‘Hydrate on a run’ and ‘hydrate on the run’ aren’t the same thing. Make sure you get the order right, otherwise you’ll end up like our Gear Editor thinking someone’s called the cops on you for drinking from their hose.


There’s no shortage of ways to hydrate on a run, but not all water sources and containers were created equal. 

Running and drinking water are two things we all figured out at a young age. Doing both at the same time is a little more challenging, but still pretty easy — with the right vessel strapped to your body. 

Without such a vessel, you could end up like me — on all fours and drinking from a dirty hose in someone’s front yard.


Project: Run Forever, Tom Batrouney - Trail Running, Northern Beaches, NSW, Activism

Tom Batrouney happy and hydrated. @Murray Fraser

1. Hydration Vest

Hydration vests are the pinnacle of run hydration. You look like you’re running an ultra-marathon even if you’re running a 3km loop. You can add gels (or lollies) and carry other items like a phone or extra layer.

Hydration vests come in all manner of different sizes and can fit a water bladder, individual flasks, or both and therefore enable you to carry all kinds of cocktails and mixtures. 

Categorically the best and most badass way to carry your liquids.


One of the Gnarliest Races in the Southern Hemisphere Can Be Found Just Out of Melbourne, photo by the Eventurers, Tom Dade, running, ultrarunning, running vest

Thomas Dade staying moist | @The Eventurers

2. Running Belt

A close second behind the vest and more appropriate for shorter distances, a running belt can store one or two soft flasks.

They’re super low profile and often come with a zippered pocket. The more expensive options might be made from a wider webbed material that helps minimise bounce.



3. Handheld Running Bottle With Strap

Perhaps the most simple of the legitimate ways to stay hydrated on a run is by carrying a water bottle strapped to your hand.

Brands like Salomon make dedicated versions of these which require less concentration to grip.


4. Handheld Normal Bottle

Unless you’re spiderman, gripping a bottle in your hand for a long distance — or even a short one — seems like a lot of extra work. The same goes for running while holding a phone. No thanks.

5. Soft Re-usable Cup

Salomon makes a soft, squashable cup. It’s super low profile and actually pretty cool. It even has a finger attachment!

6. Paper Cup

Somehow, drinking from a paper cup while running is both incredibly respectable and a super weird move — depending on the situation.

By all means, snatch one off a trestle table on the side of the road if you’re running the City to Surf, but do not BYO on your local park run.

7. Public Bubblers

Using public bubblers as waypoints on your run is a classic, albeit incredibly inefficient way to hydrate.

For years my Strava maps looked like someone handed a three-year-old a crayon.

There’s nothing worse than diverting off the single track to run along a road in search of a bubbler that doesn’t exist.

8. Hoses in Front Yards

At my lowest point — both literally and figuratively — I drank from a hose in someone’s front yard. While that hose saved my life. Kind of. I’m running a different loop these days.


The frog doesn’t forget a face | @Flickr/mikecogh

9. Hoses in Backyards

Drinking from one hose is not the same as drinking from all hoses. Choose your hose wisely — or better yet, carry a bottle or flask. I honestly don’t care how anymore.

10. Dog Bowls in Public Parks

You must be hella thirsty. Damn.

11. Creeks

My local creek as a kid growing up had the nickname ‘poo creek’. Need another reason?

Giardia is not a new competitor to Gatorade. It’s what you get when you drink untreated water from water sources with names like ‘poo creek’. 

Read: How To Purify Water In The Bush (but don’t purify ‘poo creek’, it won’t work).

12. Pothole Water

Road runners might be tempted by the abundance of potholes they encounter on their road runs. These little holes filled with muddy brown water and chunks of asphalt are not the little oasis you think they are. You are probably dehydrated and seeing a mirage. You need water. But, not from one of these. Please?

13. Seawater

During a recent downpour while in the surf, I contemplated whether it had rained enough so that the top few millimetres of water in the Pacific Ocean was now fresh water. It was not.

14. The Local Well

If you have time to stop and winch a bucket into a 10m deep well, you have time to run a little further in search of a bubbler. Let the water come to you. Don’t fetch it with a pail, it’s not the Middle Ages.

15. The water that’s always in the bottom of a tire swing

You know the kind. The straight-up commercial mozzie farm. Don’t do it.

16. Those little sippy tubes that hamsters drink out of

You’re running a loop around your local area. You can stop at any time. No one’s making you do this. You are the hamster. Get the drink you deserve.

@wikimedia/Tiia Heinonen

17. Espresso

Long-distance running has a reputation for being something of a laxative. Don’t add more fuel to the fire. Stay away from Espressos.

18. The forbidden water in an esky brick

This stuff could be the holy grail for all we know. Is it water? Is it radioactive? Is it straight outta the fountain of youth? We’ll never know. Unless?


Is it drinkable?

19. Your own urine

Get a grip Bear Grylls.

20. A 1 Litre Maximus Blue

Seriously, who picks these over Powerade?



Feature image: Lucy Bartholomew during her Larapinta Trail Run by @joshlynott