How much do you REALLY drink?

I've been reading up on hydration and fuelling for long runs and the marathon, and one of the pieces of advice I came across was to drink 150 - 300ml every 20 minutes. I can't imagine taking on so much liquid during a race - I probably drink about 100-150ml after an hour and then the same amount every hour after that. 

So, how much do you drink during a marathon? Does anyone actually manage to drink 450 - 900ml per hour?! (without needing to do a Paula during the race? image


  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭

    Snowdon Mara last year I had two 500ml bottles through the race. It was cold and a bit damp in places so didn't need to sweat much! (Time was just under 4hrs)

    A few weeks ago I did a 22m training run. To see what would happen if I put my body under stress I had no breakfast, didn't have a lot the day before, had a couple of coffees before I went out. Apart from my HR creeping up in the last 5m or so (Blood getting thicker?) I didn't notice much difference to a similar LSR with proper fueling.

    As for drinking up to 900ml an hour, jeez, I'd never get anywhere. I'd be stopping every 5 minutes.

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    I normally try to drink a lot and keep up a standard 2 litres a day. Before a run, i'll have around 600ml (a pint of water/squash and a tea) and then after immediately after the same. During a race, i'd sip maybe 330ml during a half marathon (if i'm lucky).
  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭
    About 4-500ml an hour for a marathon. Don't take a drink for a 1/2 or less just hydrate before so 1 1/2hr or so with no water is ok.
  • That would mean that if you are a low runner you could consume 4.5 litres of water during a marathon.  This seems a dangerous amount to me.  As a  plodder I take nothing for the first couple of miles and about 400ml per hour during the mid section, then cut back towards the end (unless very hot).
  • I heard recently that they were advising that you don't drink water at all for at least 2 days a week
  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    Well it's only 1.5 l or less for me in a marathon. Thats because I know I will use it as I know how much I sweat. But agreed for a slower pace you need much less although4.5l = 9 hr marathon though????
    Try run for an hour with no water and weigh yourself before and after - need fairly accurate scales though.

  • Thanks guys, I just wanted to do a straw poll to see how much people actually drink during a race - I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks these recommended figures are crazy!

    Agree that it does depend on the event and the conditions on the day, but as a hard and fast rule it seems too much. I will usually drink about 600ml - 1l of water & other liquid (orange juice etc) in the 4 hours leading up to a long event, but this is in line with my normal daily fluid intake, and then as I said maybe 100ml an hour starting when I'm 60 mins into the race. Obviously I'll play around with hydration during my long training runs, but good to hear some feedback from real people and reassure myself that I'm not going to die of dehydration out on the course!

    Sussex Runner - was the thing you read sponsored by a "popular sports drink" and did they suggest that you replace the water with Lucozade* for those 2 days each week?

    *other brands of popular sports drinks are available

  • Thanks Jeremy, I will try the scales test image
  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭
    xine267 wrote (see)
    I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks these recommended figures are crazy!

    It's impossible to give a general recommendation because there are so many variables. Temperature, altitude, relative humidity, body composition, previous diet/hydration, any drugs/medication, level of training adaptation, acclimatisation, clothing and individual sweat rates... To give a general figure is crazy!

    This is probably the best advice to read.

  • Thank you Sarah, I will have a look at that article image
  • Depends on how much is offered at the drink stations. If its a plastic cup then I'll take a drink at each station. If its a 330ml bottle, or whatever the usual size is, then I'll have one every other station. If there are drink stations with energy drinks I'll take a drink at each of these.

    Only tend to take a drink with me during training if I'm going for close to an hour and a half or longer.

    As to general water intake, I don't drink enough, probably about a litre to a litre and a half a day. I should be drinking more. I am trying to cut down on caffeine drinks during the day.

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