Water makes up about 60% of the average person’s body weight. Proper hydration is important, especially in athletes, for optimum health and performance. Here are some of the benefits of proper hydration:
- Improved cognitive function
- Reduces risk of headaches
- Reduced risk of heat stroke
- Improves calorie control
- Reduces muscle cramps
- Optimum performance
Although it is suggested that we drink 8 glasses of water a day, this does not apply to everyone. There are multiple factors to consider, especially in more active individuals. So, how much water should you consume? To answer this question, we must determine our sweat rate.
To determine sweat rate:
1) First, you weigh yourself before a workout.
2) Then, weigh yourself again after your workout, and take note of the difference compared to your pre-exercise weight.
3) Also, note how much you drank during your workout.
4) Consume 600 ml (20 oz) for every pound of weight loss after a workout.
If you weigh 160 lbs pre-exercise, and weigh 158 lbs post exercise, that means you lost 2 lbs through sweat. However, you also drank 8 oz of water during your workout.
160 lbs (pre-exercise) – 158 lbs (post-exercise) = 2 lbs (sweat loss) + 8 oz (water consumed during exercise) (0.25 lb) = 2.5 lbs of sweat loss!
To replenish sweat loss, you must consume 20-24 oz per lb of sweat loss
20 * 2.5 lbs = 50 oz (equivalent to 2 full water bottles)
Consume 8-12 oz of water before a workout. Ensure you are well hydrated at least 60 minutes before your exercise session.
During Exercise Hydration
The goal of drinking water during your workout is to prevent dehydration. Also, thirst is not a good indicator for hydration status as you are already partially dehydrated when you experience thirst. Therefore, consume water based on your sweat rate.
Always carry a water bottle no matter where you go!
Develop a habit in proper hydration.
Re-calculate your sweat rate every 3 months!