With the right weather conditions, we can survive up to five days without water. Before that point, however, our muscles stop working properly. Since blood carries nutrients to the muscles and waste away from the muscles, and since it is made up of 90% water, when we deplete our water resources blood thickens and slow At this point, the blood can no longer deliver the proper nutrients to the muscles and they begin to fatigue.
Proper running hydration is absolutely key for a runner to make her best time. Under hydration, therefore, is not a good idea as it will keep your muscles from functioning properly. Over hydration is an even worse idea. Too much water will flush all your electrolytes leading to a condition called hyponatremia. Also called water intoxication, this condition is potentially fatal.
In fact, in recent years there have been a number of cases where people have died at marathons, including one woman at the the Boston Marathon. Nine times out of 10 hyponatremia occurs in amateur runners who do not know to replenish their electrolytes as well as their liquids. It does not happen on runs under 30 min. or with experienced runners in a marathon because these runners are running too fast to really become affected by it.
For peak performance, runners need to know how do and went to hydrate properly.
Guide to Hydrating Properly
Up until just a few years ago, experts insistently told runners to drink so many ounces of water per minute of their runs. Most of these same experts will now say to drink when your body tells you it needs water. In other words, the message is drink when you’re thirsty.
Common sense will tell you that the experts now are on a better path than the experts before. Since each person has a body that works differently from any other, each individual will require different amounts of water to replace the sweat they expend. Each individual also vary in the amount of water they need on a run depending on weather conditions and how much energy they put out.
Oddly enough, a simple scale will tell you whether or not you’re hydrating properly. Weigh yourself before and after your run, unclothed both times. If you are hydrating just right, you will lose about 2% of your body weight. If you’re over hydrating, your weight will stay the same or you will gain weight. If you are under hydrating you lose more than 2% your body weight. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds and hydrate properly you will lose 2.5 pounds. If you lose more than that you run the risk of dehydration and should invest in a running water bottle or something like it.