For any kind of running, hydration is king. Add to that the long distances and varied terrain associated with trails, staying hydrated becomes all the more important. But what’s the best way to do it?
A lot of people like to go running in the morning, when their energy levels are at their lowest. This is why it’s important to think about how you provide your body with the energy it needs before you start.
With that in mind, here are some of the most popular/interesting options out there that you might want to try, or avoid, when first starting out.
We’re not reinventing the wheel here! Water will always be the best way to supply your body with fluids to help demolish the miles. However, even though it will keep you well hydrated, it may not give you the energy boost you need to get going first thing in the morning. Plus, drinking lots of water before a run can also make you feel nauseous.
The morning standard, coffee will always lift our spirits in the morning and a proper caffeine boost could be what you need before a decent run. Just bare in mind one small caveat; once the caffeine has left your body, you may feel the sluggish effects of a caffeine crash. Coffee is also a diuretic, meaning you may need to take plenty of water to make up for lost fluids.
This is a favourite of the legendary Tarahumara runners of Mexico, who are known to run 100 mile ultra marathons barefoot, simply for fun! It’s no wonder that people have started adopting their dietary habits. Known as a natural energy drink, a chia fresca is basically chia seeds mixed with water and whatever flavouring you fancy, such as lemon juice. Chia seeds are a super food packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fibre, calcium and various other nutrients, giving you a slow releasing store of energy. You think this would be the obvious choice for runners; except that for some people its “gloopy” consistency may put people off first thing in the morning, which might make you feel queasy. Not ideal!
Yes – beer! Apparently this is something that people are genuinely trying before a run, and even swear by. Beer is packed full of sugars and carbs which could give you all the energy you need before a run. Some runners have said that the relaxing effects of alcohol help you to have a smooth run. But – and this is a huge BUT – alcohol is a diuretic and a depressant, both of which ultimately sap your energy levels and resolve to finish. Also, the amount of gassy fluids floating around your stomach could increase feelings of nausea and bloatedness, not something you want to experience on your fifth mile.