Avoiding Over and Under Hydration for Runners - She Runs Eats Performs

Episode 5

Published on:

7th May 2020

Hydration and Running Performance

Avoiding Over and Under Hydration for Runners

We discuss the importance of hydration for running performance. Learn how to avoid over and under hydration and gather some tips on how to recognise and assess your hydration status.

Discover the link between the two most common performance limiting factors i.e. carbohydrate and hydration status.

Gain information on the benefits and pitfalls of including sports drinks in your nutrition and training plan.

Show Notes


We're speaking about carbohydrates proteins and fats, which are the key energy nutrients in relation to running performance.  


Why is hydration important and why are we talking about this today?


Hydration status is a principal limiting factor in performance If people can get both carbohydrates and hydration optimal, then they've got a good chance of achieving whatever their running goals are.

If hydration status is suboptimal, then that could have a major impact on our running performance.


More than 2%, dehydration, it could result in numerous physical and psychological symptoms.


Hydration can increase the use of glycogen. So, if that's happening an athlete could suffer from suboptimal carbohydrate and hydration status at the same time, and that could lead to deterioration in sports performance and general health.


We take a look at the problems associated with over hydration (hyponatraemia), potentially a really serious situation for a runner.


How to ensure that we're drinking the right amount of fluids, plus some tips on how we can all approach our hydration status, remembering that hydration status is a performance limiting factor.


A look at the symptoms occurring when a runner becomes more than 2% dehydrated and the infamous situation of “hitting the wall”.


Adapting hydration in both hot and cold environments


Hydration pre, during and post exercise and the importance of everyday baseline hydration.


Discussing common symptoms related to electrolyte balance e.g. sodium, magnesium and muscle cramping.


How do we know we're dehydrated? An easy way to assess individual hydration levels.


Are sports drinks considered to be hydration? Learn the benefits and pitfalls of using sports drinks.


Understanding the effects on your health when using sports drinks containing artificial sweeteners.


  • Dehydration is a limiting factor in Running Performance
  • Hydration status needs to be considered pre, during, and post training/event.
  • Ensure you consider your hydration status on a daily basis, Think about:
  • Having a glass of water by your bedHaving some water before leaving the house
  • Start to carry a water bottle with you for all runs over 1hr
  • Plan your running route around the availability of water fountains
  • Consider purchasing a Camelbak
  • Purchase electrolyte tablets/drops

Related episodes:

Sports Nutrition Foundations for Female Runners

Macronutrients to Help Runners go Faster and Longer


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.

Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you'll join us again. If you'd like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.

If you're ready to make learn more about how you may introduce easy nutrition into your running and training plan join our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners Online Programme for short videos, recipes, downloads and LIVE training and Q&A.

As a THANK YOU to you as one of our valued listeners, we have a special offer for you use COUPON CODE POD to get 33% discount off the full price which brings the price to £199.

If you’d like help from Karen and Aileen to design a personalised sports nutrition plan for your running - please contact them at hello@runnershealthhub.com

Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Show artwork for She Runs Eats Performs

About the Podcast

She Runs Eats Performs
for mid-life female runners of all abilities
Are you confused about the science around nutrition for runners? Listen in to learn about the WHY, HOW, WHAT, and WHEN of eating to fuel your running performance.

We are here to help you translate sports nutritional science, into easy to apply tips and plans, helping you enjoy peak running performance. We focus on the FEMALE FACTORS every mid-life woman needs to know to be a healthy runner.

About your host

Profile picture for Aileen Smith

Aileen Smith

Nutritionists, Educators, Podcasters, Runners and Friends

We have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living. She Runs Eats Performs for female runners of all abilities who are looking for simple ways to improve their running performance and their health with nutrition and lifestyle.
We enjoy sharing our nutritional expertise, reviewing the latest sports science and most of all helping you to take easy action so you can enjoy your running life to the full.
We are here to help you achieve great health and good shape whilst staying injury-free with easy-to-understand sports nutritional concepts and easy-to-implement tips and plans.

Aileen and Karen are BANT and CNHC Registered Nutritional Therapists.