Newspaper Article About Running in the Cold

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Evets Sberk 14 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #2013


    I read this article about running in the cold in the Times Picayune (New Orleans’ paper).

    I realize that cold in New Orleans isn’t the same as cold for much of the country, but I was interested in this quote from the article:

    Davis said fluid intake is important, regardless of the temperature. With that in mind, she said runners would be wise to drink as much water on cold days as they would on hot days because “calorically, you’re burning the same amount.”

    Is this true? Do I have the same fluid requirements on cold days that I have during the summer? I know that I drink less water when it’s cold. I still hydrate, but I don’t sweat as much and don’t drink as much after a run as I do in the summer.


  • #16759

    Ed 1

    Water has no calories – so calorically speaking, of course the same amount of water is burned. However, – I sweat less in winter than I do in summer. Pay attention to the amount of sweating that you do – this is more a true measure of your water usage. I do not think that you can overhydrate to easily in winter – so the only bad side effect of lots of water is lots of peeing. No big deal. Better to be on the safe side of staying well hydrated. Again watch how much you sweat. You can weigh yourself before and after a run to measure water loss – or less scientifically – keep an eye on how wet your clothes get. If they get really wet then drink more – if they stay relatively dry – you do not need to drink as much.

  • #16760


    I think the ‘caloric’ idea was that you burn as many calories RUNNING in cold temps as hot temps, not burning calories in water 🙄 … I’m sure there probably is a slight difference in actual number of calories burned in different temperatures but it has to be very slight…

    I think the water issue has to do with perception… in cooler weather you don’t sweat as much, with lower relative humidity your clothes would dry faster and since you’d be approaching you’re dehydration point more slowly in cooler weather and possibly keeping your body temp stable it’s just not as obvious… might not need the same on a cool day as a hot day, but you do need some…

    I’ve had kids come back from winter camping/hiking/biking and tell me that they didn’t drink ANYTHING all day because they weren’t thirsty 😯 … very easy to get dehydrated that way…


  • #16761

    You could also apply the yellow pee test. Yellow means your not getting enough. Over time you’ll get a sense for your hydration needs.

  • #16762


    I think this woman might not be an expert on the subject. While it is true that drier air makes you feel less sweaty, cold air definitely makes you sweat less. You still lose moisture by exhaling, but the amount of water you lose through perspiration on a cold day is substantially less than on a warm one. Im no expert either, but I know that I have done a long run on a cold day with little or no water and felt no ill effects. Also note that she recommends streching before running. While the jury is still out on the benefits of stretching, one thing on which everyone agrees is that stretching before a workout is more likley to do harm than good. As with most things, common sense can be your best guide, and you’ll know whats good for you.


  • #16763


    I’m just as lost as everyone else on the calorie expenditure comment. All I can think of is that glycogen is stored with high amounts of water. To store glycogen, your body needs to take water. However, when burning glycogen, that water is released.

    Anyway, I do think you need to focus on hydration in the winter for the reasons Rita pointed out. The big thing is that cold air holds little humidity so it tends to pull humidity from your body. When running, this means that your perceived sweat levels will be less than the actual amount of sweating you are doing. When I go to Colorado, the same concern arises. With low humidity, I can finish a run out there with a dry shirt but I know I was sweating a lot on the run and it was just evaporating quickly. The first thing my step-mother always told me when I went out to Colorado was make sure I drink plenty of water because it’s easy to get dehydrated out there. Same thing in colder weather for the same reasons. You are sweating more than you realize.

  • #16764

    With regards to energy spent temperatures within reason do little to change caloric expenditure at any given pace. However both extreme heat and extreme cold increase ATP consumption (to cool or heat beyond the work of exercise respectively).

    Since insensible water loss from breathing is relatively constant regardless of temperature the biggest fluid loss accelerations occur from running in heat. Thus it is absolutley correct less fluid replacment is needed for a long run in cool temperatures than in hot temps. I live in Colorado….when its over 80 degrees on a long run (over 12 miles) I’ll require one or two hydration stops. During the winter I ran run the same distance and never take any fluids.

    Curious what the article considers cold….35 degrees is running pants, long sleeve T shirt, and gloves for me! Then again an eskimo would likely think I’m over dressed! 😀

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