running tips: what’s your water ritual?

Picture this: a sizzling hot summer day, the humidity index is through the roof, and, you guessed it - time for your run! With just one step out the door you begin to melt but the sweat pouring off your brow is no match for your cool, clean water bottle full of liquid gold. As is turns out, the object of your desire couldn’t be better for you! We’re made up of about 70-percent water and even a slight deviation from our water balance can change your workout from an all-time best to an all-time worst.

water bottles from lululemon

We are more aware of our water requirements on hot summer days but it's equally as important to be well hydrated all day everyday. If you’re out of practice with a water drinking ritual carry a reusable water bottle around as your best defense against dehydration. Headaches, minor fatigue, cramps, muscle spasms and even hunger can be dehydration in disguise. If you begin to listen to these thirst signals beyond a parched mouth you will stay properly hydrated and feel great during your workouts!

drinking water after exercise

So what’s the solution to staying hydrated? Develop a water ritual!

Every runner, whether they realize it or not, has a water ritual to prevent dehydration.

  • The water addict: an obsessive water drinker in perpetual fear of dehydration.
  • The sports drink junkie, who will only drink fluid if it’s flavored and contains electrolytes.
  • The camel, the runner who chugs all their water in one go and trains off the reserves.
  • The borrower, generally not a crowd favorite, the one who swears they’re not thirsty but after workout you find them sneaking your supply.
  • The bottle princess: the one who will only drink water if it’s filtered and prepackaged.

Which one are you?

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I don’t drink water until after I’m done my run.

Comment by Serafina — July 9, 2010 @ 4:06 pm


So, I just moved to Chicago with a gnarly humidity index and a community that loves heated yoga. I was not participating in my water ritual. Sure wasn’t.

Started to fill a bit funky. Kind of dizzy. The spins.

I found out I was dehydrated and had Vertigo induced by lack of H2O. What!?! Next morning, went to lululemon and bough the stainless steel water bottle that reads, “DRINK FRESH WATER”…and I listened!

Everyone, get your hydration on!

Comment by jacki carr — July 9, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

I carry a nalgene (32oz/1 liter) everywhere and duringthe summer I must drink 7 of them a day. Though for runs I don’t carry a water bottle, it’s kind of silly since I always run 14 miles or less (under 2 hours), my body doesn’t usually feel the NEED for water during those runs, but I do drink up before and after. Thats how I trained every summer for cross country in college (and in season as well) as did my teammates. So I guess it’s water addict and “camel.”

Comment by Lyn — July 9, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

I got a nice Camelbak stainless steel insulated water bottle about 3 months ago… I throw a couple ice cubes in in the morning, and my water is still cold by lunch time! I love it. I bring it to work with me, I try to fill it and bring with me even when I go out to run errands, and I’ll even carry it around my apartment with me. I find that’s how it’s easiest for me to remember to drink water and stay hydrated! It holds .5L (almost 17 ounces). I usually have to fill it up at least 2x per day, sometimes 3. I’ve found that if I’m dehydrated, my running will really suffer- I’ll feel sluggish and have a hard time keeping the pace I need to for a certain run.

Comment by Amanda — July 11, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

oh, and I guess I’m somewhere between a water addict and a bottle princess, only because I fill my bottle from our Brita pitcher at home and our water cooler at work.

Comment by Amanda — July 11, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

When I’m about to work out I’m a camel – - no idea how to balance working out and drinking water. Any other regular day, I’m a water addict. I wish I could drink water and not have to go to the bathroom 10 minutes later.

Comment by Gillian — July 14, 2010 @ 8:29 am

I have a cabinet full of stainless steel water bottles, but I do find myself always choosing the same one. Funny how you can develop a personal attachment to a particular bottle! No one else in the family (all male) will use it because it has a plaid (apparently feminine) soccer ball sticker on it. I’m thankful for that – it’s always there for me. I got most of my bottles from

Comment by Lydia — January 20, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

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