Starting your run dehydrated can make your training harder than it needs to be, while also slowing down recovery. But how much water should you be drinking before and after runs?
Water is our body’s principle chemical component. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body requires water to function, and it makes up around 60% of our body weight.
It’s important to make sure you’re not dehydrated before kicking off a workout. If you tend to run or exercise in the morning, remember that you lose around 500mL of water-weight overnight through respiration and perspiration. Try and get close to that same amount in before you head out the door, but small amounts at a time.
Starting a run dehydrated is going to negatively impact your performance and slow down recovery. The pee-test is a tried and true method of determining your hydration state before training and will allow you to more accurately determine your fluid needs.
If your training is less than 60 minutes long and not too intense, then water is likely enough to replace what you’ve lost during exercise. Drink to thirst, or if you weigh yourself before and after your workout you’ll be able to get a good estimate of fluid loss: every 1 Kg = 1 L of fluid. Try to replace 1.5x the amount of fluid of fluid lost to ensure that you are adequately rehydrated to increase the rate of recovery.
If you’re working hard (especially in warm or humid conditions) then replacing electrolytes becomes very important. Electrolytes are what make sweat salty: if you lose too many electrolytes your neural system won’t function properly. This can lead to problems with your heart, blood pressure and breathing. The main electrolytes lost during sweat are Sodium and Chloride.