Small and frequent sips of water while running keeps you hydrated, and this is important for overall health and performance. Drinking fluids regulate body temperature, flushes out waste through sweat, and keeps joints lubricated. Additionally, proper hydration dramatically speeds up recovery and minimizes injuries, which help runners progress faster.
We generate twenty times more body heat while running than when we are at rest. Our bodies initially respond by cooling off through sweating. However, this leads to loss of water and electrolytes. Losing around 2 percent of our body weight through fluid leads to dehydration, which considerably affects performance. Adverse effects of dehydration include headaches, cramps, and increased heart rate.
With all this in mind, it is essential to carry water even during short jogs around the neighborhood. While bringing a small jug with water along, in addition to everything else such as keys, phone, or wallet, isn’t ideal, it beats getting dehydrated and screwing up your run. Fortunately, there are plenty of convenient water carry options for every type of runner.
What To Consider When Choosing How To Carry Water
There are no set guidelines on how to carry water while running. However, there are significant factors to consider when choosing your way of carrying drinks to a race. One crucial factor is the distance and how much water to bring. A long-distance run calls for more water, but if there are available water fountains along your route, then you are in luck.
Comfort and the effect on your running form should also be considered. Make sure that the water carrier allows you to run correctly in good shape. You should consider looking for an alternative if your current water carrier changes the way you run. There are several cases where a water carrier ruins the runner’s form and causes more injuries.
Best Ways To Carry Water On The Run
Running with a water bottle in your hand is probably one of the most convenient ways to carry water. It is as easy as filling up a container with water, gripping it in your hand, and walking out the door. However, a lot of coaches argue that handheld water bottles are not practical.
Additionally, gripping a handheld water bottle can be difficult, especially when your hands start to sweat. You are also limited to bottles sizes, depending on what your hand can carry. Moreover, taking a water bottle in your hand is relatively distracting and can throw you off your running technique.
While there are remedies to these issues, such as passing it back and forth from each hand, there are better ways to carry water. Here are a few you might want to consider.
Waist Hydration Belt
It may take some time to get used to running with a waist belt, especially when it is your first time. Some runners may run into issues with their first time wearing one, but it is more practical than running while strenuously grasping a bottle of water. Each runner has their sweet spot where the belt sits comfortably on the waist, and once you found it, you should have a smooth run all the way.
Waist best are equipped with holsters for carrying water bottles. The most common waist belts have holsters located around the waist to carry multiple small water bottles. There specialized designs that have a single holster located on the lower back to carry a single but larger water bottle.
Running With A Hydration Pack
A hydration pack is an excellent option for long-distance runs, especially on routes without easy access to water sources. Trail runners, for instance, choose hydration packs since they favor roads in remote locations where water refilling is not an option.
Hydration packs are equipped with a water bladder made of flexible polyurethane that can usually carry one to three liters of water. Additionally, most hydration packs come with a few pockets to hold energy bars, energy gels, and other snacks. This comes in handy for runners who usually carry several running essentials.
However, one of the cons of choosing a hydration pack is that not all designs are built to fit the female physique. Some female runners complain about packs that cause discomfort to the chest. When purchasing a hydration pack, make sure to try it on first and see that it fits well.
Modified Water Bottle Tank Top Bra
Specially designed sports bras for runners are becoming a trend. Thanks to this recent innovation, people are beginning to recognize the opportunity of stashing more stuff in a bra. These modified sports bras are designed to carry a water bottle between the shoulder blades, which allows ladies to take their bottles without the hassle of a backpack or a waist belt.
The downside is that the top doesn’t allow you to wear anything else on top of it. It is perfect for women who like to run with just a bra as their top without extra layers, straps, or packs required.
Running With A Hydration Vest
A hydration belt generally offers a tighter fit and body shaping as compared to a hydration pack. Packs and vests are very similar when it comes to distributing weight on your body. However, a hydration pack provides a more stable and balanced option.
When wearing a hydration pack, the majority of the weight is focused on your back. Hydration vests, on the other hand, are designed to distribute weight throughout the body, which allows you to carry water and other running essentials without having a considerable amount of weight hanging on your back evenly.
Bottles Vs. Bladders
When it comes to refilling, water bottles offer a quicker option. As compared to hydration packs or vests, water bottles are more comfortable to fill up. Another advantage of carrying bottles is that you have the opportunity to carry different beverages depending on how many bottles you can take.
Water bladders, on the other hand, provide hands-free hydration, which allows you to focus more on your technic and not having to stop every time to have a sip.