How to Drink While Running

Drinking, as everyone should know, is very important while running longer distances, especially in warm weather. Quite when one starts to take water on a run and how one carries it is down to personal preference. Here are some suggestions on how to carry drinks while running.

Running Bottles

One of the simplest ways is to carry a water bottle, there are bottles specifically designed for this, for example the Ronhill Wrist Bottle 270ml or the larger Runaid Runners Feed bottle 580ml. There’s also the Nathan FlexShot Handheld 500ml which has a more textured feel and is therefore easier to grip.

Soft bottles have now been on the market for a wee while now and are quickly gaining in popularity, 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 is in a vacuum. Try the Ultimate Direction or Ronhill.

The other option if you have a waistpack or rucksack which works well 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 of the Ronhill trail clothing comes with a pocket that the Ronhill Trail Fuel soft bottle fits into.

Bottle Belts

If you don't like having something in your hand while you are running, there are bottle belts which fit around your waist or backpacks which carry water in a bladder. There are many different types of bottle belts - the most basic one has a 500ml bottle and a small gel pocket, such as the U.P. Ribble Bottle Belt, or the Ultimate Direction Groove Analogue Belt.

If you are hill running or need more 'stash space' for waterproofs etc., another option would be the Salomon Agile 250 Belt Set. This belt comes with a 250ml bottle, so it would just depend how far you are going and whether you would need more water than that.

There are also some waistpacks which have an elasticated belt, for example the Nathan Trail Mix Plus Belt. This bottle belt also comes with 2 bottles. I always find this quite useful  – the bottles balance nicely and you could fill one with something other than water.

Hydration Backpacks

If you don't like having something around your waist or in your hand, 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.

Race Vests

One way of drinking on the run, which has dramatically increased in popularity over the past few years, is to use a so-called running 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, one hardly knows it is on.

One of the main differences in this water carrier is that the water bottles are on the front. This means easy access, and could also help one to have that slight forward lean which is sometimes recommended. Many of the vests that we have come with small stash pockets on the front for gels, phone etc. and a larger compartment in the back, which could fit a 2L bladder and/or a lightweight jacket and trousers.

The Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest vest, now in it's 3rd generation, is a fantastic piece of kit, it is even lighter than before and comes with 2x500ml soft bottles and in 3 different sizes to help get that perfect fit. The women's version, which comes in 2 sizes, has also had a revamp and now also comes with 500ml soft bottles. Another great choice of race vest is the Montane Via Fang 5, or the women's version, the Via Snap 4.


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

Leave a Comment

Comment Form
Comment Form
Newsletter Signup
Back to top