Oct | 22
Running Tips

Guest Post: Hydration Tips For Cold Weather Running

Peter Sarsgaard & Scott Jurek

Do you look this happy on a winter run? Brooks athlete Scott Jurek and friend and director Peter Sarsgaard pose for a photo while out on a winter run.

By Nuun Guest Bloggers Jesse Kropelnicki and Jaime Windrow of The Core Diet

winter running

How do you stay hydrated during winter runs?

It can be hard to imagine sweat loss when you are about to endure a run in sub 35°F weather. Snow might be trickling down branches, and you can see your breath before the words “hello” come out of your mouth while passing a local running buddy.

But guess what?  You still need to hydrate! Let’s look at why:

You Still Sweat

When you are running in cold weather, your body still heats up under winter layers and loses fluids. You may not have the drips of sweat running down your face and body, but your body is still losing water and electrolytes and requires a hydration plan appropriate for the season and you.

Cold Air Is Dry Air

One difference between breathing in cold air versus warm air is the drying effect of cold air.  This effect actually increases the risk of dehydration. Since there is less moisture in cold air compared to warm, your lungs can be robbed of moisture. At higher altitudes, you will see the same effect, which is why you also hear recommendations to drink more when you go skiing in the mountains!

Fewer Water Stops

Other than year-round warm climates, most water fountains are turned off in the winter.  For example, if you live in New York City, all the water fountains in Central Park (the running mecca) from October to April are turned off.  This leaves the runner with 3 options:
  • Carry your own fluids in a fuel belt or hydration pack.
  • Hide a bottle or two in the bushes along the course you are running.
  • Design your run to be an out and back from your house or car where you have fluids waiting for you

Your Blood Thickens

Blood viscosity increases (becomes thicker) in cold temps.  The thicker the blood, the harder to pump!  If combined with dehydration, oxygen delivery can really be impacted.  Because of this, it’s essential to keep enough fluids in the system.

Just as electrolytes are important in warm months, they are just as important to maintain hydration and make the most of your water during cooler weather, too. An electrolyte replacement product, like Nuun Hydration, ensures that the water you are drinking is being absorbed properly and used efficiently by your body.

Whether you are a short distance runner or marathoner, getting enough fluids in on your training runs and during races is a key to success. This important factor is less apparent when training or racing in cold weather; runners must apply extra focus on this support detail to make progress and perform well.  Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to become dehydrated on a 3 mile run in 30 degree temperatures!  As we approach the holiday season and you continue to stay fit through the cold weather season, stay focused on your hydration.

For more advice on staying hydrated on the run, read these posts on hydration basics and hot weather running tips.

About Nuun

Nuun provides great-tasting active hydration.

Nuun is a great tasting on-the-go hydration tablet with the electrolytes you need to hydrate and re-fuel, but none of the sugar and junk found in sugary sports drinks. Nuun is available in over 5,000 stores in the U.S. and in over 30 countries. Visit nuun.com to learn more.

About The Core Diet

Jesse Kropelnicki is an elite triathlon coach and founder of TheCoreDiet.com, a leading provider of sports nutrition. He coaches professional triathletes Caitlin Snow, Ethan Brown, and Pedro Gomes with quantitative training and nutrition protocols. Track Jesse’s coaching strategies tips on his blog at kropelnicki.com.

Jaime Windrow is a Registered Dietitian and the Nutrition Programs Director at TheCoreDiet.com. Jaime’s interest in sports nutrition began when she danced professionally for 12 years with the Radio City Rockettes, and continued when she began to race in triathlons as an elite amateur. Jamie holds a number of age-group wins and podium finishes, as well as a finish in Kona at the Ironman World Championships.

About Guest Blogger
The Brooks Blog regularly features stories from our athletes, running partners and friends who exemplify Run Happy.
  1. CKova

    Great reminder. Just finished a little over 3 miles in 18 degrees and had some Nuun waiting for me in my car. So refreshing! LOVE this cold weather!

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