Sweating depletes your body of water and salts. The harder you breathe, the more water escapes through your respiratory system. As your body runs low on liquids and you become increasingly dehydrated, your total blood volume drops. Your heart must pump at a higher rate to circulate the same amount of blood, diverting needed blood and performance energy from your large running muscles.
Sweating keeps you cool and must be replaced or your performance will be affected. Drink water- roughly one cup of water for every 15 minutes of running.
Wear your torso pack with your water bottle. Drink prior to your run, and drink water throughout the day. Keep a bottle on your desk, in your car, and your bedside. Water is one of the best ways to suppress your appetite and cut back on unnecessary calories, increasing your energy level, helping you sleep better, and even improving your memory.
To help you stay cool, run in trails or park areas to find some shelter from the sun. And don’t forget on those rainy days you are still dehydrating!
On race day, you must be diligent about taking in enough fluids, especially if it’s a hot day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol prior to the race, as they will dehydrate you. Drink 500 mL of water one hour before the start, and continue taking sips of water every 10 minutes during the race. Don’t try to be a hero in hot or humid conditions. Adjust your expectations and drink fluids to balance out the water loss from your perspiration and breathing.
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John Stanton is the President and Founder of the Running Room. He is the author of 10 books about running, walking and family fitness.