Drinking water with lemon while running is a great way to keep yourself hydrated. Proper hydration is essential for good health, and fitness experts recommend drinking plenty of water before, during and after exercise. Adding lemon provides vitamins and enhances flavor without the extra sugar found in many sports drinks. So if you want some extra zing in your workout drink, spritz some fresh lemon juice into your water bottle next time you go out for a run.
Hydration and Running
When you run, you need to drink extra fluids to compensate for water loss from sweat. If you let yourself become dehydrated, you may become tired, nauseated, dizzy and weak. Dehydration also decreases your body's ability to cool itself, making you vulnerable to heat exhaustion or even heatstroke. To prevent dehydration, you should drink about 2 to 3 cups of water several hours before your run. Then drink a cup of water half an hour before you begin. While you run, consume about a cup of water every 10 to 15 minutes to keep hydrated. After you've stopped, you'll need another cup of water within half an hour.
Advantages of Lemon in Water
Adding lemon to your water can enhance the flavor and will make you more likely to drink your fill if you find plain water boring or unpalatable. That's why University of Michigan Health System, among others, recommends adding it to your drinking water to increase consumption. Lemons also provide potassium and vitamin C. They are low in sugar, so they won't add many extra carbs or calories to your water.
Using Clean Lemons
Lemons, like other raw fruits and vegetables, may be contaminated by bacteria in the soil and water of the farm they were grown on. If they're not organic, they may also have pesticide residue. That's why it's important to wash your lemons well before adding them to your water — especially if you're dropping in the rinds. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends washing your fruit under running water without any soaps or bottled produce cleaners. The agency also recommends using a produce brush to scrub firm fruits like lemons.
Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. If you're a heavy runner (at the marathon level), you are at the highest risk of overhydrating yourself. If you consume excessive amounts of water, you may experience water intoxication. Symptoms include exhaustion, upset stomach and confusion. In severe cases, overyhydration can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. This occurs when sodium levels in the blood become diluted with water. Drinking sports drinks with electrolytes instead of water, as well as consuming adequate sodium in the diet, can help prevent hyponatremia.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.