Here's an alarming statistic: 75 percent of Americas are chronically dehydrated, according to the Institute of Medicine.
For athletes, the effects of dehydration extend far beyond their training sessions. It can impact their sleep, day-to-day function and overall health. When health or sleep patterns are off, it takes longer to recover, which can take a toll on running performance.
James Dodds, a coach at Rogue Running located in Austin, Texas, stresses the importance of being hydrated on a cellular level before you run.
"This means to be prepared and ensure you have plenty of water to drink the day before your long runs and intense workouts," Dodds says. "Just like you would prepare for a run by laying out your clothes and shoes the night before, you should be thinking ahead about your water consumption, as well."
Some people just aren't fans of water (even though the majority of our body is water—you are what you drink?).
Drinking a lot of water isn't always the right approach. It can go right through you, Dodds says. To keep hydrated, runners can reach for a low-sugar drink that packs in electrolytes to avoid dehydration.
Nuun Active Hydration
Nuun is filled with electrolytes and has no sugars or carbs. With 12 light flavors, you can experiment a bit on the run to see which is your favorite. Nuun tablets come in a small tube that can easily be stowed in your bag (or purse) for any time you need some extra electrolytes (or just want to give your water extra flavor).
Skratch has a few different hydration options, including everyday, exercise-specific and a 'rescue hydration' mix. It's flavored with natural fruit and was created to replace the fluid and electrolytes you lose when sweating. Skratch Labs comes in a powder that you mix with water. One bag contains 20 servings.
Osmo Nutrition has gender-specific formulations to ensure you get the nutrients you need.
For example, a woman's menstrual cycle influences athletic performance due to fluctuating hormone levels. Osmo allows your hydration to be uniquely made for your body.