Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

This is the word of the moment, hydrate. Well, it sure seems to be in the circles I tend to hang in anyway. With the icky heat and humidity of summer now here, it’s more important than ever to make sure you get enough H2O down the hatch on a regular basis. But, just how much water do we really need? This has been a debate for the ages. Everyone has an opinion on how much we should be drinking.

I tend to like the way of thinking that we should drink half of our body weight in ounces of water each day. This should keep you healthy, but not cause an over abundance of H2O to be consumed. For me, this is about 65oz of water per day. That’s basically 8 cups of the clear stuff. Doesn’t seem too bad, huh?

Photo Credit: au.lifestyle.yahoo.com

Photo Credit: http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com

As far as “water-loading” before a long run or race, while I think it’s great to ensure you are drinking enough all week long, overdoing it a day or two before a race really isn’t necessary. If you are drinking enough on a regular basis, you should be good to go. Now, if you are doing this and still lose weight post-run, that’s another issue. To check if you are losing weight on a run (meaning you could be dehydrated), weigh yourself before and after a run. If you are drinking enough water, your weight should be the same. If you find that you are down a pound or two, you aren’t consuming enough.

I like Jeff Galloway’s advice on this topic, which I did discuss in my recent post about his running school. You can read more about his thoughts on water intake on his blog. And, if you are curious about how to tell if you are suffering from hyponatremia or water intoxication, read this. It is a very rare problem, but something we all should be aware of as runners or athletes.

Do you get enough water each day/week? What is your strategy to ensure you are drinking enough?

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