Welcome to Week 4! Now that we’re starting to cover longer distances, it’s the perfect time to talk about hydration. Here are a few fun facts about hydration:
Dehydration is the #1 cause of injuries
Dehydration hinders every bodily function needed to run (heartbeat, blood flow, temperature regulation, delivery of nutrients to cells, waste disposal from system, muscle function and joint cushioning)
A 2 percent decrease in body weight caused by dehydration affects your performance
Studies have shown that athletes finish a 12k run up to 2½ minutes faster when properly hydrated
Luckily, we take hydration seriously at Gazelle Sports. We think the first step in staying hydrated is with a hydration pack or bottle. For longer runs and warmer days, a hydration pack or bottle can come in very handy. No slowing down or stopping to reach for a bottle. If you can get the sip tube to stay in place (admittedly, not always an easy task), hydration is a speedy, almost effortless task—just grab, gulp and go! And since water intake is simpler with a hydration pack/bottle, you tend to drink more often. Bonus: most hydration packs and bottles have convenient pockets for your cell phone, ID or nutrition.
So what should you put in your hydration pack or bottle? We all know water is great, but should you try something else? We recommend electrolyte beverages because they contain sodium and potassium to enhance water absorption and retention. They also help replace water lost by sweating. Consider consuming an electrolyte beverage if you’re running for over an hour, if you’re a heavy sweater (you lose more than 2 lbs. of sweat/hour) or if you are a salty sweater (your clothes often become crusty during a run). Staff members at Gazelle Sports are obsessed with Nuun active electrolyte tabs because they are low calorie, convenient, effective and delicious! Remember: it’s important to test out electrolyte beverages in training so that you know how they’ll affect you on race day.