2. Fortify Yourself With Fluids Before and During Your Run
3. When Running Long, Use a Sports Drink.
4. Don't Wait Until You're Thirsty to Start Drinking--By then it could be too late. Also, as we age, our thirst mechanism doesn't work as well, so you may actually be thirsty but your body isn't giving you the signals as quickly as when you were a young whippersnapper.
5. Don't Drink Too Much--The rate at which fluid is absorbed into the system varies from person to person. Factors include size, gender, age, metabolism, etc. If you feel or hear sloshing in your stomach, its telling you it's full, and you don't need to drink for a while. For others over-drinking symptoms surface as cramping or feeling nauseated. If you feel any of these and you've been drinking a lot, stop drinking for about 15 minutes. If you're only drinking water, that sloshy feeling can be due to depleted sodium stores. Sodium works as the transport system that gets the water molecules out of the stomach and into the body. If the sodium stores are depleted, the water can become trapped in the stomach and have no means of transportation to hydrate the body. It's important to drink sports drink or use electrolyte replacement tabs if running more than an hour to keep from depleting your sodium stores.
6. After Your Run, Drink Between 16 and 24ozs of Sports Drink for Every Pound of Body Weight You Lose During Exercise.
7. Beware of Hyponatremia, a Potentially Fatal Condition Caused by Taking in Too Much Water and Too Little Salt. (see the end of #5).
8. Be Careful Out There--The better your overall condition, the better you'll be able to cope with low or moderate degrees of dehydration. (Case in point: In the 1984 Olympic Marathon, Alberto Salazar lost 8.1 percent of his body weight in sweat, and still ran a 2:14.) But if you feel yourself slipping into fluid debt with symptoms like--chills, dizziness, disorientation, and cessation of sweating--don't panic. Stop running, find shade or an air-conditioned building, and start drinking as soon as possible. If you don't quickly improve, ask for help or call 911. If you do start to feel better, resist running and walk or ask for a ride home. This is a great reason for running with a buddy.
For all you hard-headed runners who think water is for sissies, then take heed...performance starts to decline when you lose 3% of your body weight in sweat. That's 4.5 pounds for a 150lb person.
Drink up! Water does a runner good!