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Advice for staying well hydrated: the prerequisite for running. Avoiding dehydration, particularly when it's hot.
Your body is at least 60% water; that's why staying well hydrated is so important for your health. When practising an intense sports activity such as running, and/or for a long time, the daily consumption of our water reserves is naturally increased. So how can you avoid dehydration?
When you run, the energy created by muscle contraction generates heat. The body evacuates this heat by perspiring, a natural mechanism which regulates the body's heat. Runners loser water when they sweat, and sometimes in large quantities: a marathoner loses an average of 4 litres of water during a race! Water loss varies between 0.5 and 1 litre per hour during a running session. But that can reach 2 litres depending on the intensity and weather conditions, causing dehydration.
If you don't compensate for the water loss, you performance will suffer: the loss of 1% of your body weight in water decreases your physical capacity by 10%! This can also have other negative effects on your body: increased heart rate, fatigue, headache, dizziness, muscular damage, tendinitis etc.
Tip: check your urine before you go to bed. If it's clear you have recovered the water lost during the day.
When you perspire, you lose minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc etc. Called electrolytes, they are essential to maintain a balance in your fluids, nerves, muscles and blood. That's why it's important to compensate the loss with isotonic drinks, gels or fruit jellies which contain electrolytes, as well as being rich in carbohydrates. Water suffices for a workout of up to one hour. Over one hour, it is important to absorb supplements to maintain your effort for the duration of the workout.
It's just as important to drink after a workout to restore your water, mineral and energy reserves. Sparkling water is better than still water as it's richer in minerals (or try a recovery drink), also useful for draining all the waste produced in the body while running.
Drinking when running is essential for your performance, and most importantly, your health! It may seem tiresome to some of you, always carrying a small water flask with you to avoid going more than a half an hour without taking a few gulps. There are now many solutions for carrying water, optimised with hydration belts and bags for the runner's comfort. Cheers!
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