Why You Should Never Chug Water Before Going On A Run

Running is a fun and beneficial exercise. It's easy to understand its popularity as it requires little equipment and provides many benefits. You can go for a run almost any time and anywhere, as long as you're up for it.

No matter how or where you do your running, you'll reap the many benefits that the mind and body receive from the versatile activity. Running releases endorphins (per WebMD), which are also known as the happy chemical that makes you feel good. So not only will you get some exercise in for the day, but you may end up feeling more positive and alert than before you started. Besides boosting mood, the chemicals released during running can reduce stress and help improve sleep to help keep you sharp the next day.

Running can improve cardiovascular health. Running improves your resting heart rate, which helps protect the heart from working too hard all the time. Running just 10 minutes can significantly reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease (per WebMD). When you run, you improve cardiovascular ability, which translates into being able to do more without being out of breath, while at the same time reducing your chances of disease (per Livestrong). While it's evident that running is a useful exercise, there is a common mistake to avoid next time you head out for a run.

Running requires hydration

Though you don't need much for a run, not planning appropriately can turn your exercise effort into more of a struggle than necessary. Hydration is a crucial aspect of running. Running usually means sweating, and sweating means losing the body's essential fluid and nutrients (per Brigham Health Hub). Sweating is not bad, but not correctly replenishing what is lost can be. 

Hydration should occur over time throughout the day and week regardless of exercise. It is recommended for the average adult to drink at least 60 ounces of water a day. The amount you should drink goes up if you are a runner and frequently sweat (per Runner's World). 

Unfortunately, it's not always easy for runners to drink enough water. It's not a sugary beverage and often has little taste, leading many to forego it for something else. Remembering to sip fluids during the day, at work, and afterward also takes diligence. Water levels are important to monitor, though, because when it comes time to run, it is too late to catch up by chugging water.

Chugging water can ruin your run

Chugging water before a run can lead to multiple issues. Consuming large amounts of water right before you step outside will get the fluid into your body, but it can leave you feeling too full, notes Runner's World.

Drinking a lot of water right before you run may also lead to you having to stop and use the bathroom. Chugging will make your bladder go from empty to full very quickly, and all that fluid has to go somewhere. Depending on how much you drank, the full feeling or just the sheer amount of fluid may lead to an inconvenient urge to stop (per Livestrong).

Finally, drinking too much water before your run can cause you to overhydrate. Overhydration can result from taking in too much water without urinating. This combination can lead to unhealthy changes in sodium, an electrolyte essential in balancing the body's fluids. Overhydration is dangerous and can lead to symptoms such as confusion, headaches, cramping, dizziness, and fatigue (per Runner's World). Seek medical assistance if you experience symptoms of overhydration.

Rather than trying to get all your water at once, try using moderation and drink a reasonable amount of water before, during, and after running.