How much water should I drink while exercising?

Written by William Fryer - MA Oxon

50-75% of the human body is made up of water and, as humans, we are fighting a constant battle to keep our water levels topped up. The average person loses around 2 – 4 litres of water per day just through their everyday activities such as sweating, urinating, bowel movements and even breathing.

That’s right, you are even losing water when you are breathing. Have you ever noticed that little cloud of steam come out of your mouth on a cold day? That cloud is made up from the moisture in our bodies. Water is the major component of most of our body parts and does all of the following and more in our bodies:

·         Helps the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters

·         Regulates body temperature

·         Acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord

·         Aids in digestion

·         Helps to deliver oxygen throughout the body

·         Flushes body waste

·         Encourages healthy cell growth

·         Lubricates joints

It is suggested by the health experts that we should drink around 2 litres of water per day (or eight 8-ounce glasses, known as the ‘8x8 rule’). However there are various other theories. Some believe we should be sipping on water constantly all day while others say the amount your drink depends on your weight (e.g. 30ml per Kg every 24 hours). However, this does not take into account those who regularly exercise.

Health and nutrition experts suggest you should ensure your body is properly hydrated well before you start exercising. Two hours before your workout, you should drink 2-3 cups of water, then another 1-2 cups just before your workout.

This will ensure you have a fully effective workout as your body will be appropriately hydrated. You need water to sweat and cool your body during exercise, to initiate the chemical reactions in your body which activate muscles and to boost your blood circulating volume so it is easier for the heart to pump and transport nutrients and oxygen around the body. During your workout you should then drink 1-2 cups every 15 minutes, however this depends on how hard you are working, how hot it is and how sweaty you are. The more you are sweating, the more you need to drink!

It is easy to tell if you are properly hydrated during exercise by looking at the colour of your urine. It should be a pale yellow colour like straw. If it is clear like water you are over-hydrated and if it is a strong yellow you need to drink more.

If you are not properly hydrated for your workout, you will not have a fully effective workout. A 2% loss in fluid body weight can result in a 25% decrease in performance. Dehydration can also cause dizziness, lethargy, cramping and poorly functioning muscles. This highlights the importance of hydration when exercising. Furthermore, it is important that you are drinking pure water.

Regular tap water contains several organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals and biological contaminants which decrease the water purity levels. To hydrate your body in the healthiest way, use a water distiller to create pure distilled water for optimal hydration.

At Megahome Water Distillers, we supply a Deluxe Water Distiller which produces the purest possible drinking water to give you a pure, healthy hydration for your workout.

If you are concerned about electrolyte loss during exercise then Megahome Distiller's Formula 78 is a mineral supplement specifically designed for creating isotonic drinks from distilled water.