Friday, September 5, 2014

Water weight Loss and gain

On my recent 16 miler in the hot and humid Chicago summer, I lost between 5-6 pounds of water weight despite guzzling like a horse while out on the lakefront course.  This is not hyperbole.  The weight loss is typical for me on long summer runs and one of the water fountains is actually an old horse trough from when these were bridle paths not running paths.

I typically gain most of it back within a day or two with my overall weight slowly drifting downward as I hit peak mileage before a race.  But I'm increasingly sensitive to this because I am not interested in a repeat of kidney stones due to dehydration and weight yooyooing of 6-8 pounds within a 36 hour period can't be that good for you.  The good news is that this calms down dramatically as the heat and humidity fade.

Any thought about how common this is and what I can do about it?


  1. Have you tried anything else but water? I like Nuun tablets that dissolve in water. Easy and not too much taste, but you get some electrolytes back. No calories though.

  2. Agreed with Becky that you need to replace salts when drinking that much water. I carry a bottle with EFS, which is the saltiest of the various options and includes salts from Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc (the quadfecta of minerals in perspiration). EFS also offers a few calories. Because it is salty and not sweet there is no problem with nausea. EFS is just a variant on Nuun, though, which has the same inputs in slightly smaller doses (and of course you control the concentration of all of these mixes).

    Commonality: I say it is universal although a matter of degree. When I last made an effort to test this, a few years back, I found I required between 36 and 48 oz of liquid per hour to keep up with the sweat loss -- which is to say keeping up is futile.

  3. 4-6 pounds on a 2-3 hour run is typical of my experience. I find after a 90 minute workout at the gym, I'll drink a water bottle, and then need to replace at least a quart on top of that. On my long runs, I tend to drink 1 Gatorade per hour, courtesy of the pervasive New York City bodega phenomenon. That helps with both the sugar and the electrolytes. I've tried Nuun on bike rides and like it too.

  4. Like and use Nuun. Gatorade hurts my tummy.