Avoiding Over and Under Hydration for Runners

May 9, 2020

Avoiding Over and Under Hydration for Runners

We discuss the importance of hydration for running performance. Learn how to avoid over and under hydration and gather some tips on how to recognise and assess your hydration status.

Discover the link between the two most common performance limiting factors i.e. carbohydrate and hydration status.

Gain information on the benefits and pitfalls of including sports drinks in your nutrition and training plan.

LISTEN HERE Episode 5: Hydration and Running Performance



We’re speaking about carbohydrates proteins and fats, which are the key energy nutrients in relation to running performance.


Why is hydration important and why are we talking about this today?


Hydration status is a principal limiting factor in performance If people can get both carbohydrates and hydration optimal, then they’ve got a good chance of achieving whatever their running goals are.

If hydration status is suboptimal, then that could have a major impact on our running performance.


More than 2%, dehydration, it could result in numerous physical and psychological symptoms.


Hydration can increase the use of glycogen. So, if that’s happening an athlete could suffer from suboptimal carbohydrate and hydration status at the same time, and that could lead to deterioration in sports performance and general health.


We take a look at the problems associated with over hydration (hyponatremia), potentially a really serious situation for a runner.


How to ensure that we’re drinking the right amount of fluids, plus some tips on how we can all approach our hydration status, remembering that hydration status is a performance limiting factor.


A look at the symptoms occurring when a runner becomes more than 2% dehydrated and the infamous situation of “hitting the wall”.


Adapting hydration in both hot and cold environments


Hydration pre, during and post exercise and the importance of everyday baseline hydration.


Discussing common symptoms related to electrolyte balance e.g. sodium, magnesium and muscle cramping.


How do we know we’re dehydrated? An easy way to assess individual hydration levels.


Are sports drinks considered to be hydration? Learn the benefits and pitfalls of using sports drinks.


Understanding the effects on your health when using sports drinks containing artificial sweeteners.


  • There are not many hydration differences between genders
  • Menopausal women have tendency to have flushes and sweats


  • Dehydration is a limiting factor in Running Performance
  • Hydration status needs to be considered pre, during, and post training/event.
  • Ensure you consider your hydration status on a daily basis,
  • Having a glass of water by your bed
  • Having some water before leaving the house
  • Start to carry a water bottle with you for all runs over 1hr
  • Plan your running route around the availability of water fountains
  • Consider purchasing a Camelbak
  • Purchase electrolyte tablets/drops

Related Episodes:

Sports Nutrition Foundations for Female Runners

Macronutrients to Help Runners go Faster and Longer


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Remember we are available to support you if required contact us at hello@ runnershealthhub.com

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