One of the most common complaints from all of my runners during a run or workout was dizziness or nausea.  Yes, my workouts were tough, and yes some of them didn’t eat correctly prior to practice, but for the most part I could chalk up the complaints to not hydrating well enough.

In the middle of the night last night, my youngest daughter woke up crying screaming because her leg hurt.  I owed it to growing pains but it reminded me of another symptom of dehydration – muscle cramps.  Maybe she was slightly dehydrated too, and to be sure we went and got some water for her to sip on before falling back asleep.  

If you’ve ever had dizziness, nausea, headaches, or cramps during a run you can probably blame a lack of proper hydration.  Now, these things could be symptomatic of other issues but more often than not I found if a runner had these symptoms they had not had much to drink during the day.

When you have these symptoms or they become recurring, it makes it hard to motivate yourself to get out there and run especially if these come on during or just after a run.  Save yourself the pain, the second guessing, and the drudgery by taking care of yourself first.  Knock off one demotivating factor and that gets you one step closer to getting out the door every time.

If you have symptoms such as these and you look back at the last couple of days and realize you really haven’t been taking care of yourself, then stop running, find some shade, and sip – do not gulp – water (Gatorade is ok too as long as it doesn’t make you feel more nauseous).  

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Prevention

Take care of yourself and your body will be more ready to go out for a run, and your mind will automatically be more motivated to start those first steps.  

To prevent dehydration, make sure you are drinking water throughout the day.  If you are regularly working out and/or running make sure you are drinking water/Gatorade afterward.  Then I always make sure I have a glass of water before bed.  If you do not have to use the bathroom when you first wake in the morning you aren’t drinking enough.  If you have to use it in the middle of the night – you are doing it right!

I love coffee in the morning but for the most part I drink water through the rest of the day.  But to make sure I stay hydrated, I drink 1 to 2 glasses of water before I have any coffee in the morning.  I also like to remind myself of what my college coach would tell us:  if we drank anything besides water then we should drink a glass of water afterward.  This is an especially good reminder if you like a couple of glasses of wine (or whatever alcoholic beverage pleases you) – drink a glass of water in between!  I promise you’ll find you drink less coffee, and less alcohol this way.  If I only I could follow that rule every time.  

Now, I am so in tune to the feeling of dehydration that even if I’m not working out and I start to get a slight headache, I immediately know it is probably because I am dehydrated.  Know the symptoms, know to prevent it and get out there feeling your best!  I promise, you’ll be more ready to return the next time.

Day 1:  Introduction
Day 2:  Start Small, Build Slow
Day 3:  It Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
Day 4:  Stitches
Day 5:  Keep a Diary
Day 6:  Dangerous Thoughts
Day 7:  Week 1 Done – Some Suggestions
Day 8:  Treadmill Training – Baby it’s cold (or raining) outside
Day 9:  A Motivational Quote for You
Day 10:  Distractions
Day 11:  Partner Up!
Day 12:  Another Motivational Quote to Ponder
Day 13:  A Word on Dehydration and Motivation
Day 14:  Week 2 Flew!  Check in and Quote

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