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When it comes to longer training runs and races, water is the most vital nutrient. Even a small change in an athlete’s hydration status can affect the runner’s endurance, performance and health. Our orthopaedic experts offer these tips for staying well hydrated:
Stick to water with electrolyte beverages. Avoid drinks with caffeine, which can be dehydrating.
At minimum, drink as many ounces of water daily as your weight in kilograms. For a 150-pound runner, that’s approximately 70 ounces. To replace additional fluids lost during training: Weigh yourself (without clothes) before and after running. Calculate each pound lost as 16 fluid ounces, then add in the fluid you drank while exercising. This is how much fluid you lost. Plan to hydrate proactively during your next run.
It’s better to pace your fluid consumption than to guzzle a large amount of water just before running. For runs that are 60 minutes or longer, you need to hydrate during the run. If it’s hot or humid, drink water and electrolyte beverages no matter the duration.
You won’t find water stations on most of your training runs, so choose a device— such as a bottle, belt or backpack —that enables you to bring fluids along. You will run better if you are properly hydrated.
When injury or illness affects the musculoskeletal system, the experienced and skilled orthopaedic team at the University of Chicago Medicine offers the full spectrum of nonsurgical and surgical care.Read about our orthopaedic services