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Smart Hydration Options for Runners

Don't let yourself get dehydrated, stock up on these items!

Long gone are the days where runners have virtually no options for hydration holders, tablets, and powders. It’s nearly 2016, and we are given so many options that we do not know where to start. From waste bands, handheld water bottles, to electrolyte tablets there are a lot of great products on the market today. Everyone’s preferences and needs are different when they hit the pavement, but this article will give you a look at my top five favorite hydration options!

Handheld Water Bottle: Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite 12- or 20-ounce

I normally don’t love running with a handheld water bottle, but this one is by far my favorite. The bottle is completely covered in a neoprene sleeve, which helps insulate my drink to stay cold. It literally forms right in your hand, and makes you feel like it is a part of your body. The 20 oz. is too big for me, so I lean toward the 12 oz. for convenience reasons. Because it is so form fitting, you cannot put any other water bottle inside of this neoprene sleeve, so don’t lose the bottle!

Waste belts: The Ultimate Direction Fury Running Belt

I love this waste belt, and the different hydration options it gives you! The Ultimate Direction Fury Belt allows you to have multiple avenues for hydration, and it fits snugly around your waste. Because it is so light, you barely even notice it is there. I prefer the running waste belts over the handheld bottles for this reason. The belt has a small zipper so you can fit your keys inside which is a nice addition. This waste belt is great for cold weather running to, as the straps adjust to fit comfortably against bulkier clothing. It holds three small water bottles comfortably.

Backpack Hydration: CamelBak Octane LR, $89

When I switch up my training and hit the hills, there is something more “outdoorsy” about having a camelback on. I love the Octane LR because it is comfortable, and holds enough water for my dog and I. Overall the pack holds about 2 liters of water, and the hose is the perfect length to not get in the way of your stride. This is a great option if you are needing more water than a waste belt or handheld can provide you. No matter what camelback you choose, they are all made well and meant for the outdoors.

Gels: GU Energy Gel (Of Course!)

This one is strictly personal preference. Some people enjoy the hammer gels, or the power bar gels, but I prefer the natural GU’s with no flavor. When I am running marathons, the artificial taste of energy gels makes me gag. The electrolytes, and the quick hit of energy these gels give off is a must when taking a hard run. I also have enjoyed the GU Energy Chews, because you can fit them in your zip pockets and snack on them when you feel yourself needing a boost. You can find these at any running, or outdoors store in the country. Just be careful not to consume too many of these as the sugar content can add up.

Simple Hydration

Forget all of the expensive powders, and get back to the root of what the body really needs to replenish. Electrolytes. You can simply add in a pinch of sea salt with one teaspoon of honey in mineral water or herbal tea and enjoy the benefits this will give to your body!

Whether you are a recreational runner or a runner who competes on the biggest stages in the world, we all need proper hydration. If you are running in hot weather, or running in cold weather make sure you have properly equipped yourself with hydration tools to help your body perform at its optimal levels. Pick one system that works for you, and make a habit to properly hydrate every couple of miles, even if it is a tiny sip!


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Written by Dr. Eric Wood

Dr. Eric Wood

Dr. Eric Wood is a leading licensed North American naturopathic doctor and a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, through which he completed specialty training in HIV/AIDS care, physical fitness training and weight loss. He was additionally educated at Harvard University's Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine and has completed specialty training through the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society physician training fellowship program, the Biotoxin Illness Fellowship Training (Dr Shoemaker), and specialty cancer centers including the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Chicago), the Issels Clinic (California), and Medicor (Canada).

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