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Friday, June 3, 2011

Daily Fitness Tip: Hydration


Actually, you can get your daily "requirements" through food and other beverages so you don't only have to drink water. I also put "requirements" in quotation marks because the daily recommendation is 64 ounces (or about 2 Liters). Nonetheless, I believe each person has different necessities. Some people will need less and some people will need more, hence, today's Fitness Tip!

Now, I am only going to address hydration during the summer months as our needs are different in the winter, spring, and fall. At least I know my needs are different. In fact, my needs are different when it's raining, sunny, cloudy, cold...regardless of the season. Where I live the air is very dry. So I suspect that I'd need to adjust my water intake when exercising in humid conditions. Do what works for you and your body.

What cannot be disputed is the necessity of hydration. Hydration is essential when exercising, regardless of the weather conditions. 

  • It allows the muscles to work more efficiently--I notice a drastic change in my performance when I am well hydrated as opposed to not.
  • Not being properly hydrated can lead to injuries--One of the reasons (along with many others) why I got injured last year. I was not diligent about my fluid intake and am trying to do a lot better.
  • Your body won't recover as quickly or as productively--Again, I notice this in my own body. When I am lazy about carrying water with me I get more muscle spasms and soreness. I still get soreness when I drink water but I seem to recover at a faster pace.
  • This website has more information about the importance of hydration. In its consumption as well as in the quality of it.

Last year when I decided to focus on running a full marathon I wanted to do everything right. Since I was training during the hottest months I needed a way to stay hydrated on my longer runs. I bought a Camelbak, which fits about 1.5 Liters (49.50 ounces) of water. It's a tiny backpack which contours to fit the upper part of the back. It stays glued to your back for the entire run and you almost forget it's there. All you have to do is fill up the resevoir (a plastic bag basically) with some cold water, fit it in, and your ready to go.

Then laziness set in and the days got cooler. So my Camelbak simply collected dust. I didn't hyrdrate during any kind of run, regardless of the distance. I would drink before and after. That's it. Only on a really long run would I drink chocolate milk, which is supposed to be great at hyrdation and recovery. (I've heard pickle juice works wonders but I haven't tried that yet.)

Right now I am suffering from extremely dry lips because I haven't been hydrating properly daily or after exercising. So don't do what I do....you know how the saying goes. I find that sometimes drinking water on a run makes me feel nauseous. So I would like to try gels and things at some point.

Here's a couple pics of my Camelbak in case you're interested:

There is also a strap around the waist for added support and a clip for the tube for easy access.

The tube doesn't leak because you have to bite on it to release the water and the yellow part closes it when not in use.
Cute huh? I hope it hasn't grown any friends inside (mold). It should be kept in the freezer if you won't be using it for a prolonged time period. As you can all see I learn by making mistakes, just like the rest of humanity! If this does happen though, I can put in 2 Tbsp of baking soda with warm water and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then wash with a mild soap and let it air dry completely before use.

In a perfect world I'd do that today so that it'd be ready for my long run tomorrow. I let you know how that turns out.

Exercise and be hydrated and you won't regret it!

If this helped you leave a comment and let me know how it goes.

I hope you enjoyed your Daily Fitness Tip and will add it to your Recipe for Health.


  1. Random! I just got back from my routine jog/walk of the neighborhood. I got chased/barked/snapped at by two little dogs (obviously indoor dogs) and I had no clue what to do. I stayed put although they were small I was not trying to get bit at my ankles are shins! But after waiting a while I soon got attitude and kicked at one (probably not the best idea). I started yelling when finally a woman came out and apologized and said she did not know how they got out the house. She thanked me to for finding them (Two more minutes I would have tried to sit on one). Anywho! Have you run into animals wild or domestic on your runs. This almost detered me from running outside. If you have any tips of what you use to keep the animals away I would love to hear. The whole way home I was thinking of your blog!!

  2. Awesome tip!!!! I will actually write a post on that because I won't do it justice here. I come across animals ALL the time when I run...even cows sometimes! But keep running, the post is coming soon! In the meantime, maybe run a different route if you don't feel comfortable.

  3. Sam has even stepped over a snake! And yesterday, when running after the race, there was a huge 1.5 feet lizard around! But that is because Sam runs in the wilderness. Although, you don't really have to worry about these animals since they run away from people.
    I also had this problem with dogs when riding my bike and the best thing you can do is ignore them. But Sam will talk about this.

  4. Animals are everywhere!!! But don't let them discourage you! This week (starting June 6th) I'll post some tips.