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5 Common Sports Nutrition Mistakes and How to Solve Them

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Updated June 12, 2012

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Problem: Not Drinking Enough
Race Volunteer at Water Stop
Photo by Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images
Many runners underestimate how much fluid they lose during runs and don't drink enough while they're running and after they're finished. As a result, they suffer from dehydration, which can be detrimental to their performance and dangerous to their health.

Solution: Runners need to pay attention to what and how much they're drinking before, during and after exercise. Even if the weather is cold, you still need it make sure you stay hydrated. Here are some simple rules for drinking and running:

  • An hour before you start your run, try to drink 16 to 24 ounces of water or other non-caffeinated fluid. Stop drinking at that point, so you can prevent having to stop to go to the bathroom during your run. To make sure you're hydrated before you start running, you can drink another 4 to 8 ounces right before you start.
    • You should take in 6 to 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes during your runs. During longer workouts (90 minutes or more), some of your fluid intake should include a sports drink (like Gatorade) to replace lost sodium and other minerals (electrolytes).
    • Don't forget to rehydrate with water or a sports drink after your run. You should drink 20 to 24 fl oz. of water for every pound lost. If your urine is dark yellow after your run, you need to keep rehydrating. It should be a light lemonade color.
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