Science Fair

How does drinks affect your running?

Ask a Question

Do certain drinks prior to running help or not help your running time?

Materials Used

  • Water
  • Powerade
  • Pop
  • Garmin or timing device
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Make a Hypothesis

If I drink water, I will have a faster time. If I drink pop, I will have a slower time.

Background Knowledge

It takes 30 minutes for liquids to digest in your body. You should run at a steady pace so you don't wear yourself out and get tired. It might help to stretch before a run.


Dillon’s Science Fair Project May 2016

Need to drink 12 ounces of water, pop (caffeinated), or powerade 30 minutes prior to running. Run a timed mile. Record time to see if drinks affect the time. Try to run on days that have the same temp, same route, same time, and try to eliminate any outside influencing factors.

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Seventy-two percent had their best time on their last run. Fourteen percent had their best on their first run. Fourteen percent had their best on their second run.


My experiment's evidence supports my hypothesis that water is the best to drink before a run, because 57% of my participants had water before their best run. Twenty-nine percent had Powerade before their best run. Fourteen percent had pop before their best run. Something else I found is that 72% of my participants improved on their last run no matter what they had to drink.

“1 can vanilla coke, 30 minutes before my run, 80 degrees, pierce high school track. Half mile point, got very belchy, had to slow down, almost like a stomach cramp. My first few miles are always slow, but this was tough tonight. Round 2 tomorrow night.”- John Rebensdorf

“Hello Tiffany it's Beth again I have completed another run. I feared that this one was going to be difficult for me because I don't normally drink soda . I picked Diet Pepsi for this venture. Starting off wasn't too bad but then about five minutes into my run I started to get a horrible side ache. I actually had to stop and stretch to help it go away. My final time was 9 minutes and 45 seconds. The crazy thing about this is I kept getting the side aches throughout my whole run today. That is abnormal for me. Hope you enjoy the beautiful weather as much as I did. Have a great day. Thanks again Beth.” – Beth Sievers