Water is a huge contributing factor to success during a work out. Be cautious because too much water can be harmful as well as not nearly enough.
- Before: It is important to drink a lot of water the days leading up to a long run or race. That way your muscles can slowly absorb what they need to, to maintain hydration. Starting a run dehydrated never ends well. The days prior to a race I will drink 2 to 3 liters of water through out the day while minimizing my caffeine consumption.
- During: It is important to maintain hydration early and often, but not guzzling down water. Small sips over the course of a few miles can help limit the lactic acid build up in later miles. I always regret not drinking water during my first 3 miles if it slipped my mind.
- After: Sipping water consistently after a race will help with cramping that may occur. It will also help your body recover, by keeping your muscles feed with healthy amount of H2O.
One thing to remember; sipping water can be your friend. Huge gulps can result in cramps (I have gotten stomach and side cramps mid-run – no fun) and discomfort.
H2O & Then Some:
It often helps to add electrolytes to your water during long runs to help replenish all the sodium and vitamins that are lost through sweat. These get replenished through energy chews and GU’s but those are highly concentrated amounts.
- My favorite water enhancer is “Ultima”, the strawberry flavor. The packaging says that it is plant based and naturally sweet. It is made with no sugars or artificial additives and is gluten-free & Vegan. I usually make my first water bottle for the run with this and then after words have a bottle while I stretch.