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How Much Water Should a Runner Drink: Water Strategy and Other Tips

Are you planning on running a half marathon or marathon? Then knowing how much water should a runner drink is an important information that you should know as it can make or break your running success. Lucky for you, we have got it all covered in this article.

There are a lot of questions that you need to ask if you are doing long runs. How much water do you lose running? Do you really need to drink more? How much water should you drink? Is it possible to drink too much water?

By the end of this article you’ll have a better understanding about hydrating while running.

We’ll also discuss the importance of getting enough water during your run. Finally, we will give you our most tried-and-tested tips and tricks on how to manage your water intake.

How Running Causes Water Loss

General wisdom suggests we should be drinking eight to 10 glasses of water every day. That adds up to about 70 to 90 fluid ounces. However, a lot of doctors have contested this idea, as there is really no specific measure as to how much water an individual can drink a day.

If you are a runner, your water intake affects your body in a huge way. During high-intensity activities, such as running, you can lose water at 18 to 35 fluid ounces per hour. This can ultimately lead to dehydration, which can make you nauseous, sick, and potentially land you in the hospital.

So, really, you should not only be drinking water while running; you should also drink it before starting out.

How Much Water Should a Runner Drink

You should start drinking water way before you start to run. Try to consume 20 ounces of water about 20 to 40 minutes before your warm up, depending on temperature. If it’s hot outside or humid, drink more.

You should also take a water bottle or some other way to carry water with you as you run. A good rule of thumb is to drink 3 to 4 ounces every 15 minutes. You can also drink fluids with electrolytes as this can help energize your body. But drinking water alone is also good.

You can also calculate how much water to drink:

  • Low end of range = body weight (in pounds) x 0.5 = (ounces of fluid per day)
  • High end of range = body weight (in pounds) x 1.0 = (ounces of fluid per day)

The low- and high-end range value are the minimum and maximum amount of water you should be drinking on a daily basis. It is important that you be aware of this because drinking too much water can also pose threats to your health and performance.

What Happens When You Drink Too Much

Being overly hydrated is not as bad as dehydration, but it can also affect your performance. What happens is that your blood gets diluted, leading to your electrolyte levels dropping and your heart function becoming irregular and weak.

There is also hyponatremia. This happens when there is a rapid drop in sodium levels in your body due to overdrinking. It is believed that women are more prone to experiencing this than men.

To prevent this from happening, you can take a salty snack. Also, keep in mind how much water you are drinking. Better yet, set alarms during your runs for every 15 minutes, so you can properly monitor the frequency of your drinking. It’s important to find the balance between drinking enough and drinking too little.

Tips and Tricks for Drinking Water

Here are some tips you can follow when it comes to drinking water for running:

  • Develop a water strategy. Do not just keep on drinking water. Instead, schedule when you are going to drink it.
  • You can mix drinks with electrolytes with your usual water for improved flavor and performance.
  • Do not wait to feel thirsty while running.
  • Eat vegetables and fruits that have high water content.
  • After running, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water for every pound that you lose.
  • Caffeinated drinks do not count as they also tend to give you the feeling of being dehydrated.
  • Take note of your environment and other conditions and adjust your drinking habits.


Just so you will not forget, the rule of thumb is for you to drink before, during, and after your run. You should also take extra care not to drink too much. Now, you are more than ready to reach your peak in running. At the same time, you might even be more aware of how good your body will react when you put just the right amount of water in it.

Again, getting the right amount of water does not only quench your thirst but also gives your body a boost to push through tough activities like running. So, this means that you should also listen to what your body is saying to you. You might have an alarm to drink water every 15 minutes during the run, but if your body says it is full, do make the necessary adjustments.

Now, go hydrate and enjoy your run!

Christine Adorno
The Wired Runner