When it comes to running long distances, staying fully hydrated is important to great performance. Staying fully hydrated avoids headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps; depending on the weather, staying hydrated could even prevent a person from heat exhaustion and heatstroke. To be well hydrated during and after your run, you need to drink water before, during, and after your run. The amount of water every person needs to drink is different, but the hours before a person should drink their water is roughly the same for everyone.
You should be drinking steady quantities of water on a daily basis, but according to RunnersWorld.com, you would want to drink water or a sports drink about sixteen ounces an hour or two before you head out for your run. Drinking too much water before your run could give you stomach cramps and may give you the urge to pee during your run.
During Your Run
It’s generally recommended for runners to drink anywhere from four to ten ounces of fluid every fifteen to twenty minutes. (In my case, I go a little over the minimum.) Drinking water is fine for anyone running under an hour—any run over the hour generally calls for a sports drink, because your body starts losing carbohydrates and electrolytes. According to RunnersWorld.com, studies repetitively show that people perform better in exercises that last over an hour when they refuel with a sports drink.
The reason sports drinks work better for those running over an hour is because the carbohydrates from the drink replace lost energy and the electrolytes prevent cramps, nausea, and hypothermia. Also, don’t wait to drink until you get thirsty. When you’re thirsty, you’re more likely to drink more than what you need, and having too much water could lead to hypothermia.
After your run, it’s generally recommended that you drink anywhere between sixteen to twenty-four ounces of sports drink or water for every pound lost. But realistically most people don’t have a scale next to them when they’re finished running. Some people will drink until they’re not thirsty; others might drink too much to the point where they feel full. I like drinking enough so that I’m not thirsty and that I could go home and check myself on the scale.