There’s more to hydration than water, in fact, did you know that if you drink too much water you’ll actually dehydrate yourself?
Every time you sweat you lose both fluids & electrolytes and both are keys to health and performance. The average athlete loses 27-47oz of fluid per hour of exercise, and to maintain health and performance those fluids and electrolytes should be replaced during and after exercise.
Here are our top hydration hacks to ensure your training runs stay happy and hydrated:
The night before your training run or relay, drink an electrolyte-rich fluid before bed, and start your next morning the same way. Drinking water alone can dilute the electrolyte levels in your system, which is counter-productive to hydration. By topping off both fluids and electrolytes you’ll ensure your body is prepared to run.
Practice Makes Perfect
When we say “nothing new during the relay”, we mean it! Practice every detail, from your apparel to your nutrition to your timing. When it comes to hydration, we recommend training with a handheld or stashing bottles along your route to ensure you can hydrate frequently enough to simulate the van support you’re sure to get at Ragnar events.
Hydrate Slowly Post Run
Run? Check! Stretching? Check! Hop in the van? Check! Chug 32oz of delicious ice cold fluids… not so fast! After a lot of sweating (dehydration) it takes your body time to effectively absorb fluids and return to a healthy status. Do be sure to reach for that bottle as soon as your run is done, but drink slowly, include electrolytes, and continue to focus on hydration as a priority for hours afterward.
Food Counts for Fluids
Watermelon? Help yourself! Foods high in water content do count toward your daily fluid intake. If you don’t feel as thirsty as usual after enjoying a bowl of fruit or a big salad, don’t fret and be confident that you’re getting essential vitamins, minerals, and fluids out of your meal.
But Food Does Not Count for Proper Electrolyte Blends
Most foods high in water content don’t contain sufficient levels of electrolytes for proper absorption. This means if you’re preparing your body for a training session or your next leg, you still need to add electrolytes to water to hydrate effectively.
Find a Bottle You Like
Find a reusable bottle that’s easy to carry and enjoyable to drink from, and you really will find yourself hydrating more frequently. There are so many options available, and whether you prefer a straw to a sport top, or aluminum to glass, making fluids available throughout your day will encourage you to drink more. Check out NATHAN‘s handheld bottles that are great for long training days.
Add Healthy Flavor to Your Water
Studies have shown that adding light and refreshing flavor to your water can increase your desire to drink. Furthermore, electrolytes will help your body make the most of your fluids and nutrients. When you really need to ramp up your fluid intake, such as before, during, and after exercise, add GU Energy drink tabs to help replenish.