Beating the Heat: Hydration pre and post Run Running & FitNews®

From the “Beat the Heat: How to stay Cooled & Fueled (an ARA brochure)

If you’re like most runners, you hit the road more often when warm weather arrives. While this is great for your training, exercising in the heat can pose special problems. Many runners and athletes carefully regulate their diet or fuel intake, but pay little attention to their body’s fluid needs. This can be deadly, especially when it comes to heat conditions. Proper fluid intake is essential for optimum performance and to reduce your risk of dehydration.

Thirst is a good indicator of your fluid needs in many instances, but heat conditions warrants pre-run hydration.

Drink at least 16 oz of water or a combo of sports drink and water an hour before a run

Drink another 4 oz to 8 oz 15min to 30min pre-run

Post-run hydration: drink enough fluids to regain lost weight in sweat. It is good idea to figure out one’s sweat rate by weighing yourself sans clothing (nude) pre-run and again after a run. Drink the amount of lost weight after a run. Don’t overdrink and monitor your urine or pee color.

Electrolyte replacement: water and a sports drink with a 6% solution of carbohydrates can help bring back lost electrolytes.

Running in the Heat - drinking pre-run helps! You're in the last few miles of your long run. It's hot and you're beginning to fade and slow down. You might have been able to avoid the slow-down, even in warm, humid conditions, by drinking a carbohydrate supplement before your runs, according to Mindy Millard-Stafford, Ph.D., and colleagues at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Trained runners ran three 15K trials on treadmills, at their own pace at about 82 degrees Fahrenheit and 62% relative humidity. The experiments were carried out in a lab during fall, and the runners were not used to hot weather, according to the researchers. An hour before running, the subjects drank a liter of either water, or one of two sports drinks. There was no significant difference between the trials up to 13.4K, but during the last 1.6K the runners didn't slow down when they had taken the sports drinks before they began, but they did when they drank only water. The drinks were of different composition, but both provided benefits. Before your runs in hot, humid weather, drink about a quart of your favorite sports drink. The carbohydrate may help you to avoid running out of gas during the last mile or so, and you should feel good all the way.

(International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 1997, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 26-36) Volume 16, Number 7, Running & FitNews © The American Running Association.