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Sep 1

I’m Dying of Thirst All Day After a Long Run. What’s Happening? – Runner’s World

After a hot run, how can I replace the fluids and electrolytes that I lose?

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Thirst is a signal from your body that you do not have enough fluid on board. For most runners, weight loss is equal to sweat loss, so six to seven pounds of weight loss per hour is a very high sweat rate.

If you remember the saying, a pint’s a pound the whole world round you can use your weight loss to develop a fluid replacement plan.

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The average sweat rate is about two pints per hour, with a range of less than a pint to as much as eight pints per hour across the broad spectrum of normal runners.

Watch how to keep your water bottle cool longer on hot summer runs:

This wide range of sweat fluid loss makes it impossible to give a standardized fluid replacement recommendation for runners, as the person who sweats just one pint an hour will have considerably different fluid needs than someone like you, who sweats much more heavily. A runner who replaces too much fluid is at risk of exercise-associated hyponatremia, a life-threatening medical condition.

On the flip side, a runner who sweats heavily and does not adequately replace fluids during activity loses intravascular blood volume, reduces the ability to transfer heat from the working muscle to the body surface, and is at increased risk for exertional heat stroke (also a life threatening condition).

Finding a balance between sweat loss and safe fluid replacement is a conundrum distance runners face. Someone who sweats a pint or two per hour can usually use thirst as a guide to adequately replace fluid and avoid drinking too much during a workout or race.

A runner with a high sweat rate, however, should confirm the weight loss over several runs and in different temperature conditions, and develop a plan for fluid replacement during runs.

To feel better after runs, you probably need to replace more than 16 ounces of fluid. Most runners can easily absorb about two pints of fluid per hour during exercise, so increasing your intake may help with your post run thirst.

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You will probably have to split that quart of fluid into three or four smaller portions over each hour of your run. Sodium may also be beneficial, so using a sports drink (such as Nuun) during your runs may help. But because youre losing upwards of six or more pounds on your run, you will need to replace the rest of that fluid loss before your next run.

To start, make sure to ingest a couple of pints immediately following your run. Most foods are about half water so plan to eat a meal with extra fluid within a couple of hours. Then plan consistent fluid and meal intakes throughout the remainder of the day until your thirst subsides and you are urinating freely. This will let you know its safe to go for another run.

Runners with high sweat rates must also choose wisely when it comes to racing and training distances. If you weigh 160 pounds and lose six pints an hour without replacement, you will be down about four percent of your body weight at the end of an hour, which is generally tolerable.

However if you are out for three hours without replacing any fluids, you will lose about 11 percent of your body weight, which would put you in a severely dehydrated state and could lead to problems.

Replacing six pints over the three hours would still leave you more than five percent dehydrated and put you at greater risk for heat stroke and collapse.

Training your body to tolerate higher fluid volume ingestion while running will help you replace fluid while you are training and racingconsider getting a hydration vest, which holds more water, and drinking a bit more during your runs.

High sweat rates can be a safety risk, so it is important to know your sweat rate and your individual limits for safe running.

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Get answers to questions on health, injuries and sports medicine from runner-friendly physician William Roberts, M.D. If you have a question for the Sports Doc, please ask it on our Health & Injuries forum.

Originally posted here:
I’m Dying of Thirst All Day After a Long Run. What’s Happening? – Runner’s World

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