Gnarly Hydration Test

Bryan Holladay
Racing expert
Bryan Holladay
More from this author
Bryan Holladay
More from this author

You sweat different than others. Find out how much you sweat with this hydration test. Knowing how much you lose will help gauge how much you should consume while running those incredible distances.

Step 1
Get in your birthday suit (strip naked) → urinate → weigh yourself before running.
Step 2
Run (clothed*) for one hour and try to match the pace and conditions** of race day.
Step 3
Take note of how many ounces of fluid you drink in that hour.
Step 4
Return → strip naked → remove sweat with your Grizzly Bear towel → weigh yourself.
Step 5
Grab a calculator or someone that knows math.
Step 6
Subtract post-run weight from pre-run weight and convert that weight into ounces
(16 ounces in 1 pound).
Step 7
Add the ounces of fluid you consumed while running.
Step 8
Press enter on your calculator.
Step 9
This is the number of fluid ounces/hour you should consume while running.
Step 10
Divide that number by three and consume that amount every 20 minutes of running.

Gnarly Jeff’s Hydration Test
(Potential Motion-Graphic Video)
Jeff is a man beast weighing 193 lbs. When he’s naked, he’s 190 lbs. even. (Three lbs. of clothes ain’t bad for a bachelor.) This 190 is his pre-run dry weight; his nude post-urination weight. When Jeff runs for an hour at race pace, he consumes four ounces of water. After running, Jeff strips down naked while no one is watching, dries off his sweat (show Grizzly Bear towel), and weighs himself on a man scale. Come to find out, Jeff’s post-run weight it 189 lbs. Using his Ti-83 calculator (way more processing power than you need for this experiment), Jeff subtracts 189 from 190 and gets 1 lbs. Converting a pound into ounces would be 16 oz. Jeff then adds the 4 oz. that he drank to the 16 oz. that he lost, equaling 20 oz. What Jeff learned from this hydration test is that he needs to be drinking 20 oz. of fluid every hour he runs. This could be consumed at a rate of 10 oz. every 30 minutes, or 6-7 oz. every 20 minutes.

All this math has Jeff feeling super confident so he’s going to call his mother and tell her the good news while we tell you more. Running with proper hydration is essential to the success of your body and your races. Even if you think you’re getting enough fluid while running, we recommend that you do this test (because the results may surprise you). Furthermore, skimping on hydration can cause muscle cramping and fatigue, nausea and headaches, and it can damage your internal organs preventing you from improving your performance.

So go ahead, don’t be shy, get naked, go pee, weigh yourself, go running*, and see if you’re drinking enough fluid. We can only hope that everyone will use this Hydration Test. It’s easy, insightful, and essential to race improvement.

We also recommend doing this test again as your performance changes and as your environment changes. As you become stronger and run faster, you will find that you consume more fluid. And as you run in different environments (at different altitudes and temperatures), you will find that your hydration needs fluctuate with these changes. Be conscious of these changes so you don’t under-hydrate or over-hydrate when it comes time to warm up those muscles and run.

Jeff’s Hydration Test at a Glance
The Old Jeff
Jeff’s Pre-run Weight: 190
Jeff’s Post-run Weight: 189
Jeff’s Mid-run Fluid Consumption: 4 ounces
Math Skillz
190 lbs. – 189 lbs. = 1 lbs = 16 oz.
16 ounces were lost and 4 ounces were consumed
Jeff needs to be drinking 20 total ounces/hour
The New Jeff
Jeff now drinks 20 ounces of fluid each hour he runs
Jeff’s New Pre-run Weight: 190
Jeff’s Post-run Weight: 190
Jeff’s Fluid Consumption While Running: 20 ounces
Big J’s Consumption Intervals
Ten (10) ounces every 30 minutes
Forty (40) oz. bottle in two hours

*Our research shows that running naked can relieve stress but we recommend you wear clothes if you’re going to run in public.

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