What should runners not drink?

As a runner, you know how important it is to stay hydrated during your workouts, but did you know that what you drink can have a huge impact on your performance? While water is always a safe and reliable choice, there are certain beverages that you should stay away from if you want to optimize your running game. In this article, we’ll explore some of the drinks that runners should avoid.

Soda and Energy Drinks

Soda and energy drinks are loaded with sugar and caffeine, which can lead to dehydration and a spike in blood sugar levels. While the caffeine in these drinks can provide a short-term energy boost, it can also make you feel jittery and anxious, which can negatively affect your running performance. The high sugar content in these beverages can also lead to a crash in energy levels, which is the last thing you want during a workout.


While a post-run beer may sound appealing, it’s important to remember that alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it can lead to dehydration. Additionally, alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns, which can have a negative impact on your performance the next day. If you do decide to have a drink, make sure to drink plenty of water to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol.

Fruit Juice and Sports Drinks

While fruit juice and sports drinks may seem like healthy choices, they are often loaded with sugar and calories. Fruit juice, in particular, can be a culprit of spiking blood sugar levels and providing a short-lived energy boost. Sports drinks, on the other hand, can be high in sodium and other electrolytes, which can be beneficial for long-distance runners but can also lead to dehydration if consumed in excessive amounts.

Diet Soda

While diet soda may seem like a healthier alternative to regular soda, it’s important to remember that it’s still loaded with artificial sweeteners and chemicals. These can disrupt your gut microbiome and have a negative impact on your overall health. Additionally, diet soda can still lead to dehydration due to its caffeine content.

Cow’s Milk

While cow’s milk is a great source of calcium and protein, it can also lead to digestive issues for some runners. Lactose intolerance is common, and consuming dairy products can lead to bloating, gas, and other digestive discomfort. Additionally, cow’s milk can be high in fat and calories, which may not be ideal for runners looking to maintain a lean physique.


As a runner, it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients and fluids, and that includes avoiding certain drinks that can have a negative impact on your performance. While water is always a reliable choice, be sure to avoid soda, energy drinks, alcohol, fruit juice, sports drinks, diet soda, and cow’s milk. Instead, opt for hydrating drinks such as coconut water, green tea, or electrolyte-enhanced water to help you perform at your best.