5 Hydration Hacks for Runners

5 Hydration Hacks for Runners

It’s Springtime, that time of year when the weather starts to change, it’s light until later in the day, flowers start blooming, temps are getting higher and we’re spending more time outside. As a runner, this is one of my favorite times of the year because it means I get to be outside on long runs, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine more than usual.

I’ve also been spending a lot of time outside working in my backyard and also doing a lot of hiking. So I’m aware that my hydration needs are increasing with this added “sweat time” but like anybody else, I can sometimes forget to plan ahead and stay on top of my hydration.

That’s where Ultima comes in—with 6 electrolytes, trace minerals, no sugar and amazing taste, it really helps to replenish my body after hard workouts and long hours of landscaping. What’s great about Ultima is that there is zero sugar and zero calories which means I feel good about drinking it anytime, not just post-workout.

While hiking and running are at the top of my list for Spring activities (or any time of year since I live in Southern California) they aren’t the only things I’m focusing on this year. Some of my favorite things to do and my hydration hacks for them are:

Hydration Hack #1:

Hiking. I add hiking to my routine for cross-training. It is always fun, but it’s even better in Spring when the wildflowers are blooming. I love hiking up to Cuyamaca Peak and seeing the city from the top of the mountain. I wear my hydration backpack so I can safely go out for longer than planned and still have enough water and electrolytes with me.

I carry a couple of Ultima electrolyte stickpacks with me in case the day turns warmer than expected and I need to find a place to refill my hydration backpack. I just open up a stick of Ultima and drop it into the bladder of my backpack and I’m good to go.

One of the things I like about Ultima is that it doesn’t make the bladder and tubing on my backpack get all yucky. Since there is no sugar in Ultima it helps to reduce the build-up that sugary sports drinks tend to do with a hydration bladder.

Hydration Hack #2

Walking/running on the beach. I live in San Diego and since the beach is very close to us, this is an option for us. It’s nice because the beaches aren’t quite as packed yet and in some spots, it’s like we have the whole place to ourselves. We spent some time on the California coast earlier this Spring and it was so incredible.

I like to run barefoot on the sand to help build up my foot and calf strength as well as flexibility. Running in the sand forces you to slow down and focus on form.

Because there are no trees for shade, it can get hot really fast. On beach-run days I start hydrating early in the morning. I mix up 16 oz of Ultima Replenisher to be sure I am starting my day well-hydrated and have plenty of electrolytes in my body. I do this on most days, but especially on beach-running days. I make sure to do this at least 2 hours ahead of time.

Before we head over to the beach we pack a cooler in the car with plenty of cold bottles of water and Ultima electrolyte stickpacks. I love drinking the Lemonade flavor during a workout and the Watermelon flavor post-workout. We hydrate before we start our run and bring a water bottle with us to leave in the sand so we can circle back to it mid-run. Then we make sure to hydrate again with another 16 oz of Ultima immediately after our run to replace what we’ve lost through sweat.

Hydration Hack #3

Working out in the yard. Our backyard becomes a jungle every Spring after just a little rain. It’s fun trimming the trees and deciding on new plants. I think of it as a functional strength training day because of all the heavy lifting and raking. It’s a great workout! And great cross-training as a runner.

We approach our hydration needs in the same way we would on a running day but the beauty is that we get to mix up some fun Ultima combos like Lemonade and black tea for an Arnold Palmer with a fresh lemon slice and lots of ice. We keep a huge jug of it on the picnic table and refill our glasses often while working in the yard. Having it close by means we stay on top of our hydration needs and enjoy a refreshing, icy cold beverage as often as we want.

It also means that if we want to go for a run later that day, we’ve stayed ahead of our hydration and electrolyte needs and we’ll feel a lot better on our run because we have not depleted our resources during the work day.

Hydration Hack #4

Dining al fresco. One of the best parts of living in Southern California is that we have incredible weather which allows us to eat outside most days. My husband and I work outside so we like to eat lunch together on the patio on the weekdays.

On weekends, we often head out to a restaurant and enjoy all the amazing healthy dining options around us. We take Ultima Replenisher stickpacks with us so we can mix them into seltzer water for a healthier soda alternative. I like a bit of fizz now and then and even add Ultima to a cocktail to make it a low-sugar adult beverage.

More often than not, we’ve had a long run during the day and having the Ultima electrolyte stickpacks with us to pop into a glass of water, seltzer water or even unsweetened iced tea, really helps us to avoid dehydration.

Hydration Hack #5

Working outside - while I know this one isn’t easy for everyone, being in San Diego, where we have really nice weather most days, I love taking my laptop out to the patio and working in the sun. It’s a great way for me to get some vitamin D and fresh air. I’ve worked remotely for years and I find it nice to break up the day!

Staying hydrated is important all the time, but especially as the temps start to rise, I know that I need more than just water. That’s why I drink Ultima Replenisher electrolyte drink mixes. They not only keep me hydrated and replenish my electrolytes, but they also taste so good and are something I like to treat myself with every day. My favorite flavors are Lemonade and Raspberry and I even mix them together sometimes.

As a runner, I know that my performance and how I feel are impacted so much by how hydrated I am. Instead of just thinking about hydration when I’m running I make it my mission to think about how I can add it into my day, every day, so that when I do go out for my runs I know I’ll feel great.

Happy trails!

Jenny Nakamura lives in sunny San Diego with her ultrarunner husband Sean Nakamura. They spend most of their time outside either on trails running & hiking, running races and most recently landscaping their backyard. They have been enjoying drinking Ultima Replenisher for years! Follow Jenny on Instagram @runnylegs.

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