During non-exercise conditions, hydration can be pretty straightforward. Meeting your water needs simply by watching how much you take in and how much you “excrete”. But when you add physical activity to the mix it helps to be mindful and strategic about your water intake so you can have an optimal workout as well as a full recovery.
How much water should I drink for my workout?
Before: The goal is to be pre-hydrated- many people are good at drinking water during their workouts but forget to drink prior to it. 30 before your workout drink 16 oz of water (2cups).
During: The goal is to prevent excessive dehydration and electrolyte changes. Every 15 minutes during your workout drink 8-10 oz of water (1-1.5 cups)
After: The goal is rehydration. Immediately after exercise drink 20-24 ounces of water, along with your recovery meal. Drink by your thirst for the rest of the day.
Did I hydrate well?
A simple way to check is simply by looking at your urine- Before exercising check that your urine is pale yellow. After exercise, if your urine is darker or you have not urinated a few hours after exercise, you are still dehydrated and need to continue to drink hydrating fluids.
When is water not enough?
For the average adult, plain water is enough to hydrate unless you are continuously exercising for more than 60 minutes.
If you are working out for more than 60 minutes or doing extreme exercise for a shorter amount of time in the heat, then a drink containing a carbohydrate in the form of sugars and electrolytes (especially sodium) may be necessary.