Dehydration is a very real threat which all runners should recognize and develop a plan of action for avoiding this problem. Runners are susceptible to dehydration both in warm weather and cold weather. This may be surprising to some who incorrectly assume that there is only a potential for dehydration during warm weather when the runner is likely sweating profusely. While runners do lose a great deal of fluid through this type of sweating, they are also usually more aware of the potential for dehydration and as a result are more likely to take the proper precautions. Additionally, the runners usually experience signs of dehydration such as thirst which will usually prompt them to begin to drink more. However, dehydration is also a concern in cold weather. When running in this type of weather the runner may still sweat and may also lose fluid through respiration. However, the runner may not be aware of this fluid loss and therefore may not realize the need to drink enough water or replacement drink to avoid dehydration. This article will provide readers with a few useful tips for avoiding dehydration while running.
One piece of advice which can help to combat dehydration is to carefully weigh yourself before and after running to establish how much weight has been lost through fluids. Weighing yourself before the run will give you a good baseline weight. After returning from your run, remove any clothing which is soaked with sweat and weigh yourself again. For every pound of weight you have lost, you should consume 16 ounces of water o sports replacement drinks . This is because any weight which was lost during the course of a run is likely the result of fluid loss and runners should aim to replenish the fluid which was lost as soon as possible.
Making a concerted effort to drink before, during and after your run can also help you to avoid the dangers of dehydration. Before each run, the runner should take care to ensure he is properly hydrated. This may be accomplished by drinking a cup or two of water or sports replacement drinks shortly before a run. However, care should be taken to avoid drinking too much liquid immediately before a run because it can make you feel uncomfortable during the run. Runners should also plan on drinking during their run as well. There are a number of commercially available products which make carrying your own water during runs both comfortable and easy. These products include simple water bottle holders as well as packs designed to hold a bladder which can be filled with liquid. These are similar to hydration packs often worn by bicyclist except the ones for runners are usually worn around the waist instead of as backpacks. During the course of the run, the runner should make an effort to drink according to a schedule instead of waiting until he feels thirsty to drink. This is critical because once a runner starts to feel thirsty, dehydration has already set in and it can take substantially more liquid to replenish what has already been lost. Taking in small amounts of water every 15-30 minutes should work well to help a runner avoid dehydration.
Runners who are going for longer runs such as marathons or training runs for a marathon or other long distance event should plan on taking along a sports replacement drinks instead of just water. These drinks contain sodium which not only helps to replace the sodium which has been lost through sweating but also helps to encourage the runner to drink even more. This can be helpful during long runs because losing too much salt and only using water as a replacement can make the runner susceptible to hyponatremia.