How much water should I drink while exercising?

Written by William Fryer - MA Oxon

60% 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 3 – 4 litres of water per day just through their everyday activities such as sweating, urinating, bowl movements and even breathing. That’s right you’re even losing water when you’re 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 authorities 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. half an ounce of water per pound that you weight every day). 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 15 to 20 ounces of water, then another 8 to 10 ounces 15 minutes before your workout. This will ensure you have a fully effective workout as your body will be appropriately lubricated, the chemical reactions in your body which help heal muscles will be more efficient and your heart will not need to work as hard to transport nutrients and oxygen around the body. During your workout you should then drink around 8 ounces every 15 minutes, however this depends on how hard you are working. The more you are sweating the more you need to drink!

If you’re not properly hydrated for your work out, you will not have a fully efficient work out. 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 really 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, using water distillers to purify your water is an excellent solution. At JD Harris, we supply a Deluxe Water Distiller which produces the purest possible drinking water to give you a pure, healthy hydration for your workout.