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Hydration 101: Sports Drinks vs. Water

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Nov. 5, 2013
  • Updated Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:17 PM UTC

Learn how each works and when it’s best to use one versus the other.

Most runners have heard over and over again that drinking fluids as the summer months approach is of the utmost importance; neglecting to drink when it’s hot outside is committing one of the cardinal sins of sports nutrition.

Well, that’s somewhat true, but it isn’t quite that simple. Instead of telling you to drink more fluids when the mercury rises, over the next few pages we’ll take a look at when you should be drinking water versus when you should be drinking sports drinks or an electrolyte beverage. This is also an important topic to explore in regard to hydrating during marathons or fueling for marathon-specific long runs, but that’s a different topic for another article. Here, we’ll stick to a discussion of hydration and drinking protocols during training.

RELATED: Hydration During Running

Finally, I’ll help you calculate exactly how much fluid you need to consume on any given training run, and how to apply that information to your training.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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