How much hydration to carry?

How much hydration to carry?

May 21, 2018

How much hydration to carry?

Runners take gears and accessories seriously.  Take running shoes. We don’t typically jump off a brand train when we find a gear that works for us.  I remember testing the Asics Nimbus after developing tendinitis to see my ailment disappear to never come back.  Was it 15 years ago? Low and behold, running on another shoe ultimately requires courage and the threat of possible regressions.  Not gonna do it!  Throw me a new pair or any funky running sock and I’ll run blindly until the trail ends.  A new material for a comfy running short? Hand it over!

When it comes to nutrition and hydration, we are cautiously open minded. We rely on commonsense, experimentation, and advises from other people (the latter being the most ambiguous).  Science has a lot to bring to the table when it comes to hydration.  Your machine isn’t that special. Your mind and bio-feedbacks often play tricks on you. Let me give you a couple examples: Is dry mouth a sign of dehydration or is it mainly the result of ambient hygrometry? When you feel thirsty, is it indeed already too late as common wisdom will tell you?  Why running in cold temperature softens the effect of dehydration?

For runners, severe dehydration affects performance. Less water to sweat raises body temperature.  Blood thickens requiring more pumping from your heart. Yet, a mild dehydration has no impact on performance.  Most endurance athletes end-up dehydrated at the end of a race.  It’s part of a calculation.  An extra pound of liquid going up and down is an annoyance. You need to push it up and stop it from racing to the ground at every step for as long as you run.  

Carrying the right amount of hydration for the task at hand is key.

Decades of endurance training have shed lights on the importance of my personal hydration.  I was racing in South Florida (hot weather).  Measuring my sweat rate was crucial, especially when training for ultra-distances and IRONmen.  Most athletes have experienced just about every state of dehydration.  They know 30 or 40 min runs are not long enough to lose any volume of liquid that would affect performance.  They just start hydrated, consume the buffer and replenish when needed.  If the run is sub 45 min, the buffer is large enough to run without any hydration, which is a lot more enjoyable than hauling a slushing reservoir in your back.   

FITLY has the ability to carry two 5 Oz flasks in the front pockets and 1 larger 14 Oz in the back, or about 700 ml.  It is not designed to rehydrate you but offer some liquid to wash down a gel, moist your dry throat and for some, provide you with the necessary hydration you think you can’t do without.

Be smart.  Run free. Carry only what you need and leave the rest behind! 

Jean-Marc



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