Whatever’s the question . . .

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. . . Hydration is the answer

Okay, maybe hydration isn’t the answer to everything, but it sure does a body good!

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I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. I know many runners really don’t give much thought to their hydration before, during, or after running. I will share 5 ways staying hydrated can improve your running. It’s your choice what you do with the information.

1: Keep your cool
Staying hydrated can help you regulate your body temperature. We generate a lot of heat when we run!

2: Minimize cramps
Water alone may not be enough to keep you from cramping up, because not only are you losing water through sweat, you’re losing electrolytes, too. Which is exactly why it’s important to take electrolytes on the run for longer and hotter runs. Being well hydrated can be your first line of defense when it comes to cramping.

Also consider spraying the muscles that always cramp with magnesium spray before running!

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3: Run faster
I don’t know about you, but if I’m dehydrated I feel cranky, tired, and often have a headache. That’s even if I’m not active. Now imagine running that way! In addition, being properly hydrated may actually help you stave off fatigue.

4: Recover faster
You know how your massage therapist always tells you to drink more water after a massage? Massage can help move toxins out of your muscles and into circulation in your body. Guess what? Running creates some waste products too! Water can help you flush out those toxins, reducing muscle soreness, and helping you to recover faster.

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5: Potential to reduce joint pain
You know I am not talking about an acute or nagging injury here, right? That has nothing to do with hydration (well, it could over time). Joint cartilage is mainly water. Dehydration can lessen lubrication of the joints, leading to joint pain. No one wants to run in pain!

Final Thoughts
Finding the right level of hydration for you is an art. Too little, and you could slow down, be in pain, and cramp. Too much and it can feel very uncomfortable in your digestive system, potentially even leading too nausea.

The benefits of staying hydrated on the run far outweigh the side effects of dehydration on your running — to my mind anyway.

Have you ever suffered from side effects while running due to poor hydration?

What’s your favorite way to hydrate on the run? Plain water for me, please!

Did any of the benefits of hydration surprise you?