Hydration Before During and After Running - Critical Things To Know

Hydration Before During and After Running - Critical Things To Know

Hydration is absolutely critical or say cornerstone of every effective workout. Water makes up 65-70 percent of our body and it is extremely necessary for preventing heat-related illnesses. In fact, the role of water goes beyond refreshment.

Why is it important to be hydrated?

Proper hydration can help you prevent fatigue, muscle cramping, decreased coordination, headaches and heat-related illnesses such as exhaustion and stroke. So, runners and athletes out there should pay attention to the quantity of water before, during and after running or exercise.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, top marathon runners sweat at a faster rate that exceeds the internal absorption capability. So it’s vital to stay hydrated for both health and performance.

Before running

For longer running of 10-15 kilometers, it’s very important to get accustomed to hydration a few days before. Drink a lot of water and fluids and monitor the color of your urine. Stay away from alcohol and it not only dehydrates the body but also affects your night sleep and eventually the performance in the days leading ahead to your long race. Also over consumption of water should be avoided at all cost.

The morning of the event at least 2 hours before, drink about 300 ml of water or other non-caffeinated fluid. This would give enough time to your kidneys to process liquids and empty the bladder. Just 30 minutes prior to the task, drink about 250 ml to make sure you are fully hydrated for the event.

During the Run

During the run, the rule of the thumb is to drink about 300-400 ml of fluid every 20-30 minutes. Drink only when you are thirsty as it can help prevent underhydrating and even overhydrating which can lead to low blood salt level known as hyponatremia. If you are running faster, increase the water intake to 400-500 ml every 20 minutes of time. 

For longer running about 90 minutes or more, your fluid intake should include some sports drink such as Gatorade to replace lost minerals and electrolytes. This will also help you absorb your fluids faster.


The best way to determine the amount of fluid lost during the run is to weigh yourself before and after the task. For every half kg lost, drink 600-700ml of water. After the running or workout, a sports drink is an excellent way to replenish your lost minerals and electrolytes. Some people don’t drink after their run so they start feeling the effects of dehydration.

How to know if you are well hydrated

Don’t forget to check the color of urine the next time you urinate. If its dark yellow, it means you need more water, so keep hydrating yourself until you see clear or light lemonade color of urine.

Taking care of your body is vital to stay on the roads. Proper hydration will enable you to perform to your full athletic potential.