Throughout class and my time training in Run Club+, I always encourage our mamas to take breaks to drink water. But what about the rest of the day? Maybe your evening headache is from dehydration and not the bed time routine struggle. The truth is that, even if you think you are drinking enough water, you're probably not.
Here are four common hydration mistakes, and ways to avoid them:
1 Not drinking enough water throughout the week. Just like cramming for a test, chugging water before your workout or run does not do the trick. This can cause you to have frequent bathroom breaks, as well as cause you to run the risk of throwing off your sodium balance.
Instead, keep water handy all day. Try to drink AT LEAST one liter per day. Your urine color should be light yellow (like lemonade). Once it gets too dark (like apple juice), you’re already dehydrated.
2 Avoiding salt at all costs. I know, I know. You have always been told to limit salt, but if you are sweating buckets, sprinkle a dash of salt on your dinner. When you sweat, replenishing your fluids and sodium levels is even more important.
3 Not getting enough magnesium or potassium. Most runners know about sodium, but sweat also contains magnesium and potassium, which play a pivotal role in maintaining fluid balance and muscle function. Most Americans don’t consume the recommended 400 mg of magnesium and 4,700 mg of potassium each day. A deficiency in either mineral can exacerbate the symptoms of dehydration and cause extreme muscle cramps. A well-balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes will ensure you get enough of these nutrients. These sources are particularly good choices.
Magnesium: Leafy greens, almonds, pumpkin seeds, tofu, flaxseeds, broccoli, lentils
Potassium: Bananas, sweet potatoes, beets, tomatoes, oranges, pomegranate juice
4 Not listening to our bodies. The earliest sign of dehydration may present as dark colored urine or a slight headache. As dehydration worsens, you may feel extreme thirst, debilitating muscle cramps, fatigue, and sometimes even a decrease in heart rate. It’s necessary to recognize and listen to these signs because dehydration can do more than hurt your race performance—it can be life threatening.
Follow these tips to stay hydrated, whether you’re training for our upcoming Reindeer Run, participating in class, or simply want to maintain your mama glow!