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The weather map indicates thirsty weather. Staying properly hydrated before, during and after running will be a focus in the coming months. Read the why and how here.

Once it was forbidden. Marathon or not, it had to and would be done without supplies. No gels, no sports drinks. Nope, no water either. Not even at high temperatures? Nothing.

Fortunately, common sense emerged after a few years and the importance of hydration before, during and after exercise was realized. It’s not just for your overall health that it’s an important concern. Sufficient fluid replenishment is also essential to avoid losing performance.

Small sip theory

The human body consists of 50% water where it performs a resembling set of important functions . Therefore, it is important to maintain volume. If the fluid level in your body drops by 1%, there is already reduced physical capacity. Especially during endurance efforts. From 2% fluid loss we speak of dehydration.

If this fluid loss is not replenished in a timely manner, a reaction will not fail to occur. Your body and sports performance suffer immediately:

  • Your heart rate increases;
  • Your body temperature is not optimally regulated;
  • Muscle cramps occur;
  • Your mentalalertness/responsiveness deteriorates;
  • You will immediately perceive efforts as much heavier.

How do you stay properly hydrated before, during and after running?

Above all, don’t let your thirst drive you. Thirst is not a counselor, but a symptom of dehydration. So preventable.

There is a training scheduled? Drink a little more beforehand to anticipate the extra fluid loss coming. The color of your urine can be a guide . The lighter the color, the better hydrated. Efforts up to one hour can thus be covered without additional fluids – admittedly depending on the temperatures and intensity at which you exercise. For efforts longer than one hour, it is best to drink about 150 ml every 15 minutes . This corresponds to a small glass.

Sports drinks provide carbohydrates and electrolytes in addition to fluids. So in hot weather, (isotonic) sports drinks may be preferable to water. In high temperatures, your carbohydrate burn increases so the extra supply is welcome.

Isotonic sports drinks also contain electrolytes (e.g., sodium, also known as salt). Since you sweat out electrolytes along with them, a dosed supplement can’t hurt. No sports drink in the house? You can possibly compensate for electrolyte loss by adding a small amount of salt (500-700 mg per liter) to your water .

After running , don’t forget to pay attention to your fluid balance , and with that, the first few hours after running are the most crucial.

Drinking while running, how do I practically handle it?

Meanwhile, there are many handy attributes for carrying drinks while running. For short(er) efforts, handhelds can be a solution. Thanks to the holder, your drinking bottle is comfortable to hold.

If you prefer to run hands-free, you can tuck your softflasks away in a loopbelt. Softflasks have the advantage of shrinking as the volume decreases. They also have a convenient drinking valve for trouble-free drinking even at high speed. These silicone drinking bottles are stocked in different volumes and also available in insulated packaging to keep your beverage fresh.

Are you facing a long run or walk, then there are the hydration backpackswhere you can easily store a larger volume of drinks. With the right size, this ultralight backpack sits securely around your torso and you barely feel it. At chest level, immediately within easy reach, space is provided for tucking away softflasks. A larger water tank can sometimes be tucked away on the back. A long hose with a drinking valve allows you to get to it while running.

Get advice at Runners’ lab

Do you still have questions about the options and essential accessories for carrying drinks while running? Then seek advice from our advisors. You can stop by our stores in Antwerp, Ghent, Paal-Beringen, Rumst, Zaventem or Zwijndrecht for that. We are also happy to advise you via the WhatsApp Live Chat (+32 479 05 65 99).