“I’m not sure I could run with something strapped to my hips.”
Is this something you thought as you scrolled through gear listings for hydration belts? When it comes to managing hydration while running, it can be tricky to decide which method will work best for you. Handheld bottle? Backpack? Vest? Belt? Hip belts that hold bottles are a popular solution for runners. But running belts can be prone to common misconceptions. Here, we debunk five myths about running belts with water bottles.
5 Myths About Running with Water Bottles
- You won’t have enough water
- Your items won’t be secure
- Running belts are uncomfortable
- Waist packs will impact your running performance
- The extra weight will hurt your joints
1. Running belts with water bottles won’t let you carry enough water
While hydration is individual, most experts recommend consuming 16 to 24 ounces of water per hour while running. If you hydrate well before a run, you can often stretch this amount to 90 minutes. During longer runs, it’s often possible to refill bottles at public sources such as drinking fountains, convenience stores, and water spigots. With two bottles totaling 16 ounces, the Hydra 16 Hydration Belt is well-suited for a wide range of distances.
2. Running belts don’t keep your personal items securely in place
When some people think of running belts, they imagine gels and bottles flying out of holsters while sprinting down the road. This couldn’t be farther from reality. The ergonomic design of running belts keeps items securely in place as well as easily accessible. The Hydra 16 Hydration Belt has a water-resistant pouch to protect your phone, along with an inner pocket to hold IDs and cash where they can’t fall out even when removing and replacing other items.
3. Running belts with water bottles are clunky and get in the way
Running belts are one of the least awkward ways to carry supplies. They allow you to keep your hands free while avoiding extra weight on your shoulders. The ergonomic fit reduces the typical back and hip discomforts that many runners experience from heavier packs. Two quick-draw bottle holsters securely hold 8-ounce bottles — small enough to be unobtrusive, but with enough capacity for an hour-long run.
4. Larger running waist packs will slow you down
Good running form is critical for running economy, enabling runners to cover more ground while expending less energy. Researchers have concluded that carrying water weight around the waist does not significantly change kinematics of running motion, rates of oxygen use, or energy expenditure over short durations.
As far as comfort and stability are concerned, it’s important to carry water weight close to your body. In addition to a more comfortable fit, many runners find they can remove and replace bottles from a belt without interrupting their stride, avoiding awkward stops when they need to rehydrate. In order to keep the belt snug and less likely to bounce, tighten it around your hips.
5. Running belts cause injuries
Again, there’s no good evidence that running belts will lead to injuries. If anything, belts prevent injuries.
Hip, knee, and hamstring issues can result from alterations in your upper body. By keeping the extra weight closer to your hips, you avoid some of these alterations. In addition, fitted material prevents chafing and sores, and running belts are adjustable to meet the needs of your unique body. By keeping your hands free, you’re more likely to maintain a natural stride and catch yourself in the event of a stumble. You’re also more likely to avoid the long-term shoulder or forearm soreness that can arise from handheld bottles. Staying well-hydrated during your run means you’re less likely to experience the negative effects of dehydration, such as dizziness and confusion. Finally, carrying a phone, keys, and your ID can be crucial in the event of an emergency.
Really, there are almost no good arguments for not using a running belt, unless you’re going to be out in remote areas or for long distances that truly require a larger pack. Check out Fitletic’s full line of running belts here!