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Can I Get Cramps from Drinking While Running?

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Updated January 07, 2014

Women running with water Photo by Zia Soleil
Question: Can I Get Cramps from Drinking While Running?
"Whenever I drink water before or during my runs, I get cramps on my side. Is it OK to not drink while running so I can avoid cramps?"
Answer: The idea that you'll get cramps from drinking water while running is a myth. Drinking water, whether it's warm or cold, before or during running should not cause side stitches. The best ways to prevent side stitches while running is to make sure you warm-up properly and to breathe deeply through your mouth.

If you avoid drinking during runs because you're worried about cramps, you could end up with much bigger problems, such as dehydration or heat stroke. The current recommendations for hydrating while running is to obey your thirst and drink when you're thirsty. In general, that means about 6 to 8 ounces of fluid for runners running faster than 8-minute mile, and 4 to 6 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes for those running slower than that.

More: Proper Hydration for Running
How to Take Water from Aid Stations

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