We drink from our water bottles at work, down a glass before a run and quench our thirst after a tough workout.
As runners, we do our best to get our necessary fluids at various times throughout the day. But what about hydrating during a run?
A 20-minute jog around the block rarely requires a mid-run gulp of water, but once mileage picks up, our bodies need to hydrate.
"Hydration is important because our bodies are largely made up of water," says Jennifer Gill, an RRCA-certified running coach, licensed sports nutritionist and owner of SoleHealthandWellness.com. "Proper hydration is responsible for regulating our body temperature and blood pressure, keeping our blood volume correct, ridding our bodies of waste products, and much more."
So how long—whether by mileage or minutes—does your run need to be to consider drinking fluids as you go?
The 45-Minute Mark
Gill recommends using the 45-minute mark as a parameter to determine when to hydrate during runs. On a typical day without extreme weather conditions, it's smart to bring liquid with you on runs that surpass this mark.
One exception to this advice is high temperatures.
"If you plan to run on a very hot day, bringing water with you is a good idea, regardless of miles or time spent running," Gill says.
How to Hydrate During Runs
Hydrating during a run might seem as simple as grabbing a water bottle and carrying it with you. Be careful, though, as this can be risky.
"I don't generally recommend hand-held water bottles," Gill says. "They can cause tension in the hands and arms and waste much needed energy. They can also change your running form."
Although it can take time to get used to, a hydration belt can become a runner's best friend. The convenience factor of running hands-free while having access to dozens of ounces of liquid at your waist is unmatched.