Are you thirsty after a run?

I mean really thirsty? I'm usually not thirsty at all and only drink because I know I need to.

I have two glasses of water before every run but I can't imagine this keeps me hydrated enough for 2 or 3 hours after the run (which is the time when I get thirsty again).

I know thirst is a sign that the body is already lacking water and I read somewhere that it's best to avoid thirst and drink regularly even without thirst (so that the body never suffers from dehydration) but I definitely don't do that. I always have to remind myself to drink (also on non-running days).

Does anyone know this phenomenon of not being thirsty after a run? And how much do you drink? As I'm not thirsty it's difficult to say if I drink enough afterwards. I'm not having any problems so I just ask out of curiosity.

21 Replies

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  • Do you feel hungry after a run? If so thats a classic sign that you are needing liquids and not necessarily food. Our brain is clever but not clever enough to be able to send out two different signals at the onset of dehydration so it very often feels like hunger pangs when in fact its thirst. I would get into the habit of having a good drink, we have a built in safety valve if we take on too much liquid so you won't over do it. :)

  • That's interesting, Oldgirl! I didn't know about our "confused" body. I'm even less hungry than thirsty after a run so my body doesn't show that it needs hydration at all but I'll definitely try to drink more regular (perhaps with a "drinking plan"?)

  • I get mega thirsty after a run, in fact I have to stop myself drinking too much :)

  • I very rarely feel thirsty after a run - and it's my downfall. I never drink enough unless I force myself to, and I'm sure it has a negative affect on my running, my concentration, my mood etc.

  • Its a known fact that people that drink plenty of water each day have healthier skin and hair and although you may visit the loo a bit more often your body and vital organs will thank you for it.

  • I really should try to drink more... I want all those positive effects! Better skin? Better concentration? Here we go ;)

  • I know I don't drink nearly enough - never have. I'm another who rarely feels thirsty and has to make a conscious effort to drink, especially this last couple of weeks. I've taken to keeping two small bottles of water in the fridge and every time I open it, I have a drink! Normally I would have a few cups of tea a day, perhaps four or five, but that's all. I try to remember to drink after a run and because I'm so hot, I do tend to head to the fridge now.

    When I had my first child and was still in hospital, I had a jug of water next to my bed. I think I had one glass all day. Later, a nurse came in, checked it and asked how much I'd had and when I said "Just one", noted down that I'd drunk one jug and part of another and told me that was excellent. I didn't have the courage to say 'No, just the one glass"!

  • I try to place a bottle of water in visible places because I found out that I'm more likely to drink if I can see the bottle. It doesn't always work but it has already helped me to increase the average amount of my water intake.

  • I'm glad to see that I'm not alone. I also drink very little and actually find drinking water quite difficult.

    I drink nothing before a run (first thing in the morning) and, asides from a few swallows while running, often just have a small cup of tea or orange juice afterwards. Doesn't stop me sweating lots though!

  • I couldn't do without drinking before a run. When I'm really dehydrated I get dizzy and very lightheaded so I don't want to have this experience in the park.

    I really love water and drink hardly anything else. From time to time, when I want another taste for a change I brew a cup of strong fruit tea (or whatever you like) and put it in a bottle which I fill up with about 1l of water. It's nice because it has another taste but still is healthy and sugarfree. And it's easy to drink in this heat as it is cold. If you want to increase your water intake, give it a try :)

  • I 'm a very bad water drinker but usually run on on 2 glasses of water. To be honest on my last couple of runs I have had to stop at every fountain (3 x) to top up. But rather than drink I need to wet my oral cavity -- if you see what I mean.

  • I wouldn't say I was thirsty, per se, but I've noticed that if I run in the afternoons, when it's normally hotter, I crave a nice big mug of tea. Conversely, when I run in the mornings I normally just have an espresso afterwards!!

  • I tend to crave coffee after a run (well, about 40 minutes after a run) but I'm still not able to drink something hot at that time. How do you manage to drink something hot after a run? I wouldn't be able to swallow it (and would probably never stop sweating at that day).

  • I find hot tea very refreshing; the fact that it's hot doesn't bother me at all.

  • I have found that a long drink of coconut water (not milk) is the most thirst quenching/hydrating form of fluid. It also replaces all the required electrolytes and other minerals that your body uses while sweating heavily with none of the sugar and nasty stuff in the commercial drinks. At first I found it rather distasteful but effective. I now really crave it after exercise and I find it reduces those signals of hunger that are really signs of de-hydration. Give it a try, it works. Unfortunately it is not cheap!

  • I didn't think of anything else than water but your post sounds really interesting. Unfortunately, I absolutely can't stand coconut (neither in chocolate bars nor in Asian food) but for those who like coconut, this seems to be a very good alternative!

  • Funnily enough, I never feel thirsty or hungry after a run (and I usually go out before breakfast), but I do enjoy my cup of tea afterwards. I think it's a good idea to have a glass of water beforehand as some reckon it stops you getting a stitch? I have eaten more generally since starting the programme though.

  • I can't tell about the stitch as I had only one until now. But be careful with what you eat, especially how much you eat, if you want to lose weight (I don't know if you want to). I sometimes tend to think that I can have more food now as I'm running on a regular basis and am burning it anyway. Well, I need to lose weight so I probably start burning off with my well kept treasures before I waste my running on burning the new calories.

  • I drink a glass of water about an hour before running and have a sip of water before starting to run. If it is very hot (like lately) I feel 'dry' not really 'thirsty', as DeliaItaly says, just to wet my throat. I only take a sip of water while running if I feel dry though. I have not got used to run with a water bottle so it is hard for me to drink while running. Sometimes I take a water bottle and leave it somewhere that I come back to, after / while running about 2k and take a sip while running and leave the bottle somewhere else again to collect it later on after the run (I mainly ruin in a park nowadays). I do drink a glass of water (at least) when I come home after the run though, I would have not drunk if I wanted to as I don't drink out of thirst but out of habit. I anyway try to drink water as much as I can during the day out of habit (I think I started this 'habit' because I lived in Sri Lanka (hot!!) before coming to live in England). I most of the time have a small water bottle in my bag even in winter and as you can guess use the loo quite often too!!

    As a suggestion I think it is always better to drink something (water, juice, tea) after a run even if you really don't feel thirsty.

  • To leave the bottle in some place is also a good idea I didn't think of before!

    To make drinking a habit is probably the only way for me to get enough water during the day. I can imagine you needed a lot water in Sri Lanka! I lived in Spain for 9 months and although it wasn't during the summer, I also changed my drinking habit. I used to take a bottle with me wherever I was going and also started drinking non-carbonated water. Back at home I can't drink sparkling water anymore (I get sick).

    I do drink after a run but only because I know I should. I put a bottle and a glass on the kitchen counter before I leave the house so I can't forget it when I come back.

  • Thank you all for your responses! I was busy the last 2 days so I had no time to come to this page. Good to know that I'm not the only one who does not really feel thirsty after a run. Anyway, I keep my habit to drink two glasses of water before a run and at least one glass afterwards. I made a little experiment today to find out how much I should drink: I weight in before (it was before my two glasses of water) and after my run. I "lost" 600 gramms which I take as a kind of orientation that I should drink about 600ml. Well, I will drink more during the day, of course, but to start with after my run this seems to be a good start.

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