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Couch to 5K
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Let’s talk about Pee! Hydration and dehydration

I thought I would put this post up over all forums. The weather is hotting up now I know some will say they live in heat hotter than this . To me its not important whether it stays hot or not but I do think it is important we talk about running and heat on here.

Two years ago at one of my Half Marathons there were a lot of casualties due to the heat. We often talk about hydration and dehydration on here. As I was thinking about this today I realised that as many of us are new to running do we really know why its so important. I have put a list together of web pages to have a little read about and get an understanding how important it is when we run that we are properly hydrated.

Please feel free to discuss this and post positive links that can help us all to understand our hydration and keep us all safe while we are out running.

What the NHS definition of Dehydration is.

nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/

NHS Choices. There is a bit on the bottom of the page. Do I need to drink when I exercise.

nhs.uk/livewell/goodfood/pa...

This is a good article explaining why hydration is important. There are many schools of thought about what you should drink but what happens to your body is a staple.

runnersworld.com/hydration-...

As always the most important thing is to know yourself. Look into the toilet bowl and judge yourself. I know some will say its not totally accurate but it is free and gives you a starting place.

This is a good indication of Pee Colour from Sports Lucozade

lucozadesport.com/training/...

I also thought this year it might be nice if we could share links to what we run with those who have run through summer before. So people have an idea of the options.

I also know that as usual when I put this post up every year there will be a few who will come back and say if your only running for 20 mins you don’t need fluid BUT, we are all different and what is ok for one might not be for another the best thing we can learn is what is best for ourselves. I myself am a right sweaty Betty and a slow runner so a 5km takes me longer than a speedy person and with the addition of a beetroot face and loss of fluid I need water before some.

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My old water system

decathlon.co.uk/belt-2x115m...

My new one

decathlon.co.uk/bag-trail-r...

Hydration is very important to me. I got a kidney infection after getting overheated And dehydrated, not going for a pee when I needed on a HM. so I am very careful now.

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Thanks. Useful and important stuff.

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Thanks for this. For my first few weeks of C25K I took a water bottle out with me and sipped it in the walking phases. The weather was cooler (start of BST) and I wasn’t running far, but it was a comfort blanket.

Now it is warmer and my runs are longer I’m going to get myself a small 0 shaped bottle to sip from towards the end.

My biggest lesson so far has been failing to hydrate the day before a run - I’ve recognised drinking alcohol the night before isn’t a great idea. But I now also recognise I need to be more conscientious about hydration through the day before.

I have no excuse - water cooler at work and a 500ml sports bottle sat on my desk. My aim now is to get through at least one bottle full either side of lunch, perhaps more.

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Hi Jay, top tip, put your O shaped water carrier in the fridge or freezer for a few mins before you go...it warms up in the sunshine during your run...

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The main problem with hydration and dehydration is that many people live in a state of constant inadequate hydration. For people of average height and build, women need 3 litres of water a day, men 4. Fir every hour of exercise add a litre to that. If the weather is significantly hot, add another litre.

These are minimums. I have a 2 litre gym bottle that I fill first thing in the morning and again early afternoon. In the recent hot weather I have been getting through another 2 litres of water with BCAAs during the course of a workout. This is not so much for intra workout hydration as to cool down and combat dry mouth.

This is uully the pint at which someone will say that too much water can be dangerous for you. That is true. Exercise related hyponatremia is indeed a thing, but that comes from drinking far too much far too quickly. Drinking your minimum RDL every day is, by definition, not harmful. If you drank it all in one go without pause, perhaps. Also the dangers of hyponatremia are principally from your electrolytes levels becoming too low, so if you put a pinch of sea salt in your drinking water you remove any risk of that anyway.

With regard to running If you did not drink enough water yesterday, it makes no difference if you have a glass before going for your run and carry a 10l bladder on your back for your 5k (although this is good for resistance exercise). You are already dehydrated. Hydration is about the cells and the brain, not what is sloshing around in your stomach, as anyone who has ever had a hangover will attest. Yes you do need to keep topping up as you go, and yes taking water with you when you go out on hot day is always a good idea, running or wlaking or doing anything, but not getting dehydrated in the first place is the number one priority.

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Just curious. Where did you get your quantities from?

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usually out of the tap.

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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine guidelines for an adult living in a temperate climate. I may have rounded up from 3.7l for men, but it is a minimum so no harm no foul.

Someone will no doubt be along to show a different guidelinge that say haf that or 1 litre a week or whatever. I never really understand why anyone would be so keen to find ways to get out of drinking an adequate amount of water. It is so easy. It is either free or extremely cheap depending where you live and it does you so much good. Sleep, water and fresh air are the top of the list for things that have a beneficil effect on your health and yet people will quibble about them.

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...because people like to be right and/or don’t like to be told they are doing wrong!

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Or peeing 23 times a day!

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Once you get your hydration under control the frequent wee stops slow down. I can do 2 to 4l a day on my usual 3 to 5 wee stops during the working day, and sometimes those are more routine than needed.

In my old jobs I could go all day with only 1 stop, which is of course really bad for your body!

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Good information, my husband suggests that I don't drink enough, I do drink if I feel thirsty, some would suggest that thirst indicates dehydration!

I work 12 hour shifts with 2 x 30 minute breaks a day and no opportunity to drink outside of the break.

That said, my u and e's indicate that I am hydrated , and let's not forget that we do take on board fluid from food too.

But, I do make the effort to drink more than I used too, especially the day before, and on the day that I run.

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Thanks so much for this! I have been wondering when to start taking water out with me.

I’m just about to move on to 8k on Ju-Ju’s plan and because I am slow, it’s going to probably be an hour or so that I’m out so definitely going to be taking water with me now.

I’m generally quite good with keeping hydrated but do really need to make sure I rehydrate after runs. Off to buy a holey bottle!

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Put it in the fridge or freezer for a few mins before you go...it warms up while you are running..😉x

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Tea and coffee also count- I asked about this on here before- and being told that really helped with my totals as I am a complete tea head :)

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Wow, you must have been reading my mind Realfoodieclub. As my runs have got longer, I need to take fluids with me, currently using a sports bottle. I’ve now got to the point where I don’t want to carry a bottle all the time and I’ve been told running with a bottle in hand puts body out of sorts but definitely need to take something. I don’t fancy a bag, so will definitely be looking into the belts , thank you x

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Timely post, Rfc..thank you.... I suddenly realised that i needed water on a very short run, despite being what I considered well hydrated !

This is one of my favourite pins too!

ilovetorun.org/im-always-we...

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That cartoon is great 😄

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As @helenwheels points out, tea and coffee also count, (although 4 litres of wine a day not so much) and water from food also, but people usually overestimate that- unless you are eating a significant amount of cucumber and melon every day, you probably aren’t getting more than about 10%

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