How To Stay Properly Hydrated While Running

Staying hydrated while running is vital to your overall health and well-being. That's because water makes up 60% of your total body weight, and helps carry out your body's most basic and important functions. For instance, water helps regulate your body temperature, eliminate waste, nourish your cells, and cushion or lubricate your joints, among other essential and necessary functions (via Runner's World).

When you run, however, your body starts to lose water through sweat, causing you to become dehydrated. Since running can convert heat into energy and increase your internal body temperature, your body cools itself off by sweating, which requires the continual replacement of those fluids. While mild dehydration during exercise is normal and temporary, it's important to rehydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water. Failing to do this can lead to concerning side effects, like headache, nausea, rapid heart rate, high body temperature, and dark-colored urine. Dehydration can be extremely dangerous, especially if you're exercising in warm weather.

How much you should drink before, during, and after a run

That's why it's important to stay hydrated before, during, and after a run. According to Brigham Health Hub, one way to stay hydrated is to drink regularly throughout the day. Sipping water during the day and eating fruit, which has water in it, can help replenish fluid losses. The best way to know whether or not you're properly hydrated is to check the color of your urine. If your urine is clear or light yellow, that means you are drinking enough water and are, therefore, sufficiently hydrated.

But exactly how much water should you drink right before and after going for a run? Experts recommend drinking 16 ounces of water around 2 hours before you start running, and 6 to 8 ounces about 15 minutes beforehand. The amount of water you need to drink during a run can vary from person to person, but people who tend to sweat a lot may need to drink every 15 minutes when running for more than an hour. Afterward, however, you should aim to consume 16 ounces of water with food.