The Hype Behind Hydration
So you’re training for a half marathon or 5k in San Diego? Well its pretty dry here and it can get hot. An analogy for you: water is to our bodies as oil is to a car. It transports nutrients to your cells and takes waste away from them. Clearly, it’s kind of a big deal, especially for athletes. So, how can you make sure you’re hydrated on the regular, leading into race day? Follow these quick tips below to make sure you’re prepared for the San Diego Beach and Bay Half Marathon. Maybe we will be lucky with some May gray on that day – but you better be prepared in case!
Drink as Much as You Need. We know this sounds vague, but everybody’s different. The old rule was to go with eight glasses a day, but health professionals are now encouraging people to drink to thirst. If you’re thirsty, drink. If you’re not, don’t. Generally speaking, men require more daily than women (120 ounces to 91 ounces). Over consumption of water can actually lead to symptomatic hyponatremia, causing the sodium levels in your blood to become dangerously low. No need to go crazy with the agua.
Consider Your Sweat Rate. Know before going out for a run (especially if you’re planning on going for over an hour ) about how much you sweat. Easy way to do this is to measure yourself naked before and after. For every pound you lose, that’s about 16 ounces of fluid. Aim to replace about 2/3 the amount of water you sweat out throughout your exercise. Obviously, this will vary based on the individual, temperature, distance, and difficulty, so consider all factors when choosing your racing water vessel.
Water is Good; Water + Electrolytes Are Better. Yes, basic H2O is tried and true and it might work great for you. Stick with it, then. For the majority of us, however, a little heat and long distance will cause us to sweat out our sodium (as seen through those white salt streaks on your face postrun). Drinking a sports drink like Powerade or adding Nuun to your water helps you retain the water, thus keeping more oxygen circulating through your blood, thus providing more energy to your system thus making that PR more achievable. The choice is yours.
Check Your Pee. This is the fun part. You can check how well (or maybe not so well) you’re doing with your hydration by the color of your pee! It doesn’t have to be clear (as previously promoted), just a pale yellow. Think lemonade. You’re nearing dehydration when it’s darker than apple juice and has a stank to it. So drink up!