Let’s start with some quick math…take your body weight divided by 2 = total ounces needed each day.
Now that you know how much H2O you need let’s chat how to achieve that amount to reach optimum hydration…
Being hydrated properly supports sustained energy, proper digestion, skin elasticity, regulates blood pressure, aides in reducing bloating, and detoxifies the body naturally. Hold on though… it’s not just about H2O intake, we also need electrolytes and minerals to operate at our peak. Electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, phosphate, and chlorine help with both muscle and cell function. We can achieve balance through the use of supplements or by adding specific fruits and vegetables to our diet. Wait…What?!?! You can eat your water? Pretty sweet deal if you select options like cucumber, chia seeds, peaches, celery, tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini, peppers, and cauliflower not only are they nutritious and have a high water content, but they are delicious. WIN-WIN!
Hydrating myself while training is a bit of a tricky situation, but without a ton of trial and error (more error than anything else) I have nailed down a plan that works for me. Depending on what you are attempting to accomplish you may have to tweak things to fit you…everyone has different needs. When planning out my hydration game I take a few specific things into consideration: distance/duration/type of workout, temperature, and how I feel pre-workout.
In recent years I have found that I sweat way more than I ever did when I trained for my 1st marathon 12 years ago. Due to this cramping become a big problem. One I had to address head on. For short runs (3-5 miles)/20-50 minute workouts I hydrate prior to leaving the house and immediately after. On days when I need a little pick me up I will use a plant based pre-workout made by Beachbody. I don’t want to over do it so that I have a ton of liquid sloshing in my stomach so I mix up 8-10 oz with 1 scoop. For medium runs (5-13 miles)/50-60 minute workouts I use the same pre, but I will also bring water with me. I am not a fan of carrying a bottle so I use the Orange Mud HydraQuiver vest to keep my hands free. Every 2 miles or 20 minutes I break to grab a sip. This not only keeps me hydrated, but also helps to prepare me for races where aid stations are typically 1.5-2 miles apart. For long runs (13-26 miles) I switch from water to Tailwind Nutrition. I have found that is is much easier on my stomach then Gatorade which has given me issues in the past. I have used the Raspberry Buzz, Tropical Buzz, Mandrian Orange, and Lemon. On the back of the bag there are instructions to mix up the product according to your output. I have found the directions to be spot on for myself when mixing up my drink. I like the kick that the caffeinated version provides, but scale back when I know I will be out for a long time. My favorite is to combine Lemon (non-caffeine) and Raspberry Buzz (caffeine).
Wisconsin weather can be crazy and unpredictable requiring me to often adjust my hydration plan. I sweat like a beast so keeping a balance to prevent cramping is a full time job. If temps are more than 80 I treat my run like it is one step up from its actual distance (example short 3 mile run I treat it like a medium run) and use SaltStick caps 30 minutes in. Long efforts I will continue taking salt every 30-60 minutes until I finish.
The last thing I take into consideration when planning out my workout hydration is “how do I feel”. If I am tired or my body is sore from a previous workout I hydrated a little more. Not excessive, but enough to compensate for a hard effort my body is trying to recover from. I try to listen to my body before, during, and after a training session. Dialing in hydration takes time and a conscious effort to find what will work for you personally. I don’t have all the answers and I’m not an expert, but am starting to see success with the products that I use to help me get where I would like to be in regards to my fitness goals.
#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive