Monday, October 26, 2015
Not quite sure how to keep yourself properly hydrated with the right nutrition intake? Here are some great tips to keep in mind!
1. Why it’s important?
The true importance of hydration can often be disregarded, but just look at the numbers. Water makes up most of our total body weight, around 50-60%! So it is vital we keep hydrated. This doesn’t mean only drinking water when thirsty, because thirst is a sign that we are already dehydrated. Avoiding that state is the goal. It is also popular to believe we only need to hydrate when it is hot out. This just isn’t true. While it is true that we lose a great deal of water when we sweat in the heat, our bodies are always in need of hydration because this doesn’t just happen in the heat. Hot, cold, rain, snow, sun, or clouds; water is essential.
2. Hydration Products:
So, to break the habit of only drinking water when thirsty or when it is hot out, it is important to find the most convenient and comfortable hydration product that will encourage you to hydrate on your run instead of being a burden. Some people prefer handhelds, while others prefer not holding the bottle. Handhelds come in different shapes and sizes here from Nathan and Ultimate Direction. When shopping for these, keep in mind the different bottle features such as squeeze top and pull top, along with the different sleeves on the bottles.
Those who feel more comfortable not holding a bottle can wear a hydration belt instead. Belts are available with 1, 2, 4 and even more bottles around the waist, but 4 bottles seems to balance the best on the body, because of the distribution of weight. A standard rule of thumb for runners can be that 2 bottles satisfies up to half a marathon, and 4 bottles should be carried for anything over that. Both handheld bottles and belts work just as well, but people are different, and identifying the most convenient style is very important to help maintain hydration.
3. What to carry in the bottles?
Once you have found the right hydration product it is important to know what to carry in it. Belts make it easy. You can usually divide the bottles up where half of them have water, and the other half have an electrolyte replacement (Gatorade, heed, gu brew, etc.). Should you decide to take nutrition, always make sure to carry enough water, because nutrition should be taken while properly hydrating. These two topics: nutrition and hydration often come hand-in-hand for runners. It is important to remember how to maintain hydration levels overall as well as how to balance the nutrition intake with the right water intake to have it be effective.