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Bernie Boettcher Friday, 18 November 2011 11:02 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Drinking Problems

Hydration is not a science. It's an art

Illustration by Kevin Howdeshell

I cannot overstate the importance of proper hydration.

Nonsense. I could easily overstate the importance of proper hydration. I could say, "Not being properly hydrated is the leading cause of impotence in trail runners," or, "Without proper hydration, rabid gophers will hunt you down and chew your lips off."

The truth is, proper hydration isn't the most important thing. Coffee is the most important thing, but getting fluids is right up there, too.

Let's say you're in your 20s and you and your buddy decide to go run the Grand Canyon. You drink coffee to stay awake and drive most of the night to get there. When you step onto the South Rim the next morning, "We Are the Champions" is blasting on the radio and you feel good. But that's mostly because you just downed a Mountain Dew for breakfast. You start running and, before you know it, you're in the canyon bottom, asking your buddy, "Did you bring any water?"

When he says, "No," you realize your college degrees are worth about their weight in finishers' ribbons because you didn't bring any, either. Slogging uphill many hours later, you both collapse trailside from dehydration.


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