- Drink 14-22 ounces of fluid 2-3 hours before exercise
- Drink another 6-12 ounces of fluid 10 to 20 min before exercise
- Goal: Maintain fluid balance to avoid dehydration and over-hydration.
- Drink 6-12 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes of exercise depending on tolerance.
- Goal: Drink adequate fluid to replace sweat losses.
- Sip 2-3 cups of fluid for every1 # of body weight loss. (Don’t gulp fluid right after you finish)
- NEW GUIDELINES: Drink when thirsty! Or drink only to the point where you are maintaining your body weight, but not gaining weight.
- Drink water on runs under 30 minutes.
- Drink more than just water on runs over 30 minutes (i.e. sports drink for carbohydrate and electrolyte replacement)
- During long runs: experiment and practice what works for you; each person is different.
- Urine: If it is totally clear, may be drinking too much. Too dark (Ice tea or apple juice color) you are probably not drinking enough. Aim for pale yellow color (lemonade).
- Scale: if you gain weight during a run; you are probably drinking too much; if you lose 2% or more of your weight on a single run; you are probably not drinking enough.
- It is best NOT to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) i.e.: aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium; before, during or immediately after you run/race.
- Be especially careful if you expect to run over 4 hours, and if you have an unusually small or large body size, drink less if you feel your stomach become bloated, queasy or sloshy.
- Know the signs and symptoms of dehydration and hyponatremia. (see below)
Signs of Dehydration:
- Heat Flush
- Muscle cramps
- Abnormal chills
Signs of Hyponatremia:
- Rapid weight gain
- Swollen hands and feet
- Throbbing headache
- Severe fatigue
- Wheezy breathing
- Bloated stomach
- Lack of coordination
Source: Runners World; American running association; AMAA sports medicine.