Hydration is very important when you are doing any sort of physical exercise. Drinking water prevents your body from dehydration and resulting health issues. Depending on who you ask, you may get different recommendations on how much water you should drink. The amounts may depend on factors like your body mass and the intensity and duration of your workout. The generally accepted rule for non-professional athletes is that they should drink neither too much nor too little before, during and after their workouts. So what is the perfect middle ground? Let’s find out.
- Before a workout
To prepare your body for a workout, you need to drink water about 1-2 hours in advance. This allows the water to be absorbed in the body so that when you start working out, you are less likely to feel nausea or suffer from side stitches. For short but high-intensity workouts, you can drink up to half a liter of water. For low intensity but lengthy workouts, however, you can drink about 250ml before and then some more during your workout. For all kinds of workouts, you can drink a small amount of water – about 100ml or so – 30 minutes before working out.
- During a workout
It is generally not required to drink any water when you are doing high-intensity workouts for a short period of time. The water consumed before your exercises is usually enough for a workout that lasts up to half an hour. If you perspire heavily, however, from time to time you can take little sips, but remember that drinking water can affect your performance. If your workout is more than 30 minutes, you can drink a mouthful every 10 minutes or so. Low intensity and endurance workouts, on the other hand, are usually lengthy, and you can drink about 50ml every 10-15 minutes.
- After a workout
After the completion of your exercises, you should rest for at least 30 minutes before indulging in drinking water or any liquids. This time allows the body to cool down and readjust its normal functionality. In all, you should drink up to 500ml after you are done with the workouts, but not in one go. Drinking liquids after a workout is aimed at replenishing the amount of water your body has lost through perspiration.
There are definitely no specific amounts of water prescribed for any person during workouts. As a general rule, however, the intensity and duration of the workouts determine how much you can drink. The general recommendations made above are suitable for most adults who are over the age of 18 years.