What to Drink?

By: Trey Brush

Spend a little time at a race expo or a grocery store and look at your hydration options.  Talk about getting a headache.  Seriously, the number of options are too many to count.  Not only the options and preferences about hydration but the opinions are as strong as any topic in running.

So what type of expert opinion does a simple runner like me have to give?  Not a thing!

It does not mean I have nothing to say, but it just means what I have learned it not advise I would be willing to give.  Open up a magazine or pull up running topics online and the debate will ensue.  You can read and hear most every opinion by the experts in many areas and even the experts in the marketing world of sports drinks.

I don’t plan to offer anything to clear it up.  Here is what I will say, I am an experiment of 1.  Guess what, so are you.  I have my beliefs and a track record for what works for me.  It reminds me of my compression sleeves.  I cramped in my calves my first 4 marathons.  There could be many reasons why, however on my 5th marathon I wore those sleeves.  I have never cramped since then.  Is it the sleeves?  I don’t know and I don’t care.  You could not get me to run a marathon without them now.

What does the sports drink market really provide?  Is it clever marketing or does it work like they say?  Is Tim Noakes correct and does your body provide all the electrolytes you will ever need?  What is the difference between all of those hydration options?  What works and what does not?

Me personally, I think God created a really good thing in water so I love to hydrate with it.  When I am thirsty I drink and when I am not I don’t.  However, if my head thinks I need a sports drink at mile 20 to get me to the finish…I take it.

At the end of the day it goes back to what I said before, you are an experiment of 1.  That is what training runs are for.  You have to find what works for you.  Whatever helps get you to the finish line.  At the end of the day, summer is here and it is hot.  It is something to think about, but not something to stress about.  What works for you?

Maybe it is something to think about as you run pass the water stops on July 4th if you are running the Peachtree.  Good luck to all the Peachtree Road Race Runners…see you on the other side.


Trey is a runner and coach with a desire to help create change in others.  He lost 80 pounds on his journey from a watcher in life to a doer.  His passion for running and creating change led him from the couch to marathons and ultramarathons.  He is a husband and the father of 2 boys living in Jefferson GA.  You can follow Trey on twitter @RunOnPurpose