Drinking is as important as fueling and mostly in long runs. Doesn’t matter if it’s cold or hot, drinking is very important, and even more if you’re running at altitude.
When I talk about drinking, It’s mostly water but also some energy and hydration drinks can be a good addition too. I will recommend drinking 50/50 of water and other drinks, just because water is good for you and it’s very very good to keep your body hydrated, other drinks are good too but don’t take it to the extreme of just doing “special drinks”.
For long or short runs, in general, it’s better to drink small quantities on a regular basis, like 3 or 4 sips of water or other drink, every 15 minutes, so over an hour you can drink a whole ½ liter for example. That will be easier on your body than finishing the ½ liter at once.
Always try to pace yourself on the drinking too, if you know that you won’t have water in a while let’s say 2 hours and you have ½ liter, then make it last, instead of 4 sips every 15 minutes, do 2 sips every 15 minutes and make it last until the end, this is also good practice for a race where we tend to run out of water.
Now, contradicting what I just said above, in races we also tend to arrive at an aid station and drink, drink, drink before leaving, this can cause problems if we’re not used to doing it, so go ahead and try it out. Maybe even before an easy run, drink a little bit more of what you would normally do, and see how you feel, then you can increase the amount of water slowly on different runs to get used to drinking more on an aid station and then run feeling comfortable.
In general the rule is to drink constantly and not in big quantities and make whatever you have until you know there’s water close or you find water, try to avoid running out of water and refill everytime you can and need. It’s always better to have a little extra weight in water than running out of it.
Do you have any trick to remember how to drink constantly? And also, what do you prefer to drink? Water or products? And if so, which products?