Should you drink during a half marathon?

This question is about Running

Sarah Achleithner

Yes, you should drink liquids during a half marathon. You should consume adequate water and sports drinks to meet your sodium needs and avoid dehydration. Some runners can lose upwards of 2-3% of body mass while running, which can compromise exercise performance and cognitive functioning [



Not taking in enough water and electrolytes during a half marathon can also lead to dehydration or hyponatremia, which can make exercise more difficult, increase fatigue, increase heart rate, cause difficulties regulating body temperature and more [




]. To prevent this, consume sports beverages or sports products that contain sodium [


]. This will continuously replenish your body with sodium and liquids, so you do not run out of essential nutrients during the half marathon. 

runners drinking water during a race


  1. Thomas, D. T., Erdman, K. A., & Burke, L. M. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116(3), 501–528.

  2. Ayotte, D., Jr, & Corcoran, M. P. (2018). Individualized hydration plans improve performance outcomes for collegiate athletes engaging in in-season training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15(1), 27.

  3. Popkin, B., D'Anci, K., Rosenberg, I.,(2010) Water, hydration, and health, Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), Pages 439–458,