Runners and Walkers beware!

Even the largest and best managed race courses have been known to run out of water and/or cups at an aid station, especially for the slower majority of runners and walkers. This is one of the reasons coaches recommend that you carry your water during a long distance event, and refill your water bottle at water stations, and drink to a fixed, practiced schedule. At each water/aid station, refill and drink.

 

Why people DON'T DRINK enough water?

Common reasons people don’t drink during the training season and target events:

  • It will make me go to the bathroom too frequently
  • Peeing causes lost time, especially waiting in line
  • Drinking makes my stomach upset.
  • I'm not thirsty 

How much water do I need?

Example #1 

A person who is 125 pounds and is exercising for 15 minutes each day, is not pregnant, is not breastfeeding, does not live at a high altitude, lives in a dry climate, drinks no alcoholic, lives where the weather is not very hot or very cold, and is not sick with fever or diarrhea should have  72 ounces of water today, or 2.2 quarts. In a healthy diet, about 20 percent of your needed water may come from the foods you eat, thus if you eat a healthy diet you can drink 57 ounces (1.8 quarts) water today.

Example #2
A person who is 235 pounds and is exercising for 15 minutes each day, is not pregnant, is not breastfeeding, does not live at a high altitude, lives in a dry climate, drinks no alcoholic, lives where the weather is not very hot or very cold, and is not sick with fever or diarrhea should have  127 ounces of water today, or 4 quarts. In a healthy diet, about 20 percent of your needed water may come from the foods you eat, thus if you eat a healthy diet you can drink 101.6 ounces of water today, or 3 quarts.

The hypothalamus

The hypothalamus regulates the sensation of thirst in your body. By the time a person "feels" thirsty, it will be too late to make up the loss of fluids, and you may be at serious health risk.· You need to practice drinking during training runs, and experiment with the type and amount of sports drink you can tolerate. Water·comprises 40-60% of our total body weight, and is required (critical!) for important bodily functions including respiration,·sweating to cool the body, transport of nutritients to muscles, and removal of wastes from the muscles including lactic acid. Water has tremendous "heat stabilizing” qualities. It can absorb a considerable quantity of heat with only a small change in temperature. Water lubricates our joints. Water gives structure and form to the body through the turgor it provides for body tissues.


Sources of water

During exercise, especially endurance and extended workouts, drink water and/or sports drinks. During exercise and thermal stress, your body demands more water. Water in foods: Especially fruits and vegetables contain large quantities of water. Lettuce, pickles, green beans, broccoli are examples. Foods such as butter, oils, dried meats, chocolate, cookies and cakes are very "low" in water content. Metabolic water: When food molecules are degraded for energy, carbon dioxide and water are formed. This water accounts for 25% of the daily water requirement of a sedentary person.

Hydration and Exercise

When we exercise, (especially in the heat), the body is faced with two competitive demands: (1) The muscles require oxygen to sustain energy metabolism and, equally important, (2) metabolic heat must be transported by the blood from the deep tissues to the periphery. Consequently, this blood cannot deliver its oxygen to the working muscles.

Your body as a radiator

We sweat, sweat evaporates and we are cool? (the refrigeration effect). However, this fact does not always work if the relative humidity is too high. When the humidity is high, sweat does not evaporate. It only rolls off the body in heavy beads. When sweat cannot evaporate, body temperature continues to rise and our body sweats even more to offset this elevation. Excessive fluid loss can occur and blood volume begins to diminish. (the catsup example!) Anytime we dehydrate more than 2% (of our total body weight) our core temperature rises, our pulse rate will rise, and our central nervous system will begin to show ill effects. 

Fluid loss

Size of the person. Thin persons tolerate heat better than heavier persons. Weight means more work = more heat production = more blood diverted to the peripheral skin to dissipate heat, less blood to carry oxygen to muscles for performance. A more fit person has a better thermal regulatory system which dissipates heat faster. Acclimatization takes approx. 10 days for your body to adjust. The hotter the temperature, the greater the fluid loss. The longer the activity, the greater the fluid loss. Clothing. clothing can effect heat loss, and trap moisture next to the skin so it can not evaporate.

Guidelines on the kinds of fluids we drink

Cool water is absorbed faster than warm water.  Fluid replacement drinks are absorbed up to 30% faster than water. Sports drinks should not exceed 6-7% carbohydrate concentration. Stay away from carbonated drinks (Bubbles in stomach cause upset). Stay away from high sugar drinks (in general, with exceptions, ask your coach).

 



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