Dehydration and Endurance Performance
Dehydration is a constant concern among endurance athletes, and runners are no exception. A lot has been written and discussed about how much water must one drink to prevent dehydration, and after numerous scientific studies and Dr. Noak's recent book Waterlogged, there still seems to be no clear-cut answer. However, some consensus does seem to be forming, as a new study backs up Dr. Noak's general conclusion - drink to thirst. As the authors conclude: During exercise lasting longer than 1 hour, in which fluid is readily
available, drinking according to the dictates of thirst maximizes
endurance performance. In athletes whose thirst sensation is
untrustworthy or when external factors such as psychological stress or
repeated food intake may blunt thirst sensation, it is recommended to
program fluid intake to maintain exercise-induced body weight loss
around 2% to 3%.
So, as in many things with running, listening to one's body and the messages it is telling you are essential. Learning just how much water you need - and not another runner - is key. Now if I could just pin down my calorie intake for the longer races, I might be set. That is proving to be much harder then my fluids.