Running our first 10k of the season yesterday started us thinking about how hydration is so crucial for runs and exercising in general.

Get it right and you can trim seconds off your personal best, get it wrong and you can hit the wall during a race or far more seriously suffer from dehydration or something much worse such as Hyponatremia. (when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low).

Then again, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Even just going about your average day, some people will tell you need to drink at least two litres of water a day, others will tell you that is nonsense.

The answer really is just to be sensible in everything you do an “listen” to your body.

As around 60% of your body is made up of water,  you need to replenish it during exercise as you can lose a lot of fluid (up to a litre an hour). If you don’t top up you get dehydrated. You feel tired more easily and your temperature becomes harder to control.

Water helps fuel your muscles, so drinking before, during and after exercise will boost your energy levels, and may help to prevent cramp. This will affect your performance and can even lead to heat stroke. Drinking enough will help you get the most out of your exercise session and feel good while you’re doing it.

Drinking little and often rather than a lot less often will give you the best chance of hitting your exercise targets. The amount you need to drink will depend on how much you sweat and how long you exercise for. These factors are all influenced by your genetics, size, fitness, the weather and the intensity of the exercise.

To be honest the best advice we can give you is if you feel thirsty, then drink! Don’t forget to drink after exercise too. This will top up your levels and start repairing the muscles.

If you are planning to run an organised race or just training to get fit, don’t forget we can help you here at Fitbiznow. Just get in touch and we can get cracking on that fitness plan!