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Hydration: 5 Things You Should Know and How They’ll Help

You know about hydration, now learn about how it helps your body

Nuun is the Official Hydration partner of the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. They know a thing or two about hydrating athletes. The experts at Nuun are constantly gathering information about how athletes can better fuel their bodies. This blog post was written by the Nuun experts to educate athletes and provide them with the information needed to be successful during training and racing.

Hydration is energy (for your muscles)

Most people think that the purpose of hydration is to prevent dehydration and replenish electrolyte stores that may be lost via sweat. Although both of those are true (recent studies have shown that electrolytes may play greater roles in fluids absorption than sweat replenishment), the fundamental goal of hydration is to deliver oxygen to working muscles. Try to think about hydration or the fluid you are consuming as a way of helping your muscles breathe, which in turn gives them the energy they need to perform.

Editor’s note: proper hydration, along with these 6 tips from this Austin Marathon blog will help you run your best!

Water does not hydrate you

Yes, you read that correctly! While water does fundamentally provide your body with fluid, it does not truly hydrate you. Water needs to be in a specific concentration (composing of carbohydrates and electrolytes) to exit the stomach and move into circulation where it can be used by the body. Our water needs to contain sodium to ensure proper fluid absorption. To make matters even more complicated, your “water” should contain different amounts of carbohydrates and electrolytes before/during/after your workout.

Mitigate gastric distress during exercise

To put it simply, when you are exercising, your body (stomach) is under stress. There are ways you can eat and drink to mitigate that stress or encourage it. When it comes to hydration, if the ratio of carbohydrates to fluid is too high or the electrolyte profile is too low, the delivery of fluid slows down. It sits in the stomach. That’s what causes sloshing and GI issues during racing. 

Help you fuel better

This builds on the previous point. With proper hydration, you can help eliminate the GI issues that can come with it. This allows for faster and more efficient fueling. This is achieved by not overloading your system and using multiple pathways to absorb fluids and carbohydrates.

Aids in recovery

One area that is critical to the recovery process is rehydrating. Rehydrating not only replenishes fluids lost during exercise, but it also aids in replenishing the electrolytes that were also lost. Keep in mind: drinking too much too fast can degrade the potential gains of the workout. Here’s why: over time your body has developed a strong immune system that helps repair itself when it is under the stresses of exercise. Therefore, naturally, your body begins repairing itself, slowly rehydrating, and continuing to hydrate throughout the day.

Editor’s note: recover faster when you follow this long training run recovery timeline from the Austin Marathon!

Nuun Hydration is our Official Hydration partner. Head over to www.nuunlife.com to stock up on your hydration supply and train with what will be on course. Save 25% with the code below!