I received an email from reader Juan who has a very timely question. Like many runners getting off the treadmill and heading outside to run in the nicer weather, he's wondering how he should carry water on the run. Juan is smart to be thinking about hydrating on the run, since it's important that runners replace fluids if they're running more than 30 minutes. He writes, "I'm thinking of buying a fluid carrier but I don't know what kind. Do you recommend the belts, the Camelbaks (backpack), or the handheld type?"
It's tough to recommend a type of water bottle because each carrier has its pros and cons, and the right one for you is really a matter of personal preference. The waist and backpack carriers allow you to run hands-free and can hold more fluids, which is important if you're running really long and don't have access to more water to re-fill your bottle. Some runners prefer the belt carriers with multiple bottles because it allows them to carry both water and a sports drink. On the other hand, some runners complain that the belt and backpack carriers get uncomfortable over the long haul and make them sweat more.
Personally, I prefer a handheld water bottle because I don't think to have something around my waist. Amphipod's Hydraform Handheld bottle is my favorite because it's very comfortable to hold. However, I also have a Fuel Belt that I use when I need to carry both water and Gatorade. It helps to try out different kinds (borrow a friend's if you don't want to invest in something you won't use) and see what you prefer.
What water bottle or hydration carrier do you prefer? Take the poll or share your comments below.