Keep ‘Cool’ On Your Run with Our Top 15 Hydration Facts

Thu 31st Mar 2016

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Our bodies already require a considerable amount of water intake per day just to keep our bodies and minds healthy, so when we insert intense exercise, there is even more importance! 

Second to breathing, water intake is a huge factor in our day-to-day lives, but a lot of us incorrectly judge how much we need. 

Water doesn’t just affect our physical state, but our mental one too – every felt drowsy mid-afternoon? You might be dehydrating – and that coffee isn’t helping! 

When it comes to water intake for exercise, including running, we need to continually fill up our rapidly depleting resources, as we lose considerable water through sweating. 

Here our top 15 facts about keeping our bodies hydrated – we’re sure you’ll learn something new! 

Everyday facts about hydration 

1. Men should drink 2.5 litres of water a day and women should drink 2.0 litres of water a day. Of this, 70-80% should be from fluids and the remainder from food. [Source: European Food Safety Authority / EFSA]

2. Women should be drinking eight 200ml glasses of fluid a day and men should drink ten 200ml glasses a day. These fluids should mostly be water. [Source: NHS]

3. Dehydration reduces blood volume, ultimately creating thicker, more concentrated blood which puts stress on the heart. [Source: Got Water]

4. The only fluid that is recommended for drinking “plenty” of, is water, as it contains no sugar, additives or calories. [Source: British Nutrition Foundation]

5. Our body weight is made up of 60% water as adults and 75% as infants, performing crucial roles including carrying nutrients and waste products between major organs, regulating temperature and acting as a shock absorber. [Source: National Hydration Council]

6. A 5% drop in water levels in the body can cause 25%-30% energy loss, with just a 3% drop resulting in fuzzy thinking, a slower metabolism and “brain fog”. [Source: Loughborough University]

7. You should start and end your day by drinking water – your body continues to lose water while you sleep. [Source: Asbopure]

8. When you drink caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, some fizzy drinks and some teas, they act as diuretics, increasing urine production and the likelihood of dehydration – so continue to drink water in between these drinks. [Source: Got Water]

9. People can survive for up to 50 days without food but only a few days without drinking water. [Source: National Hydration Council]

Hydration and running: The facts you need to know 

10. It’s recommended that you pre-hydrate to run a better race. Drinking eight to 16 ounces 1-2 hours before a run is ideal – with water and sports drinks preferred. [Source: Cassie Dimmick, R.D / Runners World]

11. If you’re running for 1-4 hours it’s recommended that you intake three to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. [Source: Runners World]

12. If you lose as little of 1% of your body weight during a run, your performance goes down by 2% (losing body fluids = weight loss). [Source: Women’s Running]

13. Choosing to intake gels to keep dehydration at bay is fine, but you should chase them with water to prevent ‘sugar overload’. [Source: Runners World]

14. Muscles can become easily fatigued when you’re thirsty, as lean muscle tissues contains 75% water – even if you’re only feeling slightly thirsty, one or two sips of water can keep impending dehydration at bay. [Source: Greatist]

15. Stopping for water intake doesn’t impact your finish time. That 20 second stop actually improves your initial speed when starting up again so overall you shouldn’t see an affect plus, your mind and body will thank you for it! [Source: Women’s Running]

We’d like to add a huge thank you to Northumbria Water for kindly donating 500 bottles of water to Butterwick Hospice for the Great North Run on Sunday 11th September – thank you! 

Let us know what your tips are for keeping hydrated by tweeting with us and using the hashtag #RunForButterwick for all Great North Run conversations!