Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Water and the Effects of Dehydration on Your Running

Spring is supposed to be here--but it's not. It's 28 degrees and looks like it snowed, but it didn't. The white stuff all over is actually sleet and hail that froze because it's cold. Because yesterday it looked like it was snowing, but it was actually a thunderstorm. Weird weather going on here. I'm friendly with the treadmill this week :) An easy 2 miles yesterday and I have 4 today. I was going to run before I ate lunch, but I couldn't get all the boys down at the same time and Joel isn't feeling great so after I finally got them down I ate lunch and caught up on some Parenthood.

I read some interesting facts about water today on facebook:

1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 30%.

4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters 

studied in a University of Washington study.

5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease 

back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic 

math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can 

slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

I'm inconsistent at best about drinking water. I know I need it. I know it's good for me. But it's easy (especially in the winter) not to. This was a great reminder on why exactly we need water.

And dehydration negatively impacts your running. (info courtesy of Runner's World)

  • Your rate of aerobic energy production decreases, and you must run at a slower pace
  • Increases your heart rate.
  • Reduces your body’s ability to maintain your core temperature. Running fast on a hot day can lead to heat stroke.
  • Studies have found that dehydration of two percent of bodyweight leads to about a six percent reduction in running performance.
  • Your baseline fluid needs are about three to four pints per day. On top of that, you need to add your fluid losses from training and other activities. If you replace a little less fluid than you lose each day, after a few days you will run poorly, without obvious reason.

Some tips on how to drink more water.

1. Add flavoring! Sometimes I add a splash of lime juice. That was the only way I could stomach water when I was pregnant.
2. Have it available. I drink waaay more water when I'm carrying around my water bottle. I really like my stainless steel Under Armour bottle. It's insulated and keeps the water cold for a long time and is easy to drink out of.
3. Have water that tastes good--if your tap water is bad, get a filter or buy bottled water.

And best of all, being properly hydrated makes you less likely to overeat :)

How do you make sure you get enough water?
What's the weather like where you live?
What was for lunch today?


  1. Those are great facts and wonderful time! Pretty sure I'm one who is constantly dehydrated!

    1. I don't know why it's so hard to just drink enough water. But I don't usually either!

  2. I am AWFUL at hydrating. I loved reading this because now I have motivation to be better!
    emma @

    1. Isn't that the truth! The fact about the reducing the risks of certain kinds of cancer definitely sticks in my head...heading to get a glass of water now...