By: Marisa Moore, MBA.RD.LD., Registered Dietician (@MarisaMoore)
Whether you run for your health or to enhance your physical beauty, proper hydration is essential. Water makes up more than 60% of the body and plays a critical role in metabolic processes. Unfortunately some people don’t get enough. The Institutes of Medicine recommend women get 91 ounces of water daily – from both food and drink.
Nothing ruins a run faster than dehydration. Thirst is just the beginning. Without proper attention, dehydration may cause premature fatigue, nausea and vomiting, leg cramps, dizziness and rapid heart rate. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix!
Plain water is usually OK for less than an hour of exercise. Sports drinks are recommended for more than an hour of exercise or if you’ll be in a warm environment and sweating a lot. Follow these guidelines to stay hydrated no matter the season.
Before and during your run:
- Drink at least 16 ounces (2 cups) fluid 1-2 hours before your run
- Drink 6-12 ounces fluid every 15-20 minutes during your run
After your run:
- Drink at least 16-24 oz. (2-3 cups) fluid per pound lost
- Drink until urine is pale or clear in color
- Invest in a reusable water bottle to keep water with you at all times.
- Jazz up plain water with slices of fresh fruit, mint, a splash of citrus juice or coconut water.
- Refresh with unsweetened iced tea.
- Eat hydrating fruits and veggies. Tomatoes, melons, berries and salad greens are about 90% water so eat up!
- Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol which can be dehydrating especially before a long run.
Check out Hydrate Right
for more information on proper hydration.
is a registered dietitian and owner of a speaking and nutrition consulting practice in Atlanta, GA.
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