A guide to Hydrating Before, During, and After a Run

A guide to Hydrating Before, During, and After a Run

As a runner, performing at your best requires understanding hydration and how to properly fit fluid intake around your run. Proper hydration can help you run longer, recover faster, and avoid injury. Unfortunately, many runners struggle with when to drink and how much they should be drinking.

Hydrating Before a Run

A couple of hours before a run you should aim to drink around 500-600 ml of water. Then around 15 minutes before a run you should drink another 200-300 ml of water. It is best to avoid high-sugar drinks. Sugar provides an instant blood sugar spike which will rapidly disappear leaving you fatigued. Coffee and high-caffeine drinks provide energy, boosting performance. However, during exercise, your body redirects blood toward active muscle groups and away from the digestive system, which can slow digestion and cause stomach discomfort. Aim to consume a healthy, balanced meal of hydration-rich foods before your run. The timing of your meal before a run can vary depending the nature of the run. In general, it's recommended to eat a meal 2-4 hours before a long or intense run, and to have a smaller snack 30-60 minutes before a short or less intense run. 

It's important to remember that a pre run routine that works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different pre-run meals and snacks to determine what works best for you and your running performance.

Hydrating During a Run

When running it is crucial to stay well hydrated. Experts recommend drinking somewhere around 200-300ml of water every 10-20 minutes depending on the conditions. If it is hot or humid you will almost certainly need more fluid than on a cold or overcast day. Dinking too much water can be harmful, causing stitches, bloating, upset stomachs, and even in extreme cases hyponatremia (water intoxication). Everyone is different so remember to listen to your body and drink more or less as needed. Using a hydration pack or water bottle will allow you to drink water on the go. Consider giving your body more electrolytes through a sports drinks or electrolyte tablet.

Hydrating After a Run

After you finish running when winding down it is important to replenish your fluids. Aim to drink at least 400ml - think 2 normal sized glasses of water. Also, look to refuel with hydration-rich foods such as proteins, fruits and vegetables.

Keep these tips in mind to help ensure you get properly hydrated before, during, and after your run. Remember, everyone's needs are different, so it's essential to listen to your body and adjust any hydration routines as needed. Stay hydrated and happy running!


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