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5 Tips to Stay Hydrated During Workouts

Man drinking water after his run.
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Proper hydration is crucial for the optimal function of your body no matter how active you are throughout the day. Still, working out increases your body temperature and causes you to sweat, which requires more fluids. And it’s not just about drinking water, it’s about knowing when to drink and what to add to make sure you don’t get dehydrated.

Dehydration can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, from headaches and fatigue to dizziness and muscle cramps. Your body’s natural response to dehydration is thirst and it’s a sign you shouldn’t be neglecting, no matter what.

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Your body is made of roughly around 70% water which has a plethora of important roles that keep you alive. From flushing out toxins and lubricating joints to helping deliver oxygen throughout your body and regulating your body temperature, adequate hydration ensures all body symptoms run smoothly. It’s often said you should drink around eight cups of water per day, but scientists call it a myth and agree that there are many factors that contribute to the actual amount of water that’s right for you. 

Summer and warm weather, flying, a meal rich in sodium, and working out: those are all examples of when you should be drinking more water than usual. Here are five tips to implement around and during your workouts.

Hydrate Before Your Workout

Woman drinking water.

Hydration starts when you wake up and drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning helps jumpstart your metabolism, balance out your lymphatic system, and helps you replenish any liquids lost during sleep. Especially on warm summer nights. 

If you’re planning to work out, it’s important to prevent feeling thirsty or dehydrated before you even start your first exercise as research shows how even a 2% reduction in fluids can result in a whopping 10% to 20% decrease in both cognitive and athletic performance.

While a specific recommendation on how much water you should drink before your workout depends on each individual and their needs, studies show how it’s best to drink about 400 mL to 600 mL (20 ounces) of water two to three hours before your workout. If your preferred workout time is early morning, you might not be able to drink that much water (and it probably isn’t even necessary), but if you enjoy late-evening runs, this tip is for you.

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Hydrate During Your Workout

Woman holding an insulated Stanley water bottle.

The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking seven to ten ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise, but how much water you really need during your workout depends on your level of perspiration, outside temperature, as well as the total duration of your exercises. 

Some people don’t stick to the bare minimum and risk feeling dehydrated. The best way to ensure you’re sipping water throughout your workout and not just chugging a whole water bottle afterward is to set an alarm for every 10-15 minutes to remind you to stop and take a few sips. If you don’t have a habit of doing this, it will probably feel awkward in the beginning but once you start, you’ll realize how easy it is to get used to it.

Drinking water during your workout can improve your fitness performance, give you a boost you need to finish strong, and act as a refreshing pause you need to catch your breath before your next sprint.

Hydrate After Your Workout

Man and woman hydrating after their workout.
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Properly hydrating after your workout is necessary even if you drank enough water during your session, but especially if you haven’t. Following the same expert guidelines, you should drink about 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise. And if you’re wondering, you don’t have to actually weigh yourself. The actual amount equates to about 24-48 oz throughout the end of your day.

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Take Electrolytes

Electrolyte powder dissolving in a glass of water.

Drinking water is great, but to properly hydrate, you need to ensure your electrolyte levels are on point. Electrolytes help regulate the chemical reactions in your body, manage the right fluid levels inside and outside your cells, and help turn nutrients into energy.

Some of the most important electrolytes include sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, and bicarbonate. There are plenty of brands on the market with electrolyte drinks, powders, and products, but even simply adding a pinch of salt to your water bottle is usually enough.

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Don’t Forget to “Eat Water”

Woman preparing celery for her meal.

You’ve read it correctly. Not all water comes in the form of a liquid. Many fruits and vegetables as well as meals such as soups and smoothies have high liquid content and definitely contribute to your overall water intake for the day.

Fruits and vegetables with high water content include cucumbers, celery, watermelon, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, apples, lettuce, tomatoes, and zucchini. Try to include more of these foods into your pre and post-workout meal and get a bunch of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to go along with the hydration they provide.

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Eat your water.

Can you Drink Too Much Water?

Woman looking at her water bottle after a tough workout.
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Yes, overhydration is definitely possible. However, rarely does anyone drink that much water during their day so the chances of that happening are scarce. That being said, overhydration can cause you to flush precious nutrients and electrolytes out of your system so it’s even more important to add them to your drink of choice.

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Never forget to hydrate.

Drinking water is crucial no matter what lifestyle you lead and one way to ensure you’re getting adequate amounts is by getting the right water bottle. Check out our favorites!

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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