Having a hydration strategy before you run will ensure you perform at your peak and have a great run.
In this article, we will discuss the different benefits of running, some tips to get the most out of a good run, and – most importantly – what to drink to stay hydrated during your run.
What to Drink Before a Run?
If you’re going for a short run, then drink two to three glasses of water two hours before your run. But if you plan on running for a little longer, then you might want to hydrate and eat a light snack an hour or so prior.
Sports drinks are a good way to get hydration and calories. They offer a mixture of sugar, electrolytes, and water that prove to be beneficial for such activity.
If you will be working out for more than an hour, then you should first drink a 100- to 200-calorie sports beverage so that your body is provided with the energy it needs for your exercise. Additionally, gulp 3-4 oz of water or sports drink every fifteen minutes to keep your body hydrated.
If you are preparing for a race, make sure you drink water regularly in the days leading up to the race. How do you know if you are drinking enough? Check your urine – it should be light yellow to clear. If it’s darker than that, make sure to drink more water.
What NOT to Drink Before a Run?
Now that you know what you should consume before and during your workout, it’s also important to note the drinks you should avoid if you plan on having the best time exercising.
- Milky Beverages
Milk-based energy drinks are now a rising commodity in workout sessions. However, contrary to popular belief, these drinks will cause you trouble if consumed before or during a workout. Milk-based energy drinks take a lot of time to digest and thus, would ruin your metabolism, which is the last thing you want during an exercise.
Chocolate milk post-run is an acceptable recovery drink. Its mix of carbs and protein will help you recover faster. But don’t drink it beforehand.
- Sugary Drinks
Before filling up your body with sugar for your workout, make sure your drink is not loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. Sure, sugar is essential as it gives the body enough energy to endure your exercise. But this corn syrup is partially responsible for liver dysfunction which is not ideal especially when your body undergoes strenuous activities.
How About Coffee Before a Run?
Since many runners go out first thing in the morning (and because many people drink coffee!), you might be wondering if this is a good idea. Generally, speaking you should be fine. Contrary to popular belief, coffee won’t dehydrate you. And some say the caffeine benefits will help with performance.
What to Remember Before a Run?
Running is an activity that most people include in their daily routine. Before you head out, make sure you follow these key tips:
- Invest in quality kicks
If you intend to do so, then make sure you invest in a good pair of shoes. Ill-fitted shoes usually cause some injuries from running. You can avoid that by making sure that the pair of running shoes you use perfectly fits and comfortably bends.
- Digest what you ingest
If you’re going for a run, then make sure that you have not just eaten. Although running demands effort, the up and down motion and the energy you exert might be strenuous for the stomach and prove to be unfavorable for your insides. And while on the subject, you may also want to go for a healthy and well-balanced diet as it goes well with the exercise.
- Dry up and rehydrate
You would sweat a lot as you run so be sure to bring a towel or two. Also, always remind yourself to drink water before, during, and after you run, to stay hydrated.
After a thorough discussion about most of what you need to know about running such as what to drink before a run and what not to drink before a run, you are now better guided.
Running is one of the simplest yet also one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is an exercise that improves overall health—not only does it strengthens bones and muscles, but it also promotes cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory fitness.
However, you must also remember that like other physical activities, running demands and burns up a fair amount of energy from your body. Thus, making sure you provide your body with the right amount of minerals is a must before you start going for that run. Otherwise, you will be a disaster waiting to happen.