Water - Our Most Important Nutrient as a Runner

Our body is composed of almost 70% water. Needless to say, it is vitally important to our overall health.

You should be taking in about 64 ounces (2.5 Liters) a day or roughly 8 cups. For most people this is very difficult to do as it seems like something you have to plan out through the day and really who has time to do that?

When Should You Be Drinking Water?

The best way to intake your liquid is to drink at least a cup at each one of your meals and three cups in between breakfast and lunch, two cups between lunch and dinner and one right before you go to bed. Always start your day with a big glass of water as this will help to get you into a healthy state of mind, jump start your metabolic functions, and re-hydrate after a long night without drinking.

Sounds technical, huh? Not really though, a good rule of thumb is that when you are starting to feel thirsty then you are already starting to become dehydrated. So your goal is to try to not get to that point.

However when you are exercising you will need to take in more (and obviously you will want to). It is so important to stay hydrated before during and after working out. Drink at least a cup of H2O after you workout but the more the better! Your body loses a lot of liquid through sweat and energy expenditure and so you need to replenish your supplies to fight against dehydration.

Here are tips for staying hydrated during a run and how to hydrate before, during and after a long run or race. 

If you drink protein drinks, or energy shakes after your workout that is great just remember to get at least one cup of H2O in you.

Hydrating during long runs in your marathon training may be difficult but you should set up a strategic way to make sure you are staying hydrated. Some like to place bottles along their route so that they don’t have to carry them with them. Believe me, without fluids you will begin to feel very crummy during a long run in a very short time. So don’t forget your liquid!

What About Other Beverages?

Many people drink sodas, coffee and other drinks which are actually dehydrating forms of liquid. It is so easy to get addicted to drinking soft drinks and having your morning coffee but since these liquids only serve to dehydrate you try and remember this simple rule to offset their effects: drink one cup of water for every dehydrating drink you take in.

Yes, that’s a lot of fluid a day especially if you are a three-cups-of-coffee-in-the-morning person. Just try and be aware of what liquids you are taking in and if you are getting enough. Set up a system that works for you just know that the benefits of drinking water are greater than any benefits offered by any other fluid.

As a long distance runner, or if you do runs that are an hour or longer, read this page on the benefits of energy drinks and how to choose the right one as a runner

The Benefits of Staying Hydrated

  • Some people find that staying hydrated actually curbs their appetite and even helps you to cut out eating that snacky, junk food that is always so tempting in between meals.
  • Drinking liquid is also an excellent way to hydrate your skin and give your face a good texture and tone.
  • It helps you to stay awake and get through the day especially if you have a desk job.
  • It helps the body rid itself of toxins after a day filled with lots of fat and sugar consumption.

So drink up!

Return from Water to Marathon Nutrition

Running Tips for Hydration


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