Chick Chat: How Do You Hydrate?

With warmer temperatures approaching (for some of us, at least. Ahem.), I decided to round up the chicks to discuss how we stay hydrated- on long runs, during a race and everything in between.


I’ve tried different hydration aids when I’m out doing a longer walk or run. The chewy ones (GU Chomps, Clif Shot Blocks, PowerBar Energy Chews) are fine. They sit well in my stomach. I don’t know that I feel more hydrated, but they’re not unpleasant. I assume as I conquer longer times/distances, these will come in handy. However the gels are just not my cup of tea. The taste isn’t always the issue, it’s more the sweetness and texture.

But mostly, I’m a straight up water girl when it comes to hydration. It’s funny, I don’t love water. I know all the benefits, but it’s an effort for me to just sip away while I’m at my desk all day. But once I’m working out, I drink ALL the water.


I hydrate with good old H2O before runs and races. Strangely enough, I am obsessed with reusable water bottles and finding the cutest one (I like to accessorize, what can I say?) so I have a few different SIGG bottles that I rotate depending on my mood. And, honestly, my outfit.


My standard drink when I go out to a restaurant is always water with lime so one could say that I’m a water fan. Therefore, hydrating before a race ain’t no thang for me! I don’t really have to remind myself to chug, chug, chug because it’s something that I do regularly.

I have a handheld water bottle that I’ve used exactly ZERO times while racing. Yeah, that’s right. I purchased it, put it in the drawer and pull it out occasionally for a training run but haven’t actually held it during a race. Instead I rely on the water stations and the good volunteers along my route. Thankfully, I’ve never experienced dehydration during any of the half marathons I’ve done.

However, now that I’ll be running a full in the Fall, I’ve started considering the options for a hydration pack. I’m not sure it’s necessary, given that I’m not running for time and the water stations give me an opportunity to slow down and sip from a cup (which I pinch so I can walk at the same time) but might help the flow of my running if I can keep chugging along!


My hydration hinges on a the given season and can vary widely. That’s right, I don’t hydrate the same when I run in the snow and subzero wind chills as I do in sweltering 90-degree heat. Throughout the year I try to hydrate well during the work day, as I guzzle water at my desk. I fail miserably at this task when on assignment without access to a bathroom. What goes in must come out and that’s not happening while covering a murder trial or police standoff.

On my long runs year round, I bust out my FuelBelt. It’s old and cranky and has four little bottles (so I can fill some with Gatorade and fill others with water.) But it works. And if it ain’t broke…. I don’t use it as much in the winter, as I can squeak by with a handheld when its really cold. Plus, it often freezes anyway and is like carrying a block of ice.

On shorter runs (5 miles to 9-10 miles) in the spring, I use my Amphipod handheld water bottle. It carries less water than the belt, but that’s not a bad thing. I don’t really want to strap on the belt for a mid-length run.

I typically drink maybe a ½ bottle to a bottle of water before I head out the door for a run. (And I make sure to hit the restroom before I start running so I’m not incredibly uncomfortable the entire time.)

Once I finish a run, I head straight for the water – or low calorie Gatorade (G2-purple.) Sometimes I drink nuun instead, but I am typically too impatient to wait for the nuun tablet to dissolve before drinking so I reserve my nuun for non-running hydration.


During long runs, I carry water with me. I’ve gone through a few different water bottles- my amphipod, which I loved, and a Natahn quickdraw, which leaked a lot and was thrown into the recycling bin after the Princess half in February. Since then, I’ve used my son’s Klean Kanteen bottle, which is okay but somewhat annoying to carry and not really big enough since it’s meant for a child and not for running. I’ve been researching water bottles and based on Sara’s recommendation, I have a new one to try- so I’ll let you know how that works out soon.

It’s hot and humid in Florida most of the year, and I’m prone to exercise headaches after long runs (10 miles or more) if I don’t hydrate enough. For races, I drink coconut water the day before and the morning of the race. I alternate with water (that I carry) and whatever electrolyte beverage is given every few aid stations. This has worked well for me during my last two races. I follow the race with a nuun tablet because it’s easy to carry with me. I don’t drink quite as much for regular weekend runs but I follow a similar routine, only I finish with coconut water again instead of a nuun tablet. I like it plain, but the Zico chocolate flavor is a nice treat.

