How to Drink While Running

Running Nutrition & Hydration Advice,Expert Advice on Running Accessories,Spring & Summer Running Advice
How to Drink While Running

Drinking is very important while running longer distances. There is no hard and fast rule on when you need to take water on a run – it's best to experiment and find out what works for you (see our Hydration Guide for more advice). How to run with water is partly down to personal preference, and partly down to how much liquid you need to take with you. Here are some suggestions on how to carry and access your drinks while running.


The importance of hydration: before, during and after running

Running increases sweating, so we need replenish fluid, especially on longer runs. Make sure you hydrate your body well on the day of a race or long training session, as well as the day before and the day after. This will help you avoid the side effects of dehydration (e.g. headaches, fatigue and rapid heartbeat). It also means you don't necessarily need to carry exactly what you'll lose through sweat during your run or race.

Tips for staying hydrated while running

To stay well hydrated consider using running nutrition products with electrolytes. It's best to experiment with different types and brands in your training. Don't try anything new on race day. See our Guide to Hydration & Dehydration for more details.

How much to drink while running?

The amount of fluid you need on your run depends on the distance, the weather, and your own constitution.

Should I carry a bottle while running?

Once you've decided how much you'll need, do you need to actually carry all of it with you? In a race there will usually be water stations, so it's good to figure that out beforehand. Depending on the length of the race, your own predicted finish time, and the amount of support offered, you might want to carry a certain amount with you as a safeguard. Bear in mind that this will weigh you down and could get annoying.

How do you carry water while running?

To choose the right type of carrier, also think about the different things you need to carry with you: e.g. phone, gels, jacket, laptop if you're commuting, etc.... Your options are:

Running BottlesHydration BeltsHydration BackpacksHydration Vests

Salomon Running Bottle

Running Bottles

Soft bottles have been on the market for a while now and have become extremely popular. They are such a brilliant addition to the running scene for a number of reasons. The bottle gradually gets smaller as you drink the water and also the water doesn't slosh around as it's in a vacuum. 

Some trail races and ultra races ask you to bring a cup. Salomon make a soft speed cup which you can use and then squish it away in your pack or pocket.

The other option if you have a waistpack or rucksack is just to get one or two of the soft bottles. Once you've drunk the water they hardly take up any space at all. Some trail clothing comes with a pocket that a soft bottle will fit into.

Shop Running Bottles

Salomon Soft Cup Speed 150ml
£10.00

Salomon Soft Flask 250ml/8oz STD 28
£12.00

Ronhill 350ml Fuel Flask
£12.00

Salomon Soft Flask XA Filter 490ml
£40.00

Ultimate Direction Body Bottle 500 Insulated
£30.00

Ronhill 500ml Fuel Flask
£14.00

Hydration Belts

If you don't like having something in your hand while you're running, there are many different types of bottle belt. The most basic one has a 500ml bottle and a small gel pocket. The more advanced type comes with 2 bottles, gel loops, toggles for a race number, space for a phone and an inner zip pocket for keys or a credit card. The two bottles balance nicely and you could fill one with an energy drink instead of water, for example.

Shop Hydration Belts

Fitletic Hydration Belt 16oz
£38.00

Salomon Agile 250 Set Belt
£40.00

Ultimate Direction Access 300
£35.00

Ultimate Direction Access 600
£40.00

Hydration Backpacks

If you don't like having something around your waist, or if you need more than 1.5L of water, then a backpack with a bladder could be the solution. If you already have a good running backpack, often it will have a special compartment for a bladder. This will protect your bladder from any sharp objects you might be carrying. All the backpacks that we stock have bladder compartments, but you need to purchase the bladder separately.

Running backpacks come in different sizes according to the storage capacity in litres. Choose one that corresponds with how much you need to carry – liquid plus other items.

Shop Backpacks & Bladders

OMM Ultra 8L Running Backpack
£38.00

Salomon Trailblazer 10
£45.00

Women's Gregory Maya 16 Backpack
£80.00

Gregory Miwok 18 Backpack
£80.00

Montane Trailblazer 18
£60.00

Montane Trailblazer 25
£85.00

Ultimate Direction 2L Reservoir II
£32.00

Running Hydration Vest

Hydration Vests

One way of drinking on the run, which has dramatically increased in popularity over the past few years, is to use a hydration vest (AKA a race vest). There are a number of options around, but they are all incredibly lightweight and comfy. Basically even when full with 2x500ml bottles and a light jacket and trousers, you hardly know you're carrying it.

One of the main differences to a backpack is that the water bottles are on the front, which means easier access. Weight carried on your back can act like a brake for your running, whereas having the weight at the front can help you maintain a slight forward lean, which can be helpful for technique and momentum.

Many hydration vests come with small stash pockets on the front for gels, phone etc. Then they have a larger compartment in the back, which could fit a 2L bladder and/or a lightweight jacket and trousers.

Hydration vests have now really become an essential piece of kit for anyone doing longer training runs and races that have a kit list, so we stock a few different sizes. Ideally you would try them on, to get that perfect fit.

Shop Hydration Vests

Salomon Adv Skin 5 Set
£110.00

Women's Salomon Sense Pro 5 W Set
£120.00

Salomon Active Skin 8 Set
£80.00

Salomon Sense Pro 10 Set
£140.00

Ronhill Commuter Vest
£90.00

Montane Gecko VP 12+
£110.00

Of course if you don't like any of these options you can always put your gels in your pocket, take some money and get some water during your run – the most important thing is to make sure you drink!

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