Good Monday people!
It was great to see my runners giving in it their all in the 400m efforts yesterday! It was a tough one. Today we address our second to last standard in our running series. It’s a standard that everybody knows is important, but many people don’t take seriously.
Standard #11: Hydration
Achieving this standard means that you are drinking 2-3 liters/day at a minimum. If you are training that day, a female should drink around 3 liters and a male should have 4 liters per day. When you’re not drinking your water with food, it’s wise to spike it with electrolytes to facilitate absorption.
An athlete that trains hard for a sport such as running should know the importance of hydration. By not being hydrated for an effort or race, it could cost you as much as 11% of your VO2 Max (the indicator of how much oxygen your body can process for the sustained output of running power). It’s also important for all your connective tissues to not be parched during the effort. Kelly Starrett explains, “When your total body water volume is running low, there’s less blood available for circulation. When there’s less blood available for circulation, your body’s delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues is compromised. Less oxygen to your working muscles means less performance”. Why hydration is important is becoming ever so clear. Three liters of water a day is lost to breathing, perspiration, and peeing. Approximately 3 cups of that water is lost through the bottoms of the feet. Put running into the equation and those numbers get higher.
Dr. Starrett talks a lot about tissues and sliding surfaces. Regarding tissues, it’s not just the water in the cells that provides the aqueous environment for mitochondria to produce energy; it also includes the interstitial fluid between cells and the balances of electrolytes. With sliding surfaces, he refers particularly to your joints. The skin, nerves, muscles, and connective tissues that surround these areas. Starrett asks, “Do your nerves slide through your muscles? Does your skin slide and glide with one another? Dehydration is one of the factors that can glue these things together, limiting your range of motion in a key area like your ankle”. When cartilage is properly hydrated, the joints glide. When you’re dehydrated, your joints tend to grind more. What is good for arthritis? Hydration and moving around more. When your body is dehydrated, it has mechanisms in place to ration the available water. It goes to the most important things first, such as the brain. You will lose out on energy and muscle because there isn’t enough left over to attend to those things.
A mistake some athletes make is constantly filling up their water bottle with straight water. They pee more, and still feel thirsty. Even if your pee is clear, you may be suffering from hypo-hydration. The fix? Mix in a pinch of salt. It will help your body absorb the water into your tissues. If you’re drinking your water with food, and your food contains some iodized salt, you’re fine to drink plain water. Studies have shown that you will drink more fluid if there’s more flavor. If salt isn’t enough for you, here are some options recommended from Dr. Starrett:
Nuun hydration tablets: Look for the U Natural or All Day Hydration tabs. They are in a lot of running stores with lots of flavor options.
Nutriforce Sports Balanced Hydration Powder: This powder includes Sustamine, a dipeptide that combines certain amino acids to optimize absorption. Note: Dr. Starrett helped come up with the formula for this one.
Camelbak Elixir tablets: Designed for use in the company’s hydration packs, you can toss one into a water bottle as well.
Osmo Nutrition: Dr. Stacy Sims owns this company. She has calibrated some of the products to address the different hydration/absorption needs between men and women.
Running Series #1,
Running Series #2,
Running Series #3,
Running Series #4
Running Series #5
Running Series #6
Running Series #7
Running Series #8
Running Series #9
Running Series #10
Running Series #11
Running Series #12