Members often ask what they should eat when training, but they do not ask what
they should drink; yet proper hydration is one of the most important elements of
For athletes (and if you are a Legger, you are an athlete) water is an essential link
to performance. Water acts to cool our body during physical activity. Our bodies
sweat to cool us down. However, sweat also depletes our body’s water content.
Not drinking during exercise harms our body’s ability to regulate our body
temperature. As we get dehydrated, blood that transfers oxygen to the muscles
is diverted to skin to help eliminate heat. In other words, not replacing water
during training/racing slows you down.
How much water do we need? The average person needs at least 2 quarts (1.89
L) of water each day. For longer mileage or more intense workouts (speed work),
we need to add to that amount to prevent dehydration.
How to determine how much water you need? The common thought was drink
when you’re thirsty. That really doesn’t work for a lot of us. Here’s a quick way
to learn what your body needs: Before starting a mid-week, weigh yourself
without your clothes. Then, get dressed and go out on a 1 hour run or
walk. Come home, get out of your clothes and weigh yourself. You should see a
weight loss. That is the water you have lost during an hour and that is the
amount of water you should replace each hour you are training/racing. It may
seem like a lot but depending on your speed, it could be a few ounces every 15
What about Electrolyte/Sports Drinks? These drinks can be very helpful especially
if you are training over an hour. A good sports drink contains sodium and
carbohydrates and electrolytes. Electrolytes are elements such as sodium,
chloride and potassium. When we sweat, we lose sodium and chloride and we
need to replace these elements to prevent cramping. Some athletes use salt
tablets or add a small amount of salt (½ tsp. or less) to their drinks
How much is too much of a good thing? Hyponatremia is low blood sodium.
Instances of hyponatremia is generally the result of over-hydrating with water or
sodium-free drinks. It is a life-threatening condition.
Heat Stroke/Heat Illness. This is a medical emergency. Symptoms of heat stroke:
Lack of sweat and the skin is hot and dry, disorientation, vomiting, headache, loss
of consciousness. If you recognize these symptoms in a person, call 911
Heat illness has some similar symptoms: weakness, chills, goose bumps, nausea,
headache, faintness, disorientation, muscle cramping, and cessation of sweating.
Get the person in shade, have them drink. If necessary, call 911.
If you have any questions concerning any of the above, you may want to talk to
your mentor or contact email@example.com