Should I drink water before running?

This question is about Running

Sarah Achleithner

Yes, you should drink water before running, as being appropriately hydrated contributes to optimal health and exercise performance. Before running, athletes can achieve euhydration by consuming a fluid volume equivalent to 5-10 mL/kg BW (2-4 mL/lb) in the 2-4 hours before exercise [


]. Fluid deficits of over 2% of a runner’s body weight may compromise performance and cognitive functioning. Therefore it is important to stay hydrated before, during and after your run, especially in hot and humid conditions [




]. Not taking in enough water and electrolytes can lead to dehydration, which can make exercise more difficult, increase fatigue, increase heart rate, cause electrolyte imbalances and difficulties regulating body temperature [





Man and woman drinking water on a bridge after exercise


  1. Ayotte, D., Jr, & Corcoran, M. P. (2018). Individualized hydration plans improve performance outcomes for collegiate athletes engaging in in-season training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15(1), 27.


  2. Thomas, D. T., Erdman, K. A., & Burke, L. M. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116(3), 501–528.

  3. Popkin, B., D'Anci, K., Rosenberg, I.,(2010) Water, hydration, and health, Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), Pages 439–458,  

  4. Edith Cowan University. (2021, March 18). Muscle cramp? Drink electrolytes, not water, study shows. ScienceDaily.