How do you hydrate? Any water bottle favorites? What about electrolytes? It’s time for a Friday chat!

18 thoughts on “Chick Chat: How Do You Hydrate?

  1. I’m with Jess on the cutest water bottles. Right now my favorite is my Life Factory bottle 🙂
    I am a water fan, sometimes with lemon, sometimes sparkling. I was feeling super dehydrated the last two weeks (does that sounds odd?) so I’ve been keeping my h20 bottle filled and with me at all times. It definitely helps my overall health and my running.
    During training runs or races I got for water or diluted Gatorade. During a race I’ll alternate at water stops between water and Gatorade.

  2. I typically run on a running path that has a 2 water fountains on my 3-5 mile loops or around my neighborhood. For 5 miles or longer, I stash a water bottle in the shrubs that I pass every 2 or so miles on my 4 mile loop (it’s a figure 8). Yeah, it means a bit of repetition for longer runs (I’ve trained for 3 Halves using this route), but I don’t have to actually carry anything.
    A far as which water bottle, I have a few styles, I stash the straw one in the shrubs, use a regular one at the gym (unless on I’m the treadmill, then it’s straw). I got a handheld from Ultimate Direction Hydration’s Jenny’s collection (aim for women) but I haven’t run with it yet.
    I’ll drink flavored soda water at home, there’s a local company that has everything from basic fruit to “champagne strawberry” and “chocolate mint”! On runs, I prefer NUUN, especially their caffeinated flavors for the early runs!

  3. I drink a lot of water during the day, but I don’t drink during runs. I know I should but carrying a water bottle is not my thing at all. I have water with electrolytes right after I finish running.

  4. I am a water drinker. I try to hold back drinking during runs I can over drink if am not careful. For extra fuel I am fine with Gels and Chomps. On longer runs I will carry just water in my old school belt and I run a path that has water fountains and will stash some extra water in my car if I need it since i run by my car about half way on longer runs. For halfs, IF its hot and humid I will do an electroyte drink every other water station for sipping. I love my Cocogo powder for this its convenient to carry rather than drink Gatorade or Powerade which now seems way too sweet for me. I also drink coconut water a day leading up to the race and after if I am local….otherwise, its cocogo!

  5. I’m a weirdo and rarely carry water with me. I live in philly so the weather usually isn’t too extreme. It does get muggy in the late summer, but ill try and run in the early morning or late at night. I’ll use a Gu Gel pre-run then rehydrate with Nuun post-run. If I’m running more than 10 miles past the month of June, I’ll carry an Amphipod Hydraform Handheld ThermalLite Bottle with Pocket since it can hold my keys too!

  6. My daughter is an active OCR runner tending to compete longer distances lately and is training for the MCM in October. She has lactic acid/bloating issues. While at the Everglades Ultra 50K in February, she discovered Hammer Nutrition’s Endurolytes and would pop a couple capsules every aid station and it reduced her lactic acid and water retention dramatically. She also liked their HEED sports drink in melon flavor. As it’s heating up here in FL, we placed an order and she filled her hydration pack with HEED and pre-loaded with Endurolytes last week and she wasn’t bloated after finishing the Spartan Super last weekend. Her hands were almost normal. We’re also trying some of their other products right now too (I’ll provide an update in another couple weeks but her energy levels have also improved so I’m liking what I’m seeing). We’re also on Weight Watchers Day 4 (she needed a food log) as a family and hopefully a few less pounds will help us all too.

    • Best of luck to you! I’ll have to check those out. I know that some of my friends here in FL use salt sticks but I assume that wouldn’t be helpful for reducing water retention. Glad your daughter found something that works for her.

  7. I have to have a ton of water when I run. On shorter runs 5 and under i can get away with just having water before and after but anything more I wear my fitletic belt with the bottle attachment. I love nuun tabs and usually throw a half a tab in my bottle as well. Longer runs 8 and up I got for nuun and shot bloks

  8. I drink a ridiculous amount of water normally, but for runs longer than 5 miles i take a bottle of chilled coconut water. I have stopped having post-run migraines since I started drinking it – something about the potassium and electrolytes, I think. Anyway, it’s yummy and does the job!

  9. For daily drinking, I drink a lot of water and a good amount of tea. For runs and workouts, I really just do water. Even for long hikes, I’m still just a water person. But I bring snacks.

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