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Complete Guide: How Much Water to Drink When Working Out

Aug 22, 2017

Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the most important things to lookout for when you are working out. Sweating is an obvious phenomenon while you are at the gym, and sweating might lead to dehydration. While you might not always notice this dehydration, your physical performance may get affected if you ignore it entirely. Since it is a proven fact that your athletic quotient drops down rapidly with even small levels of dehydration, it is necessary to maintain the correct water balance within your body. Going a little deep into the matter, your performance might drop down by 25% for every 2% loss of body weight through loss of fluids! So, it is important to know the correct hydration levels of our body while working out.

The perils of dehydration

 When you are working out, you are bound to lose water in the form of sweat and breath. Dehydration makes you feel dizzy and lethargic and will also make you more prone to suffer from cramps. Water acts as a lubricant for the entire body and keeps the body in great shape. Any shortage of water during a workout will make your tissue and muscle recovery quite slow. The result is an underperformance and a general weakness that lingers on.

The pros of consuming adequate amount of water

Having your body properly hydrated will result in a lot of advantages while you are working out. You will feel stronger and your body-efficiency would definitely be higher. When your body has adequate water the heart doesn’t work hard to pump the blood. This means that your muscles get the fair share of oxygen and nutrients while you workout. Consuming adequate water keeps you athletic.

How much water to take in?

This brings us to the most important question- how much water does it take to keep you in the best shape while you workout? The answer lies in the fact that you have to take care of your body-hydration throughout the day and not just while you workout. It is important to keep yourself properly hydrated before you start working out to avoid any unwanted cramps and dizziness to creep in while you sweat it out. Drink plenty of fluids the whole day before you hit the gym. Drink up a good 15 to 20 ounces of water at least one to two hours before you start working out. Next up is another round of hydration with about 8 to 10 ounces of water just 15 minutes before you start your workout regime. This is necessary to hydrate your body adequately before you sweat it out so that your performance doesn’t dip. During your workout period, you need to keep on drinking around 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes so that the water balance within the body is maintained at all times.

You might need to keep a tab on whether your body wants more water or not. If you are working out under sultry conditions, chances are that you might need to take in, even more, water to compensate for the loss through sweat. Also, it is quite important to track your weight loss before and after your workout. Even if you lose a pound post your workout, it is necessary to replace the lost weight with around 16 to 20 ounces of water.

The cons of over-hydrating

While hydrating is good for the body, excessive hydration might prove to be dangerous. Gulping down too much water gives rise to a condition called hyponatremia in endurance athletes. Athletes suffering from hyponatremia have extremely diluted blood which causes the sodium level to drop down to dangerously low levels. The consequences might be bad nausea, headache, and fatigue. In some extreme cases, hyponatremia even leads to coma and death. However, such a condition is quite rare as you would require gaining weight during a workout which, is very difficult to achieve.

Hydration is definitely important while working out, so you should always keep handy a bottle of water. The body demands water when it runs out of it so gulp some down when you feel thirsty and be amazed at the difference it creates!

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