Whether you are running, playing an organized sport, lifting or doing yoga your heart is pumping and you sweat. Your body cools down by releasing H2O in the form of perspiration. One’s athletic ability can decline with even a small amount of dehydration. It is important when exercising to keep your body hydrated.
An adult’s body is made up of 60% water. Water energizes the muscles and lubricates the body for a better overall workout. A well-hydrated athlete’s heart does not have to work as hard and oxygen and nutrients are transported to the muscles more efficiently.
How much water should you drink during a workout? It depends. There are no set rules on the amount of water an adult should drink while exercising. Several factors like the type of exercise and your climate could play into you body’s hydration level. The American Council on Exercise has provided the following guidelines:
- Drink 17-20 ounces of water 2-3 hours before you start exercise
- Drink 8 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before you start exercise (or during warm up)
- Drink 7-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes while exercising
- Drink another 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise
A good general rule of thumb to check your hydration is urine checks and drinking when you feel thirsty. If your urine is dark yellow or amber it could be a sign of dehydration. You may be hydrated if your urine is colorless or light yellow.
If you have questions about the amount of water you should be drinking when exercising, talk to your doctor.