You all send us the BEST questions! Here are some of your hydration questions… answered!

What can I do to feel well-hydrated without feeling bloated or having to pee mid-run?

To be well-hydrated, you need to first make sure that you are drinking enough fluid for your baseline needs + recouping losses from exercise. To calculate your baseline needs, take your weight in pounds and divide that by 2 – that is roughly how many ounces you need per day. For our bodies to rehydrate the most efficiently, don’t chug your water but drink evenly throughout the day. We also absorb water better with some electrolytes and carbs. Drinking water with meals or snacks that contain carbs & sodium works too. Apart from eating times, try a drink with fewer carbohydrates + electrolytes like 1/2-1 serving of Skratch Clear Hydration.

To avoid having to stop for a bathroom break during your run, finish drinking 1 hour before you leave for your run. If you are an early morning runner, you may need to adjust how much you drink in the AM or give your body a little more time to process the fluid before heading out. <Sometimes, this may not be completely hydration-related but can be hormone-related.>

If you discover that you are dehydrated on a run, is there a way to catch up?

There may be times that you find yourself dehydrated while out on a run. So what can we do to minimize dehydration while we are out there? Here are some scenarios and solutions:

You thought you were well-hydrated pre-run…but you actually are not: Take an electrolyte drink with you and drink throughout your run. You may need more than you would normally drink as you are starting off dehydrated. Stick to 20 oz/hr – only take more if you know your body can tolerate it.

You forgot your handheld: If this is a long run, go back and get it. If it’s a run around 60 minutes, you may be ok just hydrating after the run if you aren’t a heavy/salty sweater. Water stops/drinking fountains along the way might be enough during the cooler months, but during the summer, water won’t cut it.

It’s hotter than you expected/planned for: Find a water fountain along the way to fill up your water bottle. It’s a good idea to keep extra electrolyte packets on you so you can refill vs just drink water.

I get sick of the flavor of my hydration drink towards the end of the run. Is there anything that is completely unflavored?

First, you can try different electrolyte drinks – maybe switching up the flavor will work for you. If not, and you want completely unflavored, switch to water + salt caps or chews for when you need the sodium.

When I get hot on a run, I like to chug plain water, and it feels like it’s not enough. I alternate regular gels and gels with higher electrolytes. I’m a salty sweater. Do I need to carry electrolytes in my handheld?

Yes, you need more electrolytes. If you are chugging water without taking in electrolytes, are a heavy sweater, and went into the run dehydrated, you are at risk for a condition called hyponatremia. Switching to an electrolyte drink is a good idea, especially as a heavy/salty sweater – because you need it! Also, try to take sips of your fluids instead of chugging while you are out on your run. Save your water chugging for post-run + a salty snack.

I have a hard time taking electrolytes while running. If I drink water, I feel fine. If I drink electrolytes I have Bubble Guts. Help!

If this is how you feel on all runs, including easy runs, you may just need more practice taking electrolyte drinks on runs. Your stomach might not be used to the carbs in the drinks. Electrolytes & carbohydrates in our fluids actually help speed up absorption. Try a new electrolyte drink until you find one that works. Or, change to water + a higher sodium gel or salt tab. You can also look at the combo of your gels + sports drink – if it is a significant increase in total carbs – your body may need a slower increase.

Does intensity of the workout change hydration? (75 min workout vs. 90 min EZ)

Yes, we sweat more during a workout, as we are working at a greater intensity, and our hydration needs will change. During a 90 min easy run, we want to take an electrolyte drink with us and sip on it throughout the run. During a workout, we sip on our drink during warm-up, in between hard efforts, and during the cool-down, but it won’t be as consistent as during an easy run. We can make up for our losses after the workout.

Disclaimer: The content in our blog articles provides generalized nutrition guidance. The information above may not apply to everyone. For personalized recommendations, please reach out to your sports dietitian. Individuals who may chose to implement nutrition changes agree that Featherstone Nutrition is not responsible for any injury, damage or loss related to those changes or participation.