Especially during the summer heat, many runners begin to wonder how running with water would impact their performance. The answer? Positively. There are many benefits to hydrating while running and doing so with a running water bottle.
For starters, a lack of hydration forces your heart to work harder. Blood volume decreases, less blood returns to your heart, your heart pumps less blood, less oxygen-rich blood reaches your muscles, and you start to move at a slower pace.
If you’re in a race, it’s much more convenient to take casual swigs from your water bottle rather than try to stop amongst the crowds at a water station. It’s also more environmentally friendly than grabbing a paper cup and tossing it to the side.
Having water on you isn’t only good for drinking, but also for splashing on yourself as a refresher. Sometimes it’s the heat and sweat on your skin that causes you to feel lethargic.
While it might feel awkward to run with a water bottle at first, it will actually help your form in the long run. If you pay attention to how much the water moves in the bottle, you can learn to adjust your form accordingly so that you’re standing more upright and keeping your movements small and swift. You also might notice a little extra soreness in your arms or shoulders at first, but as you build upper-body strength, this will disappear.
Once you finish your run, you’ll feel much more refreshed than if you hadn’t been hydrating along the way. You’ll also feel more prepared for your next run, because you’ll recover more quickly if you haven’t suffered from dehydration.
Making it Happen
For a shorter run, you should be fine using a handheld waterbottle, and 21 oz. will be plenty of water. If you’re worried about your grip or exerting too much energy to hold the bottle, you can get a Hand Held Pack to hold the bottle. You’ll want a water bottle that is flexible with high flow caps and requires little pressure to squeeze the bottle.
You can go a step further and get a purist running water bottle, which makes the water as pure as drinking from a glass. The plastic is still flexible, there’s low surface tension shielding inside your bottle to protect it from odor staining and mold build-up, and it can be easily rinsed.
If you’re going on a longer run and might need more water, gear, and storage, we recommend trying a pack instead like the HydraQuiver.
No matter the distance of your run, keep in mind that you don’t want to end up over-hydrated or bloated from drinking too much or too quickly. Take sips frequently rather than large chugs sporadically.