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How Much Water Do You Need to Drink?

If I asked you how much water you drink in a day, what would your answer be?

Most people do not drink enough water each day. Ideally, you want to drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day. It’s so important to make this happen and here’s why:

It’s necessary for life. Water is approximately 60% of the adult human body’s weight.

Deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamins, macronutrients, and minerals can take weeks or even years to develop, but when it comes to water, we can only survive for a few days without it.

Consuming an adequate amount of water is beneficial to our bodies in many ways:

  • Endocrine gland function improves
  • Fluid retention is alleviated
  • Liver functions improve, which also increases the percentage of fat used for energy
  • Natural thirst returns
  • Metabolic function improves
  • Essential nutrients are distributed throughout the body
  • Body temperature regulation improves
  • Blood volume is maintained

Not only is adequate water intake important for survival, but it helps with performance as well. Our bodies cannot adapt to dehydration.

Studies have shown that a fluid loss of even 2% of body weight will affect circulatory functions and decrease performance levels.

However, if a pretty regular daily pattern of exercise, water, and food consumption is followed, average body weight will provide a very good index of the body’s state of hydration.

Curious about some of the effects of dehydration?

  • Decreased blood volume
  • Decreased performance
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased sweat rate
  • Increased core temperature
  • Water retention
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sodium retention
  • Decreased cardiac output
  • Decreased blood flow to the skin
  • Increased perceived exertion
  • Increased use of muscle glycogen

A good way to keep track of how much one needs to drink is to first determine your average daily weight. Use this number as a standard for your normal state. Do not begin a workout until the body is at, or slightly above, its standard weight.

Drink enough water during exercise to maintain that starting weight. Here are some guidelines for an athlete or one who loves to workout:

  • Consume 14-22 ounces of water 2 hours before exercise
  • Drink 6-12 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise
  • If exercise exceeds 60 minutes, consider a non sugary sports drink that contains up to 8% in carbohydrates, this will help replace fluid and dwindling muscle glycogen stores
  • When exercising for less than 60 minutes, water should be your go-to (not the sports drink)
  • The goal is to replace sweat and urine losses
  • Drink 16-24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost after exercise

Moral of the story…


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