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Hydration Strategies for running in the summer - Genetic Nutrition

Hydration Strategies for running in the summer

, by Genetic Nutrition, 8 min reading time

It’s officially summer time, and you can hear the sun calling your name but fear that your energy will be drained by it. Don't sweat it (literally)! Any runner will attest that water is as important as fuel in any sporting activity and more so during the hot summer. Read below as we talk you through how to hydrate especially if you are going to be outside during those hot summer days running.

Why Hydration Matters More in Summer

During hot weather, sweating is the body's way of trying to cool the body down to desired temperatures. It washes away the unforeseen floccules that upset your body’s balance of electrolytes and fluids; therefore, you become dehydrated. Dehydration during a run can cause:

  • Decreased performance: According to research, wasted capacity begins from low levels of hydration and this will reduce stamina and endurance.
  • Muscle cramps: Dehydration and other imbalances of electrolyte can cause muscle complications that lead to pain; this reduces your ability to continue the run.
  • Increased risk of heatstroke: In most of the extremes, dehydration can cause heat stroke which is a very dangerous condition that may lead to the death of an individual.

When you hydrate you will get the best out of yourself and avoid contracting cramps or heat related illnesses.

Pre-Run Hydration: Priming Your Body for Success

Hydration for a run begins even before you slip into the running shoes. Here's how to prime your body for summer heat:

  • Hydrate throughout the day: As much as possible, try to maintain adequate water intake through the day and not limit the consumption to the feeling of thirst.
  • Colour check: Your urine should be slightly coloured yellow. Darker urine indicates dehydration.
  • Factor in sweat rate: Everyone has his or her unique way of sweating. A person who sweats a lot should increase the consumption of water.
  • Electrolyte boost: If planning to run for more than an hour or it is very hot outside one may incorporate an electrolyte drink before running.

Hydration During Your Run: Keeping Cool and Replenished

The focus is to remember that, despite the breaking out in sweat, the consumption of water during the run is crucial.

  • Carry fluids: Buy a hydration pack or an inmate handheld water bottle to have constant access to fluids during the cycling.
  • Sip frequently: Do it before you get thirsty. Sipping a little water at regular intervals of 15-20 minutes is ideal while you are at work.
  • Listen to your body: It is to be noted that the amount of carbohydrate intake would depend on the intensity and the duration of your run. Cold weather may require taking a few gulps at a time while during hot weather one may require to take several gulps.
  • Consider sports drinks: To replace the lost electrolytes for long runs or very hot days, the sports drinks may be useful.

Post-Run Replenishment: Refuelling and Rehydrating

Your work is not over when you have successfully ‘completed the race’. Here's how to properly rehydrate after your summer run:

  • Weigh yourself: Record your weight before and after the run. Ensure to replenish all the lost fluids through sweat by drinking 16 ounces of water for each pound that was lost.
  • Electrolyte top-up: Replace the lost electrolytes through drinking sports or coconut water.
  • Healthy snack: It is recommended to take a carbohydrate containing snack to replenish energy stores in your body.

Pro Tips for Summer Running Hydration

Here are some additional tips to keep you cool and hydrated during your summer runs:

  • Run early or late: Do not travel while the sun is at the apex on the road. Run in the early morning or in the late evening after the sun has set so as to reduce the effects of heat on the body.
  • Choose shady routes: Choose tracks that have more cover so that one is not exposed to the sun so often.
  • Wear breathable clothing: Low impact, non-absorbent and breathable fabrics will also ensure that you do not sweat much while wearing the product.
  • Cool down: Stretch and use the stairs or walking to warm down for about fifteen to twenty minutes in the shade preferably after your run. It is also good to take a shower after the run to help gradually reduce the body temperature.

Stay Hydrated, Stay Strong: Conquer Your Summer Runs

Thus, by following the above mentioned tips, you can easily dominate your summer runs. Do not forget that drinking is an integral part of any training schedule, and it becomes even more critical when training during the summer.

Looking to dial-up your running game this summer? Genetic Nutrition has personalised products for hydration plans and nutritional advice and consultation to enhance the client’s performance and achieve his or her fitness objectives. Come and speak to one of our specialists today to discuss how we can help make your summer running great!


  1. What is the recommended amount of water that I should take before doing the summer run?

There is no specific number, but try to consume 16-20 ounces of water at least 2-3 hours before the run time. Take into account your sweat rate with regard to clothing they will have to wear and modify it accordingly.

  1. Coaches and physical trainers usually recommend hydrating before, during and after a run; but are there any symptoms that might show that you are under-hydrated during the running session?

Thirst, dry mouth, headache, nausea, constipation and dizziness, muscle cramps, and confusion are some of the easy symptoms of dehydration. As soon as you develop any of these, move to the shade, sit, and take some water or electrolytes. In extreme cases, a visit to a doctor may usually be required.

  1. Can I be overhydrated? 

As much as it is rare, one can be over-hydrated; although this is not a usual experience. Remember that moderation is key and also monitor and follow the recommended standards and rationales formulated for the consumption of these products. If you have this sign as stomach bloating or having nausea, then do lightly with your fluids.

  1. Am I supposed to weigh myself before and after every run?

Although not necessary for each run, weighing is useful for long runs or on hot days when loss of body water is a concern. It gives a rough amount of the lost fluids to help you understand what you need to take to replenish it.

These hydration tips, including the answers to the most common questions concerning them, will help you to achieve safe and effective summer runs. Just as always, remember that a solution to adequate water intake is an investment that leads to increased performance and general wellbeing. Well, tie your shoelaces, fill up your flask, and let’s do it for summer distance!

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