least one glass of water every morning with breakfast (even if you’re just grabbing some toast or a granola bar). This jumpstarts your day and —in my opinion— gives you more energy than just having coffee. Drink one more full glass with dinner or before going to bed.
Don’t forget electrolytes! Water is obviously a great way to hydrate, but when you spend a significant amount of time sweating (during a workout, for example), your body will need a little more than just that. I used to avoid sports drinks due to their high calorie count and cost (when compared to water, which can usually be found for free at water fountains). However, once I started adding in juices to my training program I noticed a huge difference in how I felt. Most of the time they didn’t help my workout go any better, but I FELT better walking around afterward, and that’s important to me, especially since I’m prone to episodes of hangry-ness. If you’re worried about the nutrition of it all, try a post-workout smoothie to get the much-needed hydration, carbs, and electrolytes.
Last, but not least…
Food helps. Everyone knows fruits and veggies are a good source of water. For those who aren’t interested in eating a salad every day, other foods can be helpful when trying to stay hydrated, as well. For example, yogurt is a snack that’s easy to take to work and great for hydrating. Soups are a good source of liquids, especially those with lots of broth. Twenty percent of our fluid intake comes from the foods we eat, so make sure not to skip meals during training!
Obviously, there are tons of ways to stay hydrated, but these are a few that work for me. Hopefully this will help all you runners out there to drink up and reach those goal times!