Runner, Hydrate Thyself (Try My Water Hack!)

Airplane drinking problem

You’re gonna hate this, but it’s true: drinking more water really will help. Help with what? Oh, everything.

This goes double for runners, obviously. When you work out, you sweat, and when you sweat, you lose water, and you have to put that water back if you want to perform at your best and/or not die.

During physical activity of some length, sports drinks can be a superior option, but on a whole nothing can replace plain ol’ water. Yet it’s surprisingly hard to drink enough, right? … Right? Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between experiences that are simply part of the human condition vs. experiences that are specific to me.

Well, if you’re already drinking enough water, go read a trip report or something. But if you’re nodding along to this Holy Grail-scene-where-Zoot-breaks-the-fourth-wall-esque aside, read on!

Is Zoot drinking enough water?

For very possibly the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I feel like I’m drinking enough water. Lots of water. And all it took was this simple hack: an insulated tumbler with a straw.

WAIT. Stop. Look at me. I worry what you just read was “get an insulated tumbler.” No. I’ve had insulated tumblers. They are great, but they are not the key. The key is in the straw.

Studies show that you drink more with a straw than not. Still, for me, I don’t think that’s even it. As referenced above, what follows might be another one of those “applies to me and no one else” things, but just in case our respective Venn diagrams overlap even a smidge, what matters to me is that I can zone while doing it.

I am AMAZING at zoning out (see ADHD note above). I am convinced this is why I like running in the first place – at my best, I barely notice I’m doing it, so lost I am in the moment’s daydream. This skill/weakness applies evenly across my life with varying levels of success. Suffice it to say, if you can work an activity into my autopilot sequence, I can do it over and over without even noticing it’s happening.

Here’s where I may start to sound crazy, but whatever, it’s the truth: the problem with simply pouring myself a regular glass of water is that you cannot drink from a glass while doing almost anything else. The glass tilt and head tilt have to work in tandem. It’s darn hard to keep eye contact with whatever else you’re doing. If you’re walking, you must do so carefully. Drinking from a glass inherently requires a pause.

Not that there’s anything wrong with pauses, but they build a break into the action that does not jive with the primary principle of zoning, which is that you don’t notice what you’re doing outside of it.

With a straw? You absolutely can! You can walk and read and even type if you do it one-handed or otherwise balance your glass. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be in the middle of something else and suddenly find yourself drinking from the straw without remembering picking up the cup in the first place. Hydration becomes second nature. I enjoy a clarity of pee that, as a runner, is my Holy Grail.

I hope this makes sense because I feel like at this point you either totally get where I’m coming from or really, really don’t. That’s fine either way; I just want you sufficiently watered! Like a plant.

Just a couple more notes and you can go:

– If you’re looking for a straw and tumbler to start your journey, here’s the one I have.* It’s insulated, comes with two different lids and two straws, and there are a million fun designs (mine is Cosmic Nebula). I’ve also been eyeing up this one* if you’re in the market for something even bigger.


* Affiliate links. I’m only looking to, like, maybe pay for my domain or whatever, but if you hate affiliate links, I get it – just delete the extraneous code from the URL and reload the page.

– Obviously you could also just buy some reusable straws and stab ’em in the cups you already own.

– Sometimes, while otherwise perfectly potable, plain tap water has a Taste (ie, sulfur in FL, or dirt here in PR). Should you need to cover up a Taste with an infusion, I highly recommend mint. You can get a big container of fresh mint leaves, freeze them, and shove them in your infuser whenever you need ’em. It’s potent enough to mask a lot, and makes cold water that much more refreshing. Give it a try!

Okay, well, that about wraps up this particular diatribe. Keep working on your base hydration, because I also have a new water bottle for during the run that will doubtless necessitate review as well. Stand by! And for God’s sake, drink some water.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

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