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How To Hydrate

A woman wearing a hydration pack flexes her arms while taking a sip of water

make the most of hot summer miles

We’re nearing the end of May, and that means the heat is here to stay. The first few days of the hot season are sure hard to endure. You may find yourself feeling energy-zapped mid-run, unable to hit your paces or even recover in your usual amount of time. With some proactive, proper hydration, you can make the most of your summer miles. Here’s how:

Start your run hydrated.

Sip water throughout the day, so you start your run in the green. Don’t guzzle water too close to go time, though, or you’ll end up with a sloshing liquid belly. How can you tell if you’re heading out the door at the right hydration level? Well, pee. If you don’t have that much to release, and it’s dark, you’re in the red. If your urine is relatively clear and voluminous, you’re good to go.

Perform a home sweat test.

Weigh yourself before your run. And weigh yourself after. The amount of sweat lost (the difference between your pre and post run weight), is the amount of water (roughly) that you need to put back in your system or drink periodically during your next run of the same distance (given it’s hot and you’re sweating about the same amount). If your weight is up after you run, it means you probably drank too much, which you also don’t want to do because you could end up with severe electrolyte delusion, a.k.a hyponatremia.

Carry water.

Unless you run a route with regular water stops, it’s a good idea to carry a handheld water bottle — like a Nathan water bottle — a hydration waist belt or a hydration pack. Running with your water allows you to be in control of what you drink and how often you drink it. Water supplements, like those from GU Energy, Skratch Labs and nuun, allow you to add electrolytes, an important consideration particularly if you’re running long, prone to cramps or are a heavy sweater.

Choose your run time wisely.

It's safe to run outside in the summer, but if you’re prone to overheating, avoid midday runs and instead opt for early mornings or late evenings when temps are cooler. While this may not sound like a hydration strategy, it is.

Drink water as soon as you finish running.

This helps jump-start your recovery. Keep sipping till your urine is pale yellow.