Nutrition For Runners


More Hydration

Over the past couple of weeks I'm finding that I'm sweating a lot more when I run and it's the first time for months that I have felt the humidity strong in the air again. So it's a good time to talk about hydration.

Everyones fluid needs and quantities are different, as it depends on your sweat rate,the climate you train in, the amount of activity you do, your size, male or female and the list goes on. A simple test is to note the colour of your urine, if it's clear or straw like in colour that's good, if it's dark or an amber colour it usually indicates you need more fluid. 8 glasses of fluid or 2 litres is the recommended fluid intake, but once again it can vary from person to person and of course the climate you live in affects the amount required.

That 2 litres doesn't have to be water, though of course water is the best, but it can include all other fluids. I drink a lot of green tea so I include it in that amount. However, drinks like coffee and alcohol have a dehydration affect so they shouldn't be included. If you a lot of fruit and eat things like jelly, or drink soft drinks or smoothies, they also have a fluid content, and can be included in the total.

I still feel though that you should monitor that water intake, it's a good habit to get into to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Runners burn lots of energy, the energy is produced as heat and the body loses that heat as sweat, and that sweat really needs to be replaced. The body is 70% water and most of that is carried in the muscles and blood and plasma. Muscles are pumped full of fluid and that what's make then strong, and have the endurance capabilites, so they need to be hydrated. Dehydration saps the fluid from the muscle and its what cause the fatigue, dizziness, nausea, feelings of exhaustion and muscle cramps..all of this comes from not having enough fluid in your muscles. Once dehydrated it take more than a couple of glasses to replace all that lost fluid, it can take days and weeks to get those muscle topped up to peak performance the trick is don't let them get depleted of fluid, always keep them topped up.

If you are finding the water isn't enough and you run more than an hour each time you go out you may like to take in sports drinks as well. They are designed to balance the electrolytes in your you probably know sweat isn't made up of just water, lick your skin when you are sweating or let the sweat run into your eyes and you soon realise that there is salt in there as well. We lose salt and sugar when we sweat and it also needs to be replaced, the sports drinks contain sodium and carbohydrates to replace the salts and sugars, and they also give you the thirst to want to drink more. The sports drinks all vary in the makeup of their replacement nutrients so you may need to try out a few to decide what's right for you. I find them a bit too sweet so I like to water them down, I make one bottle into two and that way I get more fluid into me as well. If you don't like wasting money and throwing out all those empty bottles, you can buy it in a bulk, powder form and mix it up yourself, it's economical and you can regulate it to your taste. One before you run and one after is a good thing to do in the warmer months, or in he colder months just one before.




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