Water belts hydrate your run
When you exercise, especially outside, you sweat. Your body loses water, and you have to replace it. Basic rule of thumb: One cup of water per every 15 minutes of strenuous activity.
If you exercise outdoors, and have limited access to water, the last thing you want is to get dehydrated. Nausea, weakness, light-headedness=not good.
"It is incredibly important to hydrate yourself on the run," says Emily Doyle of Runner's Athletic in Saginaw.
That's where water belts come in. There are different styles; some have two bottles, some have more. How many you need has a lot to do with the length of your run.
"Four bottles generally is going to be 32 to 40 or more ounces. So if you are doing an hour, hour and a half run, you generally are not going to need that much," Emily says, "But if you are training for a marathon and you are getting a few hours at a time, you probably will need to carry more with you."
Depending on how long and strenuous your workout, you may consider reserving one of those bottles for a sports drink, says Hurley dietician Amanda Leddy, "It's more-so that you have to worry about the electrolytes being lost and replaced after 60 minutes of a strenuous activity."
And St Mary's Maggie Rettele, RDN, a runner and nutritionist says you options for electrolyte replacement. Since most water belts have pouches or pockets, it's easy to carry electrolyte fortified gels and goos, among other things.
"These actually are little tablets that make a sports drink, so you can put it in your water bottle," Maggie says, showing me a roll of powdered discs, "You can put it in your belt. You can use these along the way to sip on."
If the idea of hauling a bunch of water around on your waist, while you are trying to get in a good workout, just doesn't sound appealing, there are also hand-held water bottle carriers.
No matter what you choose, Emily says, remember the golden rule, "Find something that is comfortable because if you are wearing it, you are going to have to get used to how it fits and how it moves."
That is also why you should test our your belt or handheld water carrier on a shorter run or workout, not on the day of a big race or your longest run.
You can find the belts and hand-helds at big box stores, but you'll likely find the widest variety at running specialty and sporting goods stores, and online.