Water and Running: How Much Do You Need?

How much water do you need when you run?

My whole family has been running lately and this has led to a bit of a squabble about how much water we should be drinking. Actually, this is an argument between my husband and I about how many water bottles to carry with us.  He says one (share between the three of us); I say three (one for each).  But what neither of us knew is how much water are you supposed to be drinking anyway? The answer (drumroll please):  4 to 6 ounces of water for every 20 minutes of running. But there are a lot of caveats:
  • You should be hydrated before you run (light yellow pee)
  • You should drink more if it's very humid or very hot
  • You should drink more if you're a larger person (My husband is 6'2" for instance)
  • You should drink less if you're a smaller person (my son is about 4'2")
  • Medications can affect hydration level so if you're on any you should check with your doctor
  • Time of year matters as it's drier air in winter, moister air in spring, etc.
It is a bit confusing, isn't it?  Proper hydration is clearly a moving target.  To get an accurate idea of how much water you need for the day, you can go to this calculator. A lot of people underestimate how important proper fluid levels can be in affecting your performance.  If you're really struggling on something that you normally do with ease, there's a good shot that you haven't drank enough water. Have you ever noticed your performance decreases when you are thirsty?  Have you spent a lot of time figuring out what works best for you water-wise?  Let me know what you've learned about yourself and any great tricks you have for running and water. Cheers, Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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3 Responses to Water and Running: How Much Do You Need?

  1. Kris @Krazy_kris July 19, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Oh gosh – you know water is my nemesis. And I don’t “really” run so I never take water with me. But I “always” try and have some before I go.
    I’m on a current quest to drink more, so I’ve been enlisting lots of tips from folks – my current strategy is the “spa method” – looking at it like indulgent extravagance – ha!

  2. Lisa Johnson July 19, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Kris, I’m a fan of mild flavoring, I’ve use cucumber slices, lemon slices and sometimes this organic flavoring with Stevia called FlavorZ … :-) It makes it more “spa”

  3. Tara Burner July 19, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Kris, you and your water!!!!
    I’m doing a review on a fruit infuser pitcher this week
    just posted one of the combo’s at http://www.facebook.com/taraburner/posts/10150257952179626
    and by weekend will hopefully have the video up and blog review with other combo’s…
    and go spa method!!! :)
    you krazy! ;)

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