How Much Water Should You Really Drink During A Workout?

Hydration is essential for life and good health. Water helps your brain function properly, and it helps regulate your core temperature. It also delivers nutrients to your cells, helps your joints stay in working order, and assists your liver and kidneys when they flush toxins from your body, according to Mayo Clinic.   

When you exercise, you lose water through sweat, which is why you should keep a bottle of water handy while working out. Depending on how hard you're working out and how much you weigh, you can lose as much as 17 to 50 ounces in an hour, sports dietitian Kelly Pritchett told U.S. News and World Report. However much water you lose during a workout, it's important to replace it to avoid dehydration. If you're dehydrated, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) notes that you are at a higher risk of injury, and your performance might suffer. In addition, you may feel weak or get dizzy, per Cleveland Clinic.

Hydrate before, during, and after your workout

Knowing when and how much to drink can be confusing, and waiting until you are thirsty is a poor gauge when it comes to staying hydrated, per U.S. News and World Report. To reap all of the benefits, you need to make sure you get enough water before, during, and after your workout. ACE recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water a couple of hours before your workout. While you're working out, you should aim for something between 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes. When you're finished exercising, drink 8 ounces within 30 minutes and 16 to 24 ounces for every pound lost during your workout. 

It is important to note that you can drink too much water while exercising. Endurance athletes can suffer from hyponatremia, which involves too much water in the blood, which causes sodium levels to drop. According to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, a person is more likely to develop hyponatremia if they gain weight during exercise.