How much should I drink while running?

Don't forget to drink when you're out running. When you run, you sweat. If you're not adequately hydrated, your heart has to work harder to power your muscles; as a result, your running performance suffers. But worse, if you don't replace lost fluids, you risk dehydration, which is serious business.

Every hour of exercise increases your fluid debt. Dehydration can lead to swelling of the brain and even seizures, kidney failure and loss of consciousness.

Although opinions vary, a popular belief is to let your thirst be your guide. If you drink when you're thirsty, you'll give your body adequate hydration. Of course, if you're running in extreme heat or running for 90 minutes or longer, you need to be extra vigilant. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests drinking three to eight fluid ounces of water for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise for less than 60 minutes, or to check your hydration status by weighing yourself before and after exercise and replenishing any weight loss (which is usually fluid loss) with water.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